From Picture Book to iPad App: Step 7

Things are going warp speed now. I worked on a detailed schedule for development, illustration and project management/marketing—there is a lot to accomplish to get the app out before the end of fall. The final title page still needs the buttons for music, read to me, etc., but here it is.

Step Seven:

A. Illustration Tasks to Complete
Kate is working on completing the scenes with animation elements that go with each scene—there are three types of animation in the app:

  • Happening with the narration
  • Activated by touching the screen
  • Triggered by some aspect of a game

Four scenes have now been completed with their animation elements. Way to go, Kate! Right on schedule.

B. App Development
Nur completed a draft build of the app using the rough colored scenes, built the games readers can enjoy with the book, and developed a unique page turning style (passed by our 3-year-old app testers). He is putting the final touches on the accelerometer game for the tunnel scene and building the final scenes with their animations first as Kate completes the scenes. Then adding sound, text and narration.

C. Project Management/Marketing
Our small yet determined and dedicated team is working hard, making my job as manager easy.

My most challenging job has been doing the sound effects. Besides knowing there are lots of websites offering sound effects, I knew very little. Finding an open-source editing program called Audacity, I was able to poke around and learn to use it effectively. I purchased sound files (.wav) from:

About half the files were perfect as purchased. Others I edited to get the right length or combined to achieve the perfect sound effect.

I even recorded my own files with my iPod—a fountain and a branch dropping. Finding just the right owl “hoot” became a difficult search until my husband, Bob, came home and performed an awesome impression of an owl. I got my owl. Thanks, Honey!

I would love to insert the owl for you to hear, but no easy way to do it. You’ll just have to wait until the app comes out.

This week I’m creating the narration files. Yes, yours truly will be narrating the story.

Please go to the fan page Purple Carrot Books on Facebook and Like it. I’m connecting with people on Google+—writers, reviewers, app developers, teachers, and other interesting people, and following and adding lots of tweeters on Twitter @prplcarrotbooks.

If you haven’t been following the series, you might want to check out the previous steps for developing an iPad app: Step 1Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5 and Step 6.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chris Pedersen and her husband live with a chocolate lab named Brandy in the beautiful Sierra foothills in California. Chris writes for children and loves crafting nonfiction stories from real life. The Prisoner of Carrot Castle is her first iPad app. Her other work in process is a chapter book titled How I Survived Third Grade.

Published work includes Work and Wag, about dog jobs, in Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and A Saving Transformation, in THE DOG NEXT DOOR published by Revell. In addition, since conquering cancer with diet, Chris blogs about health, her heart passion, at Healthy Journey Café where she dishes out recipes and tips to achieve optimum wellness. Her writing journey is chronicled at Paws and Ponder.

How to Get from Where You are to Where You Want to be

Do you sometimes wonder if all the hours you spend in front of your monitor are worth it? If so, I have encouraging words for you. I recently listened to an interview with Jack Canfield, Co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul Anthology Series. More than 115 million of these books have been sold and the series has had seven books on the New York Times Best Seller list at one time. Hard to believe that Mr. Canfield’s idea received 144 rejections before the first book was sold. He started his career as a teacher and discovered the joy of inspiring and motivating young people to pursue their dreams. His desire to help people led him into corporations where he coached executives in leadership. He was nervous about expanding his boundaries outside the classroom until someone told him to think of his audience as a bunch of kids with suits on.

Would you like to know how to get from where you are to where you want to be? Here are twelve tips from Mr. Canfield:

  1. Be a giver.
  2. Want the best for your readers.
  3. Identify each book with a charity, designating a percentage of the sales to go to the charity. It is hard to give without getting something back. Mr. Canfield said the charities often call to ask how they can help him sell more books.
  4. Give away chapters. Submit articles.
  5. Give free talks. When Mr. Canfield did this, corporations called to invite him to coach their employees for good pay.
  6. Give away books. One year Mr. Canfield gave away 2,500 copies of a book and received a hundred fold in return.
  7. Become a joiner. Get out. Get involved. Go to fundraisers.
  8. Network with other writers, editors and professionals. Develop your own network.
  9. Volunteer your time in the community. Get on the radio.
  10. Believe in yourself. Believe what you have to offer is valuable.
  11. Be passionate about what you do. When people ask Mr. Canfield what he’s doing he says, “I’m writing a best seller.” He not only believes it; he makes it happen.
  12. Mr. Canfield spends ten percent of his time writing and 90% of his time marketing. This is hard for us writer souls to digest, but who knows what we might accomplish if we do. Although Mr. Canfield is passionate about helping people, he has an income of $8 million a year.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Author of more than eighty articles and stories, Sue Tornai lives with her husband John and dog Maggie in Carmichael, California. They enjoy camping and fishing at Lake Almanor and the Feather River in Northern California. Sue has taught elementary Sunday school for more than twenty years. Her most rewarding experience as a writer is when someone tells her that something she wrote touched a heart or changed a life. “That’s why I write,” Sue says. “I write to inspire people about God’s amazing love. I write for His glory.” Visit Sue on her website at


Inspire Member Spotlight: Michelle Janene (Murray)

How long have you been a member of Inspire?

1 ½ years

What prompted you to join Inspire?

The instructor of a writing class I took said I need a critique group. A short Internet search led me to Inspire

Was there a particular moment when you knew you were a writer?

After I made my first submission to my critique group and they encouraged me so much I thought it could be a possibility.

Describe your writing career high point and low point.

I haven’t had much of a “career” yet, but I went to Mt. Hermon in 2011 and an editor asked to see my full MS. I was stunned.

Low point was when my computer and my back up flash drive was stolen and I lost 5 ½ novels.

Which of your stories is the closest to your heart?

Hidden Under His Hands, because it has a lot of action and it is about a believing woman who is so hyper-focused on God’s call that she is missing the blessings of her obedience to Him.

What project of yours is gathering dust?

I have several rattling around in my head, but I am focusing on curriculum writing for my students. If that is ever done I will get to them.

What’s next for you?

I am waiting to hear about my submissions from Mt. Hermon, writing Bible curriculum for 6th graders, re-writing Hidden Under His Hands and trying not to forget the other stories swimming in my head.

What have you read recently that you couldn’t put down?

Just finished She Walks in Beauty, and now very engrossed in Anathema. The characters in She Walks in Beauty were so driven by their need for status through superficial means that I was compelled to read to see how the main character was going to break free from the expectations imposed on her. Anathema is written in the medieval time period, which is where my brain lives all the time. I’m hooked by the main character’s journey of self-exploration.

What does it mean to you to be a writer?

I never aspired to be a writer. I never excelled in language arts in school. This is God’s journey from start to finish. I am just trying to be obedient to His calling for whatever His purpose may be for my stumbling words.

Was there a book that changed your life?

Not one book, but I hated reading until I started reading Stephen Lawhead.


Sin and Syntax: Book Review & Giveaway

Good morning, fellow writers! Let me introduce you to Constance Hale’s Sin And Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose.

Right off, Constance had me jabbering with excitement to myself. My brows furrowed into a familiar crease. My shoulders hunkered forward, almost caressing the book. Typical intense learning mode.

She had me at “relish every word.”

She lulled me in farther with “be simple, but go deep.” Then, when she commanded me to “take risks, seek beauty, and find the right pitch,” I was giggling and going on to myself, like a gardener who’d unearthed a trunk of books in her back yard.

I wasn’t about to answer the phone (sorry Julie). I told my poor affection-starved dog to go lie down and stop nudging my elbow. I found myself in the paged presence of brilliance and just wanted to read, read, read, make a periodic trip to the potty, then read some more, until I absolutely had to get up and make dinner for my family.

If you don’t already own Sin And Syntax, promise me you’ll check it out at your library. Or, turn in the recycling and go buy yourself a copy. Better yet, enter to win a free copy from Inspire!

Make “remember” notes in it. Highlight and underline the phrases that dazzle you. Then, write scolding notes to yourself for not knowing better to write like that. I tell you, this is a must-have on your computer desk. You’ll want to read it over and over again; it’s that packed with good stuff.

Ms. Hale loads her pages with examples as well as explanations for her examples. For example (ha ha), she cites a piece from Jacobo Timerman, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number.  She says, “His nouns are unadorned, naked, stripped of attention-grabbing adjectives, as hard as the cell itself. In fact, his description is powered by nouns.” (Don’t you just love that kind of talk?!)

Then you get to read the piece, experience it for yourself and see with your own eyes, exactly what she’s talking about.

Take your time wading into this pool of writer-ly wisdom and wit. Practice what she tells you, and you’ll see wonderful changes in your writing. She makes it so much fun learning the rules and how to work them, so that they don’t rule you. I tell you, that Pulitzer is looking awfully promising. Okay, that’s my dream. But what writer doesn’t want to write like a Pulitzer winning author, huh?

Sin And Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose is the new On Writing Well by William Zinsser. I bet even Mr. Zinsser would say so.

Would you like to win a free copy of Sin and Syntax?

Enter to win a copy by signing up to receive the Inspire blog directly into your email or add us on your RSS feed. Then leave a comment below letting us know you’d like to enter our drawing. So simple!

We will draw a winner on Monday, October 31.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Jennifer Hamilton is a writer/editor who cheers the Auburn/Grass Valley Inspire group toward excellence; ever acknowledging that it is God who equips and trains, who opens and closes doors for opportunity.

Her writing affirmations: Daring Faith, a 42-day devotional; two Bible Studies; DaySpring Cards; and freelancing for Cook Communications. Jennifer is also a blossoming grandmother of eight, a reflective mother of six, and the unexpected joy of her very own Solomon of nearly thirty years—all of which, has culminated into a masterpiece stroked in oils of complete surrender. Find out more at  And while you’re there, leave a comment at

Inspire Member Spotlight: Dana Sudboro

How long have you been a member of Inspire?

Since 2007.

What prompted you to join Inspire?

Heard a good report from Beth Self.

Was there a particular moment when you knew you were a writer?

When I stayed up all night to finish a Halloween short story—far, far longer than the winning entry—for my high school English contest. My mom regarded me as a boy possessed.

Describe your writing career high point and low point.

High point, White Rose publishing Continents Apart. Low point, reading my beloved critic’s razor-to-the-bone review of Check or Mate.

Which of your stories is the closest to your heart?

An unpublished story with fatal flaws, called A Man to Consider. It chronicles a secular seeker, with existential angst, finding joy in Jesus and a husband, too.

Describe receiving your first book contract. Or agent contract.

Editor Janice Roach, former president of Sacramento Christian Writers, sent Beth Self a description of the e-book publisher she worked for, Wild Rose Press, and the kind of help they offered new writers. I knew it was the kind of entry-level outfit I was looking for. So I sent my novella Fatima’s Fate. Editor Elizabeth West read it, liked it, and sent me a contract. (Later Wild Rose launched a sister organization, White Rose, exclusively for Christian romances.)

What project of yours is gathering dust?

An incomplete romance called Selling Miss Lassiter. My critique group loves it, but it will take loads of research to finish. Plus Check or Mate, the book needing—yes, Jennifer—serious revision.

What’s next for you?

Wrapping up the last two chapters of Adam’s Garden and giving it to my daughter Jessica’s Sierra Delta Press for editing and uploading onto the web. Jessica will design a fabulous cover and price it at $1.99 per download. The art, price, and search-words will draw traffic. As did Off the Menu.

What have you read recently that you couldn’t put down?

Love and War, by John and Stasi Eldredge, a spiritual-warfare manual for fighting for our marriages. Identifying the real enemy, Satan, not our spouse.

What does it mean to you to be a writer?

Entertaining readers while sharing what’s deepest on my heart.

Was there a book that changed your life?

Too many to list. But The Genesis Flood, co-authored by Drs. Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, turned my worldview upside down and made me a zealous young-earth creationist.

You can learn more about Dana Sudboro and his writing at:

From Picture Book to iPad App: Step 6

First things first: Did you LIKE Purple Carrot Books Facebook fan page and are you following @prplcarrotbooks on Twitter? Good! Now read on.

Step Six:

A. Illustrate Each Scene
The work at this point is heavily concentrated on the illustrations, Kate working hard at painting each scene.

All the scenes for the book and the title page have been colored.What do you think of the title page? Some of the scenes were adjusted as Kate moved through the story. You saw some of the gorgeous scenes in From Picture Book to iPad App ~ Step 5.

B. Build the App Pages and Functions
Plugging all the colored scenes from Kate’s work into a build of the app, Nur has provided a web location for us to download the progressive builds onto our iPads. That allows us to test things and give him feedback. He’s experimenting with page turning styles, built and debugged one of the games and laid-out the extended scene where the accelerometer (tilting the iPad to make things happen by the movement) will be used. Are those teasers enough for you?

C. Begin Foley Work & Plan for Marketing

I have my hands full as I figure out how to put the sound together. There’s narration for each scene, music that plays throughout the story (with an off/on button) and sound affects that happen either as a one-off (happening once during narration) event, or when a spot on the screen is touched usually involving animation.

Nur’s job is to make it all work, but I need to get all the sound files for him to insert. A good friend has offered his professional sound studio to do the sound work. Sound a bit overwhelming?

Then there’s marketing. I need to create a marketing program to introduce and get the market buzz going about the app. I’m convinced the app will sell itself, but the rub is people need to know its out there in the sea of millions of iPad apps.

BTW, in case you didn’t catch it in the last post, the publishing company for The Prisoner of Carrot Castle is called Purple Carrot Books. Did you know that carrots were originally purple? The dark-colored carrots are making a comeback. Give them a try if you see them in your local market.

It’s getting exciting, isn’t it?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chris Pedersen and her husband live with a chocolate lab named Brandy in the beautiful Sierra foothills in California. Chris writes for children and loves crafting non-fiction stories from real life. The Prisoner of Carrot Castle is her first iPad app. Her other work in progress is a chapter book titled How I Survived Third Grade.

Published work includes Work and Wag, about dog jobs, in Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and A Saving Transformation, in THE DOG NEXT DOOR published by Revell. In addition, since conquering cancer with diet, Chris blogs about health, her heart passion, at Healthy Journey Café where she dishes out recipes and tips to achieve optimum wellness. Her writing journey is chronicled at Paws and Ponder.