Sunday, July 17, 2011

Interview and Guest Post with Clayton Paul Thomas

Today’s post is a bit different from my normal posts. I have been working with a wonderful author who has written a parenting book. So today, you get a mini interview and then a guest post based on the subject matter of his book. I truly hope you enjoy and get some valuable parenting information as well.
Clayton Paul Thomas has worked with kids for about 16 years from three different settings. The first was at St. Joseph Children’s Home. This was a place abused kids went after being permanently separated from their parents. Most of his parenting skills were developed here. The kids Clayton worked with ranged from ages 3 to 15.

Afterwards, Clayton became an elementary public school teacher. He taught for 7 1/2 years from 1st through 4th grade. Finally, Clayton has two boys (Cameron age 7 and Luke age 3). He has been married for 9 years to his beautiful wife Lauren. Though his parenting skills were learned at St. Joseph, his wife’s has been the inspiration to writing the book and sharing insights with all of you. To her, Clayton is eternally thankful.

We want to thank you for being my guest here on the Utah Children’s Writer blog Clayton. Can you share with us a little about your current book?

***Sure! Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures is a book designed to help good parents maximize the potential in their children. This could mean academically, athletically, or emotionally. There are 25 chapters full of hot button topics such as bullying, discipline, modeling, and setting goals.  The goal of the book is to give parents more practical solutions they can use and place in their “parenting tool belt.” My book is also meant for parents to look at themselves and give an honest critique on what they are doing well and what could be improved.  
What type of book promotion works for you? Any special strategies you’d like to share?

***Because I am a self-published author, my first few months have been spent learning the ropes myself. I am my own marketing department. In saying that, social media has been the key for me. Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are three of my favorite forums. I also write a blog twice a week (Tuesday’s and Friday’s) at This really helps to keep my name out there.   
What is the most difficult part of writing?

***The most difficult part of writing for me are the self-corrections. By the time my book was published, I couldn’t tell you how many times I had read it. In the event, a reader finds a writing mistake, my apologies!  

Do you find it hard to balance your personal writing time with your other job(s)?

***My first job is as a stay at home father to my sons. If I didn’t have them, I could have finished the book in half the time! Then again, if I didn’t have them, there would be a lot of great stories missing from the book. Yes, it is hard to balance my time. Like many other parents, I do my best in the time I have.    

Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?

***I have brainstormed and have a working outline for another parenting book. My main focus though (professionally speaking) is to attend to my blog, market Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures to the best of my abilities, and conduct a speaking tour this fall. 
The world of publishing is extremely competitive, with many authors hesitating between trying their luck with a traditional publisher or self publishing. What advice would you offer writers who are oscillating between these two publishing venues?

***There are a lot of advantages and tradeoffs to both styles of publishing. I chose self-publishing because I wanted my book on the market as quickly as possible. Also, I get a significantly larger share of the profit per book sold than a typical author at a publishing house. The flip side is I have to write my own press releases, market my book to the masses, and I didn’t get a signing bonus.
How do you see the future of book publishing, both traditional, electronic, and print on demand?

***I think the numbers are bearing out that the traditional means of publishing are slipping. I’d like to make it clear though that I am not an expert on this subject. It seems to me though that a lot of authors are trying their luck with services such as This is where Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures was published.    

There are a lot of talented writers who aren’t being published. Thankfully, though, there is an avenue for everyone and a person always has a right to change their mind if one style of publishing does not work for them.  
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?

*** I enjoy writing so it’s not very hard for me to be disciplined. I am usually writing in the morning and at night after the children are asleep.  

My goal is to get the book in the hands of the people who want to read it. Every time the book is sold, I have accomplished my goal. I am really trying to help parents so whether they are reading my blog or my book- that’s all I need.  

My next goal is to get a small speaking tour lined up. It’s something I am really looking forward to so it’s not difficult.  Working towards this goal isn’t difficult because it is based solely on my passion to help others.
How to Get Kids with Poor Grades to Improve 
by: Clayton Paul Thomas
Being a former teacher, I have been asked this question many times. The truth is most kids could do better in school but here’s something to think about first. Why is the child not doing well in school? This question is of extreme importance. This conversation really can’t go further until the answer is locked down. Is it because the child is lazy? Are the classes asked to be completed too difficult? Are there outside influences, which are taking the time academics should occupy such as a sport, video game, or boy/girlfriends? Has there been the loss of a loved one, which is occupying the child’s mind? Once the problem is focused on, it should be dealt with either by the parents or a counselor? 
The second thing a parent should remember is if a child isn’t doing well in school, the problem won’t always be worked out quickly. Patience is very important. When I was a teacher, I made a conscience effort to identify where children were academically regardless of the grade and build from that point. Over time, I found this to be the most effective strategy. 
Please keep in mind academics should be viewed as a marathon versus a sprint. Once you know what your child can do academically, build from there and set realistic goals. If a child’s grades are extremely poor, take advantage of time other children do not study such as an occasional Saturday or even the summer. 
Finally, utilize your child’s school as a resource if any of the suggestions seem confusing. Teachers, counselors, and tutors can really help with providing a step-by-step game plan. Remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil so the more questions you ask to competent professionals, the more doors will open. I hope this helps. Best of luck to your child on their academics!
Book Giveaway Rules:
One entry for each comment left per author virtual blog tour stop. (Must leave a real comment about the author, tour or book. Saying “this is cool” or “I love your book” will not count.) 
Make sure to include your safe email so we can contact you if you are the winner. 
Example: vsgrenier AT storiesforchildrenpublishing DOT com.

 Ask a question – get a bonus entry per author virtual blog tour stop.

Book Giveaway ends July 31, 2011

You can find out more about Clayton Paul Thomas’ World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Clayton Paul Thomas and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions. Clayton Paul Thomas will be checking in throughout the tour and is offering an additional giveaway for those who leave comments throughout the tour.

In addition, come listen on demand to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth chatted with Clayton about his book, parenting tips, writing, the publishing industry and experiences with virtual tours. Clayton will also be sharing writing tips and trials, and tribulations of the writer’s life. 

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit Stories for Children Publishing at:

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