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Books, Kids & Creations with Tracy Blom

Books, Kids & Creations with Tracy Blom

By Tracy Blom
Viewers will meet creative people of all ages who inspire future generations with their work. Guests have included Cartoonists, Olympic champions, NASA scientists, ballerinas, children's authors, and more!

Hosted by Tracy Blom, awarding-winning author of over thirty books, plays, and screenplays.
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Books, Kids & Creations Interview with author/screenwriter Karol R. Silverstein

Books, Kids & Creations with Tracy Blom

Books, Kids & Creations Interview with Lori Garver, Former NASA Deputy Administrator
Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age   The Authors on the Air Global Radio Network presents, Books, Kids & Creations with Tracy Blom a podcast that features people who inspire and uplift future generations with their work.  In this episode we sit down with Lori Garver, Former NASA Deputy Administrator, to discuss her experience with NASA, serving under multiple presidents, persevering even when it seems like everyone is against you, and of course, her new book, Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age.    About the Author:  Lori Garver was the principal advisor on aerospace issues to three presidential candidates and led the NASA transition team for President Obama. She served as the Deputy Administrator of the Space Agency from 2009 to 2013 and is known as an architect of the new era of commercial partnerships that allow SpaceX to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.    Garver is the founder of the Brooke Owens Fellowship, an internship and mentorship program for collegiate women interested in pursuing space careers. She is the recipient of the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award for Women in Aerospace and has been awarded three NASA Distinguished Service Medals. She lives in Washington, DC.       About the Book:   “Former NASA official Lori Garver offers a front-row seat to the decades-long struggles within and among space bureaucrats and space billionaires. Bring popcorn, as you bear witness to an untold slice of space history.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist and author of Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier   Escaping Gravity is former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver's firsthand account of how a handful of revolutionaries overcame the political patronage and bureaucracy that threatened the space agency. The success of Elon Musk's SpaceX, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, and countless other commercial space efforts were preceded by decades of work by a group of people Garver calls “space pirates.” Their quest to transform NASA put Garver in the crosshairs of Congress, the aerospace industry, and hero-astronauts trying to protect their own profits and mythology within a system that had held power since the 1950s.  Published by Diversion Books Amazon Link:
September 03, 2022
Interview with Creative Director of PBS Matthew Kennedy
Get ready to be inspired!!   In this interview, Tracy sits down with Creative Director for PBS, Matthew Kennedy, and discusses his experience with branding, storytelling, toy creation, and more!   As a Creative Director Matthew has developed video, interactive, print, and social marketing for brands including Animal Planet, PBS Kids, and Cartoon Network.    To learn more about Matthew Kennedy visit
August 28, 2022
Books, Kids & Creations Interview with author/screenwriter Karol R. Silverstein
KAROL RUTH SILVERSTEIN (she/her/disabled) is a screenwriter and writer of various genres of children’s books. Karol’s debut young adult novel, Cursed (Charlesbridge Teen), was loosely drawn from her experience of being diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at thirteen. A funny, frank and unsentimental take on the “sick kid” genre, Cursed won the prestigious Schneider Family Book Award in 2020. Karol has identified as disabled since the age of 21 and is active on the Writer’s Guild of American West’s Disabled Writers Committee. Originally from Philadelphia, Karol now lives in West Hollywood with her incredibly fluffy cats, Ninja and Boo. Learn more about her on Twitter @KRSilverstein, Instagram @KRSilverstin2019 and About CURSED (2020 Schneider Family Book Award winner - teen book): A debut novel for fans of The Fault in Our Stars that thoughtfully and humorously depicts teen Ricky Bloom's struggles with a recent chronic illness diagnosis. As if her parents' divorce and sister's departure for college weren't bad enough, fourteen-year-old Ricky Bloom has just been diagnosed with a life-changing chronic illness. Her days consist of cursing everyone out, skipping school--which has become a nightmare--daydreaming about her crush, Julio, and trying to keep her parents from realizing just how bad things are. But she can't keep her ruse up forever. Ricky's afraid, angry, alone, and one suspension away from repeating ninth grade when she realizes: she can't be held back. She'll do whatever it takes to move forward--even if it means changing the person she's become. Lured out of her funk by a quirky classmate, Oliver, who's been there too, Ricky's porcupine exterior begins to shed some spines. Maybe asking for help isn't the worst thing in the world. Maybe accepting circumstances doesn't mean giving up.
August 22, 2022
Interview with award-winning Author Laurie Wallmark
Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark writes picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as fiction. Her books have earned multiple starred trade reviews, been chosen as Junior Library Guild Selections, and received awards such as Outstanding Science Trade Book, Best STEM Book, Crystal Kite Award, Cook Prize Honor, and Parents’ Choice Gold Medal. Her titles include ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE, GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE, HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE, NUMBERS IN MOTION, CODE BREAKER, SPY HUNTER. And her debut fiction picture book, DINO PAJAMA PARTY. Laurie has an MFA in Writing from VCFA and frequently presents at schools as well as national professional conferences (NSTA, NCTE, ALA, TLA, etc.). She is a former software engineer and computer science professor. You can find Laurie on the Web at and @lauriewallmark.
August 07, 2022
Books, Kids & Creations Interview with Author and Dance Enthusiast Dianne Pede
In this episode, Tracy sits down with author, teacher, and theatre enthusiast Dianne Pede to discuss her newest book, My Dancing Feet.  Dianne Koebel-Pede’s life-long calling is turning work into play. Whether teaching, writing, reading, or reviewing children’s books, her adventures have been rewarded and sprinkled with tons of love, laughter, gratitude, and awe. (And a few zillion mistakes, which she prefers to call opportunities for growth!) . Her favorite former gig was accidentally owning a dance studio, then writing and choreographing musicals for recitals.  Her first book, My Dancing Feet, is a rhyming celebration of dance. Released in October 2021, it made it to #1 in two Amazon bestseller categories and #2 in a third. It’s the perfect partner for children that love to move and groove. Featuring hip-hop, ballet, tap, and jazz, the young reader is invited to be the star of the story.    Her book is available on Amazon and a personalized version can be ordered from Eman Books at
July 16, 2022
Interview with Award-Winning Cartoonist Steenz
Join Tracy as she interviews Steenz, a St. Louis-based cartoonist, editor, and professor. They’re the cartoonist on the Ringo Award-Nominated syndicated comic strip ‘Heart Of The City’, the co-creator of Dwayne McDuffie Award-Winning GN Archival Quality, and is featured in short story anthologies such as Eisner and Ignatz Award-Winning Elements: Fire, Mine!, and Dead Beats. Steenz also launched and edited the popular RPG periodical Rolled & Told. They participate in and create community building comics related programming, and are frequent panelist at comic cons. Steenz currently teaches cartooning at Webster University while editing comics for independent publishers.  They live with their husband and two cats, and watches a lot of esoteric social documentaries.   To learn more about Steenz:  The link to their Kickstarter:  Andrews McMeel Universal:
June 29, 2022
Interview With Melissa Shapiro
Tracy sits down with veterinarian and author Melissa Shapiro to discuss her new children's book, Piglet Comes Home. Piglet’s story has been featured in PEOPLE Magazine, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS, CNN, GMA3, CBS NEWS, THE DODO and more!   PIGLET’S REAL-LIFE STORY: Piglet, the deaf-blind pink puppy is a double dapple dachshund chihuahua mix rescued from a hoarding situation. When veterinarian Melissa Shapiro learned about the tiny deaf-blind puppy, she and her husband Warren agreed to foster him until his rescue group could find him his forever home, not knowing, initially that that home was going to be theirs!  Early on Piglet’s social media platforms grew exponentially! Videos and pictures of his resilient, and happy nature, inspired adults and children to bring his example of positivity into their own lives.  Piglet is also an ambassador for disabled animals and people.   The Piglet Mindset™ educational outreach program was created to teach growth mindset and inclusion and has reached thousands of children in classrooms around the world.     ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melissa Shapiro, DVM, is a veterinarian, a lifelong animal welfare advocate, and mom to three children and many disabled rescued dogs and birds. Since bringing Piglet home in 2017, she has used his social media platform to educate, advocate, and inspire others to adopt pets with special needs. Her nonprofit organization, Piglet International Inc., supports the Piglet Mindset Educational Outreach, a free downloadable educational program that teaches growth mindset, acceptance, inclusion, empathy, and kindness to students and others in the community, as well as various animal rights causes. She lives in Connecticut with her husband Warren, six rescued dogs, one rescued parakeet, and Piglet, the deaf-blind pink puppy.     ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: Ellie Snowdon grew up in South Wales in the UK, surrounded by books, Welsh cakes, and lots of creativity. After graduating from University of the West of England at Bristol and the children’s book illustration master’s program at Cambridge School of Art, Ellie returned to live and work in her hometown of Swansea, where she is thankfully still surrounded by books, Welsh cakes, and more creativity.    In PIGLET COMES HOME, when the pup pack’s owner leaves to bring them a new friend, the dogs wonder who will be coming back to join their family. Will it be a little pooch like Zoey or Annie? Or maybe a big dog with lots of energy like Gina? But when Mom walks in carrying a teeny tiny box making lots of noise, everyone is confused. Pups don’t make sounds like that, and surely the creature is too small and pink to be a dog! And poor little Piglet is so shy and nervous, the pack isn’t sure how to say hello. Will the dogs be able to make friends and show Piglet he has a place in his new home?
June 07, 2022
Interview with author, composer, and TEDX speaker Kathleen Macferran
Kathleen Macferran is a facilitator, author, teacher, Certified Trainer and Assessor for the Center for Nonviolent Communication and the owner of Strength of Connection. She has spent much of her life bringing harmony to communities through music, including two decades as a classical music conductor and seven years as a public-school music teacher.   Kathleen loves children and believes music and giraffes (the main characters in her children’s books) have much to teach us about interdependent social living. Central to Kathleen’s work is a vision for a peaceful, just, and sustainable world.  Kathleen’s website is where her TEDx talks, books, workshops and music can be found.  • Author of How Giraffe Found Their Hearts and How Giraffes Got Their Ears, children’s story picture books, and  • Conductor for Giraffe Tales, a children’s CD setting these stories to music • Co-author with Jared Finkelstein of Choice: A field guide for navigating the polarization of our world and living interdependently  • Certified Trainer for the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC)  • TEDxTalks: Houses of Healing, TEDxMonroe Correctional Complex; The Art of Listening, TEDxRainier; Fearless Women, TedxSeattle  • Conductor on multiple Rainier Chamber Winds classical music recordings   THE STORIES Giraffe Tales is a two-book series of beautifully illustrated children’s picture story books that are also set to music and narrated in the digital ePub editions. Giraffes, one of the land animals with the largest hearts, are sometimes referred to as symbols of Nonviolent Communication since our hearts are where we hold the feelings and needs we most cherish.   In How Giraffes Got Their Ears, the giraffes find joy when they are able to hear the beautiful feelings and needs in all hearts, in other words, when they are able to empathize with each other.  How Giraffes Found Their Hearts is a story of the importance of being connected to our own hearts so we can live from our own values and joy.
June 05, 2022
Interview with Miry Whitehill and Jennifer Jackson creators of Our World is a Family
Join Tracy as she sits down with Miry Whitehill and Jennifer Jackson, creators of the new book, Our World is a Family.    From the creators of Miry’s List, the nonprofit that has helped thousands of people arriving in the U.S. as refugees comes an all-ages story about compassion and human connection. Our World is a Family is a bea   Our World is a Family is a picture book exploring the complicated topic of human migration in a gentle, loving, and affirming way. It lightly touches on the reason people might leave their homes, like climate change or lack of safety, and inspires children to welcome their new neighbors into their communities with love.   About the Authors      MIRY WHITEHILL is the founder and executive director of the award-winning nonprofit organization Miry’s List, which supports families resettling in the United States as refugees, from countries including Syria and Afghanistan.     JENNIFER JACKSON has always been a storyteller. She began her career in live theater as a writer, director, and choreographer before transitioning to the page with her first picture book, The Punkydoos Take the Stage.     NOMAR PEREZ was born on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. After leaving his homeland at the age of 10 for the U.S., Nomar found himself in touch with all types of media, including animation, puppetry, and computer art. He has worked as an award-winning illustrator for more than seventeen years.
June 05, 2022
Interview with Award-Winning Author Jennifer Swanson
Join Tracy as she sits down with award-winning author, Jennifer Swanson. Science Rocks! And so do Jennifer Swanson’s books. She is the award-winning author of over 45 nonfiction books for children. Using her background in science and history that she received from the U.S. Naval Academy, and her M.S. in Education, Jennifer excels at taking complex facts and making them accessible, compelling, and humorous for young readers.  Jennifer's passion for science resonates in in all her books but especially, Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact and BEASTLY BIONICS which both received Florida Book Awards and  NSTA BEST STEM book awards.  Her Save the Crash-test Dummies book received an NSTA BEST STEM Award and a Parent’s Choice GOLD Award.  Jennifer has been a featured speaker at the Tucson Book Festival, National NSTA conferences, the Highlights Foundation, the World Science Festival (twice), the Atlanta Science Festival (twice) and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival. She is also the creator and cohost of the award-winning science podcast, Solve It! for Kids. You can find Jennifer through her websites  or
May 03, 2022
Interview with Author Kim Tomsic- The Elephants Come Home
Do you love elephants? Yeah, we do too! Join Tracy as she interviews author Kim Tomsic, discussing her beautifully written, captivating book, The Elephants Come Home.  Kim Tomsic is a word wrangler, exclamation point enthusiast, and parallel parking champion who loves animals, especially her dog Sushi. Kim is the author of the Crystal Kite award-winning novel, The 11:11 Wish, followed by The 12th Candle both published by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. Her critically acclaimed nonfiction picture book, Guitar Genius: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World! illustrated by Brett Helquist, was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Texas Topaz list selection, a New York Public Library Best Book of 2019, and a National Science Teachers Association Best STEM book of 2019. Her 2021 nonfiction picture book, The Elephants Come Home published by Chronicle Books and illustrated by Hadley Hooper, is a CYBILS Finalist and won the Norman A. Sugarman Biography Honor.  Kirkus calls it "lovely, tender, and moving" and Horn Book Magazine says the story has "flawless, gentle pacing" and "riveting details." Kim’s next novel, The Truth about 5th Grade is co-written with Reuben Award-winning cartoonist, Mark Parisi, and will be published by HarperCollins in Summer 2023.
April 08, 2022
Interview with Author, Jean Derespina
After holding corporate marketing positions for over 30 years, Jean Derespina fulfilled a dream in 2014 and founded The Marketing Gig LLC. An avid writer, her business focus is on digital content. Jean provides blogs, email campaigns, flyers &  brochures, white papers, case studies, newsletters, and web copy for her clients.  In January 2015, Jean’s life was changed when she was a victim in a serious accident.  Unwilling to succumb to her injuries, Jean worked hard during her lengthy recovery. Her passion for writing helped her keep a positive attitude.  In 2021, Jean fulfilled yet another dream. She published her first children’s picture book, The Famous Phoebe of  Long Island: Phoebe’s Adventures at Sailors Haven.  Their dog, Phoebe, boated with Jean and her husband,  and this is the first story of her travels. Jean hopes to continue writing for children, and she has drafted up the second book in her Famous Phoebe of Long Island Series: Phoebe’s Trip to Montauk.
March 19, 2022
Interview with Author Seana Walsh
Join Tracy as she interviews children's author, theatre teacher, and director, Seana Walsh.  Seána Walsh lives in a little house called Dandelion Burrow in the wilds of Western Massachusetts. She’s worked as an elementary school teacher for the last twenty years and runs a program teaching children to write and produce their own musicals. She also runs a camp called Shiprock and Anchordog.   Her newest book, Maisie and the Clootie Tree is a magical, immersive, voyage through love and loss, adventure and joy, that is sure to evoke curiosity, hope, and a love of all things magic.  Maisie and the Clootie Tree was released on December 7th, 2021 by The Three Little Sisters, and is a wonderful picture book for ages 7+, illustrated by Megan Day Afon Walker.     About the Book:  Maisie’s mom is sick. But maybe there’s something she can do to help her? Inspired by the ancient myths and legends of Scotland, Maisie goes on a quest to find a way to care for her mom, learning about herself along the way. This charming tale introduces readers to the rich history of Scotland, a realm of magic and mystery, as well as providing the building blocks for younger readers to enable them to understand a very adult problem like breast cancer. Join Maisie as she discovers the truth behind the selkies, gets inspired by Robert the Bruce, and creates the perfect Clootie tree!      Links:  Website:
March 12, 2022
Books, Kids & Creations Interview with Author Anna Lazowski
Anna Lazowski wrote her first picture book for a sixth-grade assignment and has been creating stories ever since. Anna is the author of T-Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes, a hilarious ABC book for kids.  Learn more about Anna’s writing at, and follow  her on Twitter at @anna_lazowski
March 04, 2022
Interview with Creek Stewart, Survival Instructor, Author, TV Host
CREEK Stewart:  Survival Instructor, Author, Host Creek’s life-long study of outdoor living and survival skills is backed by 1000′s of man-hours in the field. He has been featured on/in The TODAY Show, INSIDE EDITION, Fox & Friends, Men’s Fitness Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Outdoor Life Magazine, WGN-TV, WISH-TV 8, The Weather Channel, LIVING READY Magazine, American Survival Guide, and countless radio and on-line events.  He has contributed to the hugely popular men’s interest blog and his survival writings have been featured on 1000′s of websites including Huffington Post, MSN News, Lifehacker, and The Daily Beast. Creek is the host of SOS: HOW TO SURVIVE on The Weather Channel and the author of: Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide Build the Perfect Bug Out Vehicle Build the Perfect Bug Out Survival Skills SURVIVAL HACKS 365 Essential Survival Skills STUCK: A survival short story RUGOSA: A survival story from Omaha to London And his newest book, The Disaster Ready Home.
February 07, 2022
Holiday Train Exhibit at The Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Holiday Train Exhibit at The Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Krohn Conservatory is a plant lover’s dream, featuring over 1000 varieties of plants from all over the world. During the Holiday season,  it transforms into a botanical winter wonderland featuring colorful poinsettias, train exhibits, and miniature replicas of Cincinnati landmarks created by Applied Imagination. Join Tracy as she interviews manager, Mark House, and discusses how the holiday exhibit came to be. The holiday exhibit runs through January 9th and is sure to bring holiday cheer and wonder to all who attend. For more information: About Applied Imagination: Nationally recognized, award-winning crew of creative artists, botanical architects, and landscape designers producing original public garden exhibits, seasonal displays, and garden railways . Applied Imagination has created countless award-winning garden railway displays across the country, including installations at New York Botanical Garden, United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C., Chicago Botanic Garden, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Atlanta Botanic Garden, New Orleans Botanical Garden, Bellagio Conservatory in Las Vegas, and The State Fair of Texas. #appliedimagination #holiday #trains #trainexhibits #modeltrains #Cincinnati #Christmas #plants #hortaculture #Findlaymarket #Krohnconservatory #stem #authorsontheair #authorsontheairglobalradionetwork #podcast #interview Join Tracy as she interviews creative guests of all ages who inspire and uplift others through their work, including children's and YA authors. Tracy Blom is the author of over twenty published books, with her most recent publication, From Beyond the Arctic which teaches children about important environmental topics, including global warming. @copyright by Authors on the Air Global Radio Network
December 18, 2021
Interview with Egyptologist Kara Cooney on her new book "The Good Kings"
Dr. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney is a professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA and chair of its Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Her academic work focuses on death preparations, social competition, and gender studies. She appeared as a lead expert in the popular Discovery Channel special "The Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen" and produced and wrote Discovery's Out of Egypt. The author of The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World (2021), When Women Ruled the World (2018), and The Woman Who Would Be King (2014). Her latest book, The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World, Kara turns to five ancient Egyptian pharaohs--Khufu, Senwosret III, Akenhaten, Ramses II, and Taharqa to understand why many so often give up power to the few, and what it can mean for our future. Published by National Geographic Press, in 2021. ABOUT THE SHOW: Books, Kids & Creations is a videocast hosted by author, Tracy Blom, that features people who inspire and uplift children through their work. Tracy Blom is the author of over twenty published books, with her most recent publication, The Happy Machine. #AuthorsOnTheAir #AuthorsOnTheAirGlobalRadioNetwork #AOTA #tracyblom #DrKathlynKaraCooney #egyptianart #egyptologist @Copyright by Authors on the Air Global Radio Network
December 15, 2021
Tracy Blom welcomes TWINTASTIC Author Jacqueline Kopito
Jacqueline Davidson Kopito received a B.A. from Syracuse University and a Master’s in Corporate and Public Communications, with honors, from Seton Hall University. She has written numerous articles for TWINS Magazine, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and local newspapers. An identical twin herself, when Jacqueline is not binge-watching Netflix, talking to her sisters (and Mom & Dad), practicing qi gong, or rooting for the NY Rangers, she loves talking and writing about all things twin related. Jacqueline lives in Short Hills, New Jersey with her husband and her two boys. Visit her website at ABOUT THE SHOW: Books, Kids & Creations is a videocast hosted by author, Tracy Blom, that features people who inspire and uplift children through their work. Tracy Blom is the author of over twenty published books, with her most recent publication, The Happy Machine. #AuthorsOnTheAir #AuthorsOnTheAirGlobalRadioNetwork #AOTA #tracyblom #BooksKidsandcreations #JacquelineDavidsonKopito @Copyright by Authors on the Air Global Radio Network
November 29, 2021
Artist Thomas Dambo interviewed by Tracy Blom
Thomas Dambo is considered the world’s leading recycle artist and is famous for his various art installations worldwide, most notably his recycled troll sculptures. Thomas’s vision is to create art that inspires people to explore and have adventures in nature while showing people that trash can be turned into something beautiful. His work has reached millions of people through photos, videos and stories shared online and through international media sources such as BBC, National Geographic, NPR, The Huffington Post, ABC, Lonely Planet, Treehugger, El País, Reforma, and many more. ABOUT THE SHOW: Books, Kids & Creations is a videocast hosted by author, Tracy Blom, that features people who inspire and uplift children through their work. Tracy Blom is the author of over twenty published books, with her most recent publication, The Happy Machine. Hashtags: #AuthorsOnTheAir #AuthorsOnTheAirGlobalRadioNetwork #AOTA #tracyblom #BooksKidsandcreations @Copyright by Authors on the Air Global Radio Network
November 17, 2021
Tracy Blom welcomes author Florenza Lee
FLORENZA LEE is an author, publisher, narrative coach, transformational speaker, radio talk show host, Master Storyteller, wife, mother, and advocate for our Nation's Veterans. Her Children's books focus on Social-Emotional Learning. Her dynamic characters immediately capture the readers' attention, and her lessons remain long after the book is closed. The tagline for her coaching business is, "…like having glasses for your mind." Florenza believes Christ uses everyday principles to bring about profound truths. She applies this practical teaching method to guide her audience on a soul-searching journey to discover the power that lies within them. Florenza says her messages will stick with you like collard greens and cornbread. She and her husband, CSM (Ret US Army) Trefus Lee, have been married for nearly 38 years and reside in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Their daughters, Jessica and Missy, call Las Vegas, Nevada, and Chagrin Falls, Ohio, home. Social media links: Florenza Lee IG Page Amazon Author Page Kutafakari Bookstore: Florenza Facebook Page Florenza’s Website: Mailing List Pinterest BookBub: GoodReads:
October 30, 2021
Interview with New York Times Bestselling Author and Screenwriter Geoff Rodkey
Geoff Rodkey is the New York Times best-selling author of ten children’s books, including a collaboration with comedian Kevin Hart, Marcus Makes a Movie that just hit The New York Times Bestseller list. Geoff’s also the Emmy-nominated screenwriter of Daddy Day Care and RV, among other films. His new novel, Lights Out in Lincolnwood, poses the question: who are we when the lights go out? And when everything else that keeps our day-to-day lives humming: internet, cell phones, cars, planes, trains, water, sewer. In short, who will we resort to becoming if we are cut off from all the markers of our living in the 21st century? In a funny and insightful novel, Lights Out In Lincolnwood, screenwriter and NYT bestselling author Geoff Rodkey poses just that question and the answer....will seem a bit weirdly familiar and prescient. Especially when the soccer dads begin forming a militia... The result is a novel that looks at the kind of cracks in our cultural foundation, the nagging dissatisfactions that we sometimes turn into funny memes but in parallel coverage become fodder for story after story in the media (how many stories on day drinking have you read since the pandemic set in?). And more importantly, Rodkey looks at how we might reshape ourselves in the aftermath. To learn more about Geoff and his work, visit ABOUT THE SHOW: Books, Kids & Creations is a videocast hosted by author, Tracy Blom, that features people who inspire and uplift children through their work.Tracy Blom is the author of over twenty published books, with her most recent publication, The Happy Machine.
September 11, 2021
Tracy Long, Director of Marketing & Development for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Tracy has over 20 years’ experience in marketing and branding in nonprofit, hospitality and consumer goods industries. Today she is part of a small team of 15 that have the privilege of working for the Dollywood Foundation, in particular Dolly’s flagship program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. This early childhood literacy program began in 1995 and helps to inspire the love of reading in over 1.8 million children each month in the U.S, Canada, the U.K, the Republic of Ireland, and Australia. Tracy passionately leads the foundation’s continuing mission to bring awareness and globally grow the program, while helping to support the over 2000 committed volunteers and partners who help gift the free books each month in local communities all over the world. Prior to the Dollywood Foundation, she worked for Radio Systems Corporation for six years, one of the largest pet products manufacturers in the world, selling products in over 52 countries. During her tenure in this role, she led marketing efforts across multiple brands including Invisible Fence® Brand, PetSafe®, and most recently Premier Pet™, where as a one-woman marketing team, she built and designed the new brand and led all marketing efforts and strategies. While there she also served on RSC’s philanthropy committee with a mission of giving back to pet welfare groups and youth education programs in East Tennessee. The seven years previous to Radio Systems, Tracy was the Director of Marketing for Rita Restaurant Corp. (previously Avado Brands) located in Atlanta, GA. Reporting directly to the CEO, she directed all marketing strategy and efforts for two restaurant brands, Don Pablo’s Tex Mex and Hops Microbrewery. She joined as a member of a small turn-around executive team and six years later saw the successful acquisition and sale of the company. Before Rita Restaurant Corp. she was the Director of Marketing with Ruby Tuesday Inc., a public company operating 800+ domestic and international restaurants. During her eight-year tenure with Ruby Tuesday she rapidly advanced to positions of increased responsibility. Tracy’s early service-related roles at the restaurant level provided her with a unique understanding of customer dynamics and the efficacy of various marketing strategies and their impact on operations. In all roles, she has focused on strategic planning, brand management, marketing tactics, project management, national philanthropic efforts, agency relationship management and local marketing. Tracy holds a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude degree from the University of Tennessee and currently serves on the Engagement Committee and the Board of Directors for The Historic Tennessee Theatre, the official state theatre of Tennessee. She resides in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee with her dog, Joey and cat, Doc. @Copyright by Authors On The Air
September 02, 2021
Interview with Erin Winick of NASA
Erin Winick is a maker, engineer, writer, entrepreneur, science fashionista, and science communicator. Her passion is helping people engage with science and engineering in new ways, and communicating complex science topics. Erin works as a science communicator for the International Space Station, communicating the science performed aboard the orbiting laboratory. She assigns, writes, and edits stories and video scripts for publication on covering station science. She also handles the social media and distribution strategy for station science content, running the @ISS_Research Twitter account, and composing science content for other NASA accounts. Erin also supports astronauts with science communication materials. Outside work, Erin works on personal science communication projects, including creating science and space TikTok videos for an audience of 35K, and Instagram posts to her following of more than 7K. Erin served as CEO and founder of Sci Chic from 2015-2020. The company created plastic and metal 3D printed jewelry that is inspired by science and engineering concepts. She created the company while in college as a tool to teach about science, technology, and manufacturing, and to spark conversations about science. She grew Sci Chic to becoming profitable business by the time she graduated, running the business full time. She was chosen as one of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ 2017 30 Under 30 in Manufacturing. As a maker, Erin has created everything from 3D printed wedding bouquets to Ms. Frizzle costumes. Her work has been featured everywhere from CNN Money to The Daily Dot to Inverse. She has published research on 3D printing outreach in partnership with the University of Florida (UF)’s Marston Library. ​She previously worked as a freelance science writer, the space reporter for the MIT Technology Review, and Technology Review’s associate editor of the future of work. She developed and wrote The Airlock, a weekly email on emerging space technologies for Technology Review. Erin has helmed the publication's daily tech newsletter, The Download, ran Tech Review’s Instagram account, and launched Clocking In, the publication's future work newsletter. During her freelance career, she has written stories and scripts for, Beanz, SciShow, IEEE Potentials, Medium, and created a Computer Aided Design course for LinkedIn Learning. She previously interned as the Richard Casement Intern for The Economist’s science and technology section. Erin graduated from UF with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering 2016. As an engineering student, Erin interned at John Deere, Solar Turbines, Keysight Technologies, and Bracken Engineering. During her time at Solar Turbines and Keysight, she helped introduce 3D printing to various processes on the manufacturing floor. ​Erin has continually served as an advocate for women in STEM. She served as the president of UF's Society of Women Engineers and the SWE Region D Collegiate Representative from 2015-2016. Erin spends her weekends hiking, writing, 3D printing, playing with her cat, listening to Broadway cast albums, and scrolling through TikTok. For More Information visit
August 26, 2021
Interview With Author Melissa Shapiro - Piglet! The Unexpected Story Of A Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy
PIGLET The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family by Melissa Shapiro, DVM with Mim Eichler Rivas In the tradition of the beloved New York Times bestsellers Marley and Me and Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love, a charming, inspirational memoir about empathy, resilience, kindness, and an adorable deaf blind pink dog. When Connecticut veterinarian Melissa Shapiro gets a call about a tiny deaf-blind puppy rescued from a hoarding situation in need of fostering, she doesn’t hesitate to say, “yes.” Little does she know how that decision will transform her, her family, and legions of admirers destined to embrace the saga of the indomitable pink pup. One of the most anxious dogs Melissa had ever encountered, the traumatized Piglet weighed under two pounds upon his welcome into the Shapiro household—which included Melissa’s husband Warren and their three college-aged kids, plus six other rescued dogs. After weeks of reassurance, and lots of love, Piglet connected, gained confidence, and his extraordinary spirit emerged. Melissa soon forged a powerful bond with Piglet, allowing the two to communicate without sound or visual cues. Two months later, when the day arrived to say good-bye to the now dashing, six-pound pink boy dog with the larger than life spirit, Melissa faced a heart-wrenching decision. Could she hand him over to someone willing to give Piglet the full-time attention he required or could she adapt her schedule and her household to make a permanent place for him in her life and work? Of course, the answer was simple: love would find a way. Curious, engaged, and incredibly eager to learn, Piglet quickly became part of the family. What started out as a few simple Facebook posts of Piglet and his pack rapidly evolved into a global celebration of Piglet’s infectiously positive mindset. Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family fully illustrates this heartwarming story of one special little puppy with a purpose to teach the power of empathy, love, and kindness. @copyright by Authors on the Air
August 02, 2021
Interview with Engineer, TV Host, & Actor Tamara Robertson!
As a child, Tamara Robertson spent a large amount of time with her father watching Star Trek and tinkering in the garage – rebuilding engines, up – keeping the family cars, and building / renovating homes. She learned her love of machinery, as well as all things technical, from her time working with her dad.  With a sharp mind for detail and efficiency, Tamara was able to quickly excel in her career as a licensed Chemical & Biomolecular Engineer which afforded her the ability to truly see the world and gain experience in global tech transfers, process & facilities design, pandemic vaccine manufacturing, patented additive technology development, and product design for some of the top Fortune 500 companies. Tamara has found that she loves to utilize the design and beauty of the world around her to help create designs and tell stories. Tamara resides in Los Angeles, CA where she continues to work as a Science Host, Engineering Consultant, SAG-AFTRA Actor and Wardrobe Designer. In her downtime she volunteers as a board member for a number of STEM organizations across the US, utilizes Superhero Science to get kids excited about careers in STEM and lends her Science and Maker skills to a number of non-profit organizations. She also enjoys scuba diving, hiking, rock climbing, practicing photography and spending time with her Shop Dog Dexter. For more information about Tamara and her incredible work visit her website at To check out her podcast Tinkering Belles: To check out her new show Maker Science on Midnight Science Club:
July 09, 2021
Tracy Blom welcomes two literary powerhouses, Irene OGarden and John Pielmeier
John and Irene have written countless books and pieces for stage and screen, including Agnes of God, Choices of the Heart, Hook’s Tale, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, and many more. Irene O’Garden has won or been nominated for prizes in nearly every writing category from stage to e-screen, hardcovers, children’s books as well as literary magazines and anthologies. Her critically- acclaimed play Women on Fire (Samuel French), starring Judith Ivey, played to sold-out houses at Off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award. Her play, Little Heart, won her a Berilla Kerr Playwriting Fellowship and was awarded full development at the New Harmony Play Project. For her work in children’s literature, Irene received the Alice Curtis Desmond Award. She also won the Gold Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award for her book The Scrubbly Bubbly Car Wash (Harper). Her first children’s book, Maybe My Baby (Harper), has sold over 90,000 copies. Irene has presented at children’s literature conferences at Vassar and NYU and teaches poetry workshops at New York City schools. Irene is especially pleased to bring the national River Of Words program to Hudson Valley schools under the auspices of The Beacon Institute of Rivers and Estuaries. Irene is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild, The Authors Guild, Actor’s Equity Association, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and The Society of Scribes. Her newest children’s book is simply beautiful, titled Forest, What Would You Like? To learn more about Irene: John Peilmeier is an actor, playwright, novelist, poet, and screenwriter with decades of literary achievements. His play Agnes of God was a co-winner of the Great American Play contest and premiered professionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, which was followed by several regional productions and a seventeen-month run on Broadway. Choices of the Heart, a television movie he wrote about the slain American missionaries in El Salvador, received a Christopher Award, the Humanitas Award, a Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Teleplay, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He has written over 25 movies for television, including Sins of the Father (which broke viewer records when it was first aired on FX; also nominated for the Humanitas Award and a Writers Guild of America Award); Happy Face Murders (which broke viewer records when it was first aired on Showtime); To learn more about John: welcomestwoliterarypowerhouses,IreneOGardenandJohnPielmeier
June 05, 2021
Interview With Dennis Speigel - Founder And Owner Of International Theme Park Services
Ever wonder what it is like to create a theme park, or design a roller coaster?? Join Tracy for another episode of Books, Kids & Creations where she speaks with Owner and Founder of the International Theme Park Services, Dennis Speigel. Mr. Speigel's early beginnings in 1960 as a ticket taker / seasonal employee at Coney Island Amusement Park (Cincinnati, Ohio) were the impetus behind his decision to make the theme park business his career. He quickly worked his way to Assistant Park Manager of Coney Island and then Kings Island Theme Park (Cincinnati, Ohio), where, as Assistant General Manager, he supervised general park operations, including personnel, rides, food / beverage, merchandise, games and guest hospitality. In 1974, Mr. Speigel became the Vice President and General Manager of Kings Dominion / Lion Country Safari (Richmond, Virginia), which historically draws over 3 million in attendance per year. In addition to overseeing the planning and construction of the park, he administered a $60 million construction budget, utilized his creative marketing skills to establish and implement several long-range marketing / development plans. He was also responsible for managing the park for Taft Broadcasting and the Kroger Company, while generating 11 million in attendance and over $250 million in cumulative revenues from 1974-80. Mr. Speigel also successfully opened Lion Country Safari (a wild animal preserve), achieving an attendance record of 650,000 the first season. Formerly affiliated with the Taft Broadcasting Company (Cincinnati, Ohio), Mr. Speigel served as Vice President of Operations from 1980-81, during which time he developed a standardized safety and security program, monitored union activity and oversaw activities with the Hanna-Barbera Studios. As Vice President of International Operations from 1981-83, Mr. Speigel was directly responsible for overseeing and assessing potential leisure sites in foreign markets, including all negotiations, research and development, design, site selection and zoning, as well as securing investors. In these endeavors, he was instrumental in developing project negotiations in Singapore, Australia and Tokyo, and secured a management / design and planning / project development contract in London, England in March, 1983. Today, Mr. Speigel provides insight to many newspapers and publications around the world. He has been interviewed and quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer, Park World, Fun World Magazine, USA Today, Red Book Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Amusement Business and many other local and foreign publications. Dennis’ Podcast – I’m 4 Fun International Theme Park Services Website:
May 13, 2021
Interview with NY Times Bestselling Author SQuire Rushnell - new book Dogwinks
CALLING ALL DOG LOVERS!!! New York Times bestselling authors SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt return with the beloved Godwink series (over 1.5M copies in print) with an inspiring dog-focused collection of true stories called Dogwinks (5/4/21). Every chapter focuses on a different, real-life canine who positively impacted their human family’s lives in a miraculous way. The Hollywood Reporter recently announced that Netflix will produce an original film titled Rescued by Ruby starring Grant Gustin (The Flash) as Trooper Dan O'Neil and this very adorable pup, based on “Ruby,” the first story in the Dogwinks collection. This is an incredible true story of an unruly stray dog who was rescued by a Rhode Island police officer, who now rescues others as a Search & Rescue K9. Ruby’s most newsworthy rescue involved finding a little boy in the woods—the son of the woman who previously took care of Ruby at the dog shelter! SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt will both executively produce the film. The other true stories in Dogwinks will give readers goosebumps, too—from rescuing babies to saving families from fires—and convey just how special and life-changing dogs are. It’s no wonder pet adoptions have skyrocketed since the pandemic began! Read/watch more about her on the TODAY Show:…g-k-9-hero-t126841 Link to SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt’s website: Link to Buy Dogwinks:
May 02, 2021
Tracy speaks with Patrick Quinn, a parenting expert
In this fun-filled interview Tracy speaks with Patrick Quinn about empowering kids, creating environments to encourage learning, and brain-foods that can keep your child going! Patrick Quinn is a parenting expert at Brainly, the world’s largest online learning community. He’s the father of three school-age kids and is also a former middle school special education teacher. Patrick has lived in New York, Hawaii, Arizona, California and Texas and is the co-founder of “Life of Dad” as well as the creator of a television show on Nickelodeon, International called “The Spyders.” In his free time he enjoys hiking with his family, swimming and writing.
April 22, 2021
Interview with Loretta Claiborne, a celebrated athlete
Loretta Claiborne was born partially blind, intellectually challenged, and unable to walk or talk until the age of four. Eventually, though, she began to run. And before she knew it, she had crossed the finish line of twenty-six marathons, twice placing among the top one-hundred women in the Boston Marathon. She introduced President Bill Clinton at the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games, won medals in dozens of its events, and holds the current women's record in her age group for the 5000 meters at seventeen minutes. Today, Claiborne is a celebrated athlete who was honored in 1996 with ESPN's ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Her life is recounted in Walt Disney Productions The Loretta Claiborne Story (originally broadcast on ABC-TV and now on DVD) and in the biography "In Her Stride" published by WorldScapes. Considering all of Claiborne's achievements, these are just small steps in her life's mission to show that persons with intellectual and physical disabilities are equal to those without. "I figured if my story could change a person's mind about another person, or especially a child's mind about another child, then it was the right thing to do," Claiborne says. Running is not the only part of Claiborne's life. She holds a 4th-degree black belt in karate, communicates in four languages, including American Sign Language, and holds three honorary doctorate degrees from Quinnipiac University, Villanova University, and York College of Pennsylvania, making her the first person with an intellectual disability known to receive such honors, according to Special Olympics Incorporated. Website: "Music:" @copyright by Authors On the Air
April 17, 2021
Interview With Marvel Comic Book Artist Elsa Charretier
STAR WARS FANS GET READY..... This interview will be out of this world!!! Elsa Charretier is a French comic book writer, illustrator and comic book artist who has worked on a number of Star Wars projects so far, mainly Star Wars Adventures from IDW Publishing and its spin-off mini-series Star Wars: Forces of Destiny. She often works with another French comic book writer, Pierrick Colinet. Self-taught, and after debuting on Cowl (Image Comics) in 2014, she co-created the award-winning The Infinite Loop comic book series with writer Pierrick Colinet. Since then, she has been dividing her time between creating new creator-owned books (Superfreaks) and drawing established characters. Clients include Random House (GGRM's Windhaven graphic novel), DC Comics (Harley Quinn, Starfire...), Marvel Comics (The Unstoppable Wasp), Lucasfilm, IDW Publishing, Disney, and the New York Magazine. Youtube Channel:
April 15, 2021
Interview with Victoria Morgan, Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Ballet
Join Tracy Blom in this one-of-a-kind interview with Victoria Morgan, Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Ballet. Here they discuss the various ways that ballet transforms the soul, creates a place of peace, and instills valuable lessons. Website: VICTORIA MORGAN THE SUE & BILL FRIEDLANDER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Sponsor: Barbara & Larry Kellar Over the past 23 years, Cincinnati Ballet has experienced tremendous growth and critical success under the leadership of Victoria Morgan. Today she is one of only four female Artistic Directors of U.S. ballet companies with an annual operating budget of $10 million or more. In 2008, Morgan took on the additional role of executive leader, serving as both the Artistic Director and CEO of Cincinnati Ballet. Under her leadership, after many years of growing deficits, the Company stabilized, built an $13 million endowment, a $1.5 million operating reserve, and created major artistic productions that redefined the caliber of repertoire for Cincinnati Ballet. Morgan’s vision to lead Cincinnati Ballet into a vibrant and confident future is famed by the Company’s tour to the Joyce Theater in New York and the tour to the Kennedy Center in D.C. During her tenure at Cincinnati Ballet, Morgan choreographed numerous one-act and full-length ballets. Her most widely acclaimed works include the world premieres of King Arthur’s Camelot in 2014 and the new Nutcracker in 2011. Her newly choreographed Cinderella premiered in February 2016. Prior to coming to Cincinnati Ballet, Morgan was resident choreographer for the San Francisco Opera for nearly a decade. She was a principal dancer for San Francisco Ballet (1978–1987) and Ballet West (1969–1978). She performed lead roles for television and film, and her choreography was featured in the PBS documentary The Creation of O.M.O. She served on the boards of Dance/USA, Dance Magazine, and the NEA evaluation panel. She has been presiding judge for the New York International Ballet Competition, the Benois de la Danse Awards Gala in Russia, and The Valentina Kozlova IBC this past summer. Morgan graduated Magna Cum Laude with an M.F.A. from University of Utah and was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna in 2009. She was honored as a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement in 2009, received recognition from Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s WE Celebrate Women’s Business Awards, and served as a member of Leadership Cincinnati USA Class 33. "Music:" @copyright by Authors On the Air
April 09, 2021
Interview With Shary Williamson, author of The Woodland Elves Series
Shary Williamson Author of The Woodland Elves Series Email: Facebook: The Woodland Elves Phone: 740-225-8391 Join Tracy Blom as she interviews children's author Shary Williamson, creator of the Woodland Elves Series which has been sold 92 countries and inspired countless magical experiences. Each book promotes important lessons of unity, creativity, and finding a sincere connection to nature. Behind her books is a team of wonderful creators including illustrator Jay Johnston, and creative coordinator and musician Russ Kendall. Shary Williamson’s career as an educator spanned four decades in Florida, Virginia and Ohio. She graduated from Miami University in 1967 and later received a master’s degree in early childhood education. Though she taught children from pre-school through high school, her first love and focus for 25 years has been in early childhood education. Shary has often been recognized for her exemplary work, most notably as District Educator of the Year, Ohio PTA Outstanding Educator of the Year, American Red Cross Clara Barton Award for Education and The Ohio Department of Education Leadership Award. On two separate occasions, she was named one of Marion, Ohio’s Outstanding Citizens in recognition of her broad community involvement and volunteer work. She served on The Ohio State Board of Directors for The American Diabetes Association and was named its Ohio Volunteer of the Year. For over ten years, she directed the children’s choir at local churches and volunteered over 1,000 hours in the children’s wing of the local hospital. Her humorous articles were published in The Marion Star between 2006 – 2010. She is currently an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), one of Marion, Ohio’s parks commissioners, and remains very involved in community service. Her contagious enthusiasm and positive energy follow her wherever she goes. Her well-known “mission statement hung in her classroom for 40 years, and it still hangs in her home today. It is the motivation for the creation of The Woodland Elves. Simply put, her mission statement is to “Pass the Joy of Life Around!” "Music:" @copyright by Authors On the Air
March 20, 2021