Eileen Pieczonka, author of Blueberry Bear Series; children's literacy and animal welfare advocate.
Welcome and thank you for visiting!
Hi, I’m Eileen Pieczonka, author of my Blueberry Bear Series.
I know exactly what you’re thinking, “But, there are ONLY two books available!” There’s more on the way, I just need to write them.
Before becoming a freelance picture book author, I was a document control specialist for 19 years (BORING!). Prior to moving to Phoenix, I was a graphic designer in my home town Chicago.
I never thought of writing until my four-legged inspiration came along, Jamie (a.k.a. Blueberry Bear). After two years of training, we became a reading therapy team. We visited libraries helping children enhance their reading skills (Although, I think the parents had more fun loving on the dogs!) Seeing how Jamie encouraged children to read, inspired me to write.
Jamie crossed rainbow bridge January 17, 2018. Please seek out Jamie’s dedication page and learn all the wonderful things she’s done for the community.
In March, I adopted two pups, Suki and Kong. They can’t take Jamie’s place, but I have high hopes they will be able to carry on her legacy. It will take the two of them to fill her paw prints.
Wannabe cowgirl, dreams big, amateur photographer, loves animals (and stuffies too), surf music, and ice cream; animal welfare and children’s literacy advocate.
. . .
Arizona Author’s Association
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Southwest Human Development
Former Reading Therapy Team
If you’re still reading and not too bored, stick around for my Q&A.
Q & A
What else can you tell me about yourself? Twelve years as a Catholic school girl in Chicago should sum it up.
What did you want to become when you were a kid? I had no clue. Back then, the nuns wanted to convert you. Finally, at the age of 28, I put myself through college. I graduated with a degree in Photo Offset.
What was your favorite book as child? I didn’t have a favorite. Honestly, I wasn’t a bookworm. The impact of not being an avid reader is the one of the reasons why I stalled going to college. At the library reading sessions with the kids, I realized how much I missed out by not reading daily.
What would you do differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult? READ. The key to writing well is… read, read, and read some more.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic writing process? Writing! One sentence can take me weeks to perfect. With all my rewrites, It takes me about a year to write a book.
How much of yourself do you put into your books? Heart and Soul. The odds were against me to write a noteworthy story, but I just knew I had to write Blueberry Bear. Below is an excerpt from, “Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards” critique. The judge’s comment below confirms my passion.
“Even in the limited space of this picture book, Blueberry Bear really takes on a character of her own —
a challenge most authors have in writing picture books. I can tell you truly love the character
(and the dog she’s based on). It shines through every page.”
Tell us about an interesting or memorable encounter you had with a fan? There are several, and the feeling is beyond rewarding when….
…a young girl is running towards you during the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books screaming "Blueberry Bear, Blueberry Bear!" Oh my, she waited an entire year to buy my book!!
… at the 2017 Tucson Festival of Books a girl asked, “Are you writing another Blueberry Bear book?” I responded, “How did you know?” She replied, “I didn’t, I just love Blueberry Bear, and I want to read more Blueberry Bear books.”
…I received an Amazon review stating how much a customer’s child loves Blueberry Bear more than Pete the Cat!! Imagine that!
What is the hardest thing you’ve done or had to do? Saying goodbye to Jamie. On an a professional level, working an entire school year as a third grade paraprofessional for disadvantage children. On a personal level, it’s opening myself up to you.
What is your dream goal you want to achieve? A Blueberry Bear movie, so I can build a Blueberry Bear Children’s Literacy Foundation with therapy animals. Dreams do come true, and I will some how, some day get there.
What contributed to writing a 3x award winning book, Blueberry Bear. My passion in Blueberry Bear. Destiny brought Jamie and I together. If it wasn’t for her, Blueberry Bear would still be a twinkle in the stars. I truly believe I found my purpose in life – Children’s Literacy.
What would you tell parents about reading? I can’t stress enough about the importance of early childhood reading. Going to the library with Jamie brought me back to my childhood on what I missed out on – reading books. I’ve listened to kindergardeners read chapter books, to struggling second and third graders, even fifth grade readers. It pains me when I listen to struggling readers. I don’t want children to struggle as I have and still do.
Read aloud, read everyday. (Read my blog titled, A Grandparent's Most Precious Gift).
Read to your newborn.
Your child may be reading well, but are they comprehending? At the school I worked at, many read well, but failed in their comprehension scores.
Not being able to read or not reading well impacts your entire life in so many different ways.
A library of books in the home is crucial. A study published in the Research in Social Stratification and Mobility reports,
“Home library size has a very substantial effect on educational attainment, even adjusting for parents’ education, father’s occupational status and other family background characteristics. Growing up in a home with 500 books would propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average, than would growing up in a similar home with few or no books.
You’ve read my story, now I’m here to read yours. Feel free to reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or use the Contact form.