Thanks so much for having me on Authors’ Lounge. I’m delighted to be here!
My name is Candace Spizzirri. I grew up in a small town in New Jersey with tree-lined streets and old Victorian houses. As a child, I spent hours playing at the park, catching minnows in a nearby stream, and exploring the woods at the end of my street.
I hold a degree in child psychology with an emphasis in emotional development. Passionate about education, I am a co-founder of an elementary school and high school in Southern California where I now make my home.
I began writing for kids back in 2016. It wasn’t anything I ever thought I would do and sort of came to me from out of the blue. In fact, I was a much stronger math and science student in school. But I love it! In 2017, I joined SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge and started studying the craft of writing picture books. There was so much to learn, so much I didn’t know.
I took lots of classes, attended conferences, found critique partners, wrote quite a number of manuscripts, and slowly started submitting my work. I enjoy writing stories in prose and in rhyme with humor and heart.
My debut picture book, FISHING WITH GRANDPA AND SKYE, was released on April 19th with Clear Fork Publishing/Spork. Illustrator Beverly Love Warren did an amazing job! Her art is everything I had hoped for and more! The target audience is children ages 3 to 8. I’m thrilled that this story is out in the world!
Here is a short summary:
Days on the lake are a Skye and Grandpa thing. They load up their tackle box, hop aboard their skiff, and chug out to their favorite fishing spot. Today, the sun is shining, and the fish are jumping, but will Skye hook a big one?
FISHING WITH GRANDPA AND SKYE explores the rewards of patience and celebrates the love between generations.
The inspiration for this story came from many fishing trips to Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, with my beloved Grandpa Henry. It was my favorite thing to do growing up. Although it is truly about Grandpa and me, I use my granddaughter Skye’s name as the main character.
The plot is quite close to the actual happenings of one particular, very special day on a little “catch and release” lake that will forever be in my heart. It is complete with the goodbye song I made up at age 4 to bid a fond farewell to my fish. I’ve never forgotten it all these years later. Grandpa Henry had a surprise for me on that fishing trip, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what it was.
The spark for my second picture book, FINLEY: A MOOSE ON THE CABOOSE, illustrated by Chantelle & Burgen Thorne and will release in Spring 2023 with Gnome Road Publishing, was inspired by a trip to beautiful Alaska where the moose roam about freely. (And they’re so adorable!)
My hope for FISHING and future books is that kids and those reading with them will delight in and connect with my stories. I adore picture books! Always have, always will! I look forward to seeing my books in the hands of little ones, being shared with loved ones. What a joy!
I will be doing classroom visits and bookstore readings/signings in Southern California and in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia area.)
You can purchase a copy of FISHING WITH GRANDPA AND SKYE on Amazon.
Learn more about me at candacespizzirri.com and follow me on Twitter at @CCSpizzirri, on Instagram at @CCSpizzirri, and on Facebook at @CandaceSpizzirri.
Thanks so much again, Authors’ Lounge, for featuring me and FISHING WITH GRANDPA AND SKYE!
FISHING WITH GRANDPA AND SKYE, April 19, 2022
FINLEY: A MOOSE ON THE CABOOSE, Spring 2023