Interview with Sammy Shu, Author of “There’s a Season for All”

Sammy Shu resides in Denver, Colorado with her family. In 1992 she finished her first children’s book, and quickly discovered a love of the genre and has been weaving her fantasies ever since. Sammy writes four hours a day and spends her time dedicated to the whimsies of childhood. She hopes to bring smiles to the faces of children all over the world and her stories are a testament to this. Fairies, dragons, mermaids, centaurs and creatures yet to be discovered are but a few of the fabulous topics of her wonderful books. Sammy has written nine children’s books with more planned for the future.

Juanita: Welcome to Reader Views Sammy, and thanks for the opportunity to talk with you about your wonderful new children’s book “There’s a Season for All.” Sammy, have you always been a writer? Why did you begin writing children’s books?

Sammy: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember being able to hold a pencil. My first stories were related to role-playing. You learn about character development, Finding a reason for things and developing storylines. It’s a great fun way to relax and stretch your imagination muscles. As I grew older I stopped gaming and began really pursuing more fairytale themes in my work. My love of children’s book arrived with my children watching their faces light up as I tell them a story makes a challenging day melt away. That’s good stuff.

Juanita: What is the age range of “There’s a Season for All”? Is this the same for all of your books?

Sammy: This book is for young readers, ages 5 – 9. My next book is for young adults and the ones coming next year are again for the younger reader.

Juanita: Is there anything specific to the 5 – 9 year age group that you keep in mind when writing?

Sammy: I try to remember how amazingly intelligent children are today. I never dumb it down. I use big words and situations that I know they deal with. I want to relate to these children. My writing has a purpose, a goal, and that’s an important factor to my work. I want to create an emotional response, make them think. So far the response has been great.

Juanita: What happens in “There’s a Season for All”?

Sammy: Four fairies sisters inherit the running of Tweenland. They have many responsibilities and soon discover that things are far more difficult than they thought. Running a kingdom is demanding. Soon they are fighting and causing problems for the people. I think this is something that happens with siblings, they fight, they work it out and in the end they remain loving and considerate. This is what happens in the book. But I don’t want to give away how that happens. The ending is pretty cool.

Juanita: Would you tell us about Tweenland, and its metaphoric message?

Sammy: I wanted a land that represented real life situations while remaining true to a child’s fabulous imagination. This is the place in be Tween.

Juanita: What inspired this highly creative storyline?

Sammy: I have daughters and of course they love all things fairy tale. Seasons are very important to me. I grew up in Florida where there really weren’t many changes, that part was inspired by Colorado and all of its beauty and variety. Sometimes I forget that I came from a place that didn’t have that. It’s so beautiful here and I draw a lot of my inspiration from that. all of the rest comes from the children. They’re so open and so fascinated by it all. I remember that and I miss the innocence. I’m inspired to keep that alive.

Juanita: The four fairy sisters in this story represent the four seasons, who struggle to assert their power. This really is a fascinating way to connect children with the environment, while teaching personal responsibility and working with others. Would you elaborate on these characters – the four fairy sisters, and the magic they hold in this story?

Sammy: The great thing about this story for me is each character represents a child in my life so they are all very special to me. They have such power to control their own environment and you can see how competent and successful they are by the end of the story. Girls need to know that they are powerful and capable I love that my girls feel that and I hope this book can put those ideas out there for other girls.

Juanita: What is the take home message in “There’s a Season for All”?

Sammy: Every person has something to offer in the big picture. We’re all so different and if we could just learn to work together we could achieve anything.

Juanita: Sammy, have you always been interested in fairy tales and mystical themes?

Sammy: Yes, as a child I wrote about magical bunnies and a land where you could sip chocolate milk from streams. I also played some role-playing games. I love fantastic themes. It’s so wonderful to be able to write about the places in my dreams and know that I can share that with the world.

Juanita: Even in this modern-day, why do you think fairies, dragons, mermaids, and elfin creatures provide such timeless fascination for children?

Sammy: It’s the belief that magic is real. I think as children are growing they are frustrated by their lack of control on their lives. In fairy tales they can use their imagination to create situations that they enjoy and have some control over.

Juanita: I know that imagination is a significant theme in your books, as well as in your personal and professional life. Would you comment on your desire to spark children’s imagination as well as inspiring your own?

Sammy: Life can be so demanding. We all need a place to go and recharge our batteries. The imagination is abundant and you can make it anything you want. For me it’s writing and my hope for the children is that they enjoy my stories, come away feeling refreshed and ready to take on all of life’s challenges.

Juanita: Sammy, would you tell us about Carl Cone, the illustrator for “There’s a Season for All,” as well as the collaboration process?

Sammy: Carl is my best friend. We’ve worked together for years and I’m sure we will continue to do so. He’s amazing. All of my work comes to life because of his astounding talent. I give him a story and he usually shows me sketches. We talk about possibilities and then he’s off and running. He’s always right on with his great ideas. I’m lucky to have such talent surrounding me. He has a site for people in need of an artist in different mediums. It is http://www.myspace.com/carltheartbug.

Juanita: Are you working on any other books/projects at this time?

Sammy:“The Legend of the Vampire Fairies” is the next book coming out. It’s a darker fairy tale for teens and young adults. The art is primarily my photography with some sketches and detail work by Carl. We’re very excited about it. I’ve also written several books that are about the Land of Imagination (where the fairy queen goes to rest in the first book) in that book the main character is a centaur boy learning the responsibilities of adulthood. Both project hold a special place in my heart and I cant wait to share them.
They will all be coming out as soon as the art is done.

Juanita: How can readers find out about you and your books?

Sammy: You can buy my books at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Tattered Cover, Amazon.com any retail store should have them or be able to get them. My web site is [http://www.Sammyshu.com] .

I also have several other sites that are linked to that one. If you go to Youtube.com you can put in Vampire Fairies and watch a book trailer of my upcoming book.

Juanita: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today Sammy. We encourage readers to look for “There’s a Season for All” at local and online bookstores, as well as stay posted to your website for future releases. Before we depart, do you have any final thoughts for your readers?

Sammy: I’d like to mention that a portion of the proceeds of my book sales go to a foundation I started called AFFECT (artists function for enhancing children’s tomorrow) The purpose of the foundation is to give children in need the opportunities that the rest of them have, Good books, entertainment, Art. We go to children’s homes and hospitals we read to them, do short skits, teach them fun safe choreographed combat techniques. Drawing classes, and anything else our members are willing to provide. We are always looking for people who are willing to donate their talents for the lost children of this world; hopefully through my writing I can make a difference. Thank you for this opportunity to get my message to more people.

To find out more about our cause go to makeanaffect.com and keep reading!

Successful Careers in Radiology Require Continuing Education for Technicians – Some Useful Facts

Radiology, as many other high-tech fields of the modern health care industry, has become a very promising employment market. The demand for highly qualified professionals in this segment is permanently high. As for the employment outlooks for the future – they are expected to be even better than today. The population growth and the senior citizens segment growth lead to increasing demand for health care specialists, including radiology technicians. Besides, the radiology technicians can find employment everywhere all over the nation, so the necessity of relocation – moving with a family to some other unfamiliar city or state- does not present a great problem for such professionals. Advantages of radiology technician professional specialization determine the popularity of this specialization among other high-tech segments of health care industry. This is a great pro in favor of radiology specialization.

On the other hand, there are no pros without contras, as they say. The present-day professional environment of radiology is highly competitive – too many guys strive to get an attractive and rewarding job in the field – and dynamic. Consequently, a good professional, in order to stay in the team, should take care of constant upgrading and enhancement of the professional qualifications, which is officially required by health care industry regulation. It’s of critical importance to understand the necessity of continuing education for radiology technicians. Otherwise a professional will not be in position to advance his or her career in this field. The official requirement for radiology personnel qualifications are very strict and definite – any radiology technician registered with ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) is required to obtain 24 hours of continuing education credits – if not, the guy is going to lose the hard-earned professional status. What is even worse, minimum half of all these credits must be of Category A. This requirement came into effect fifteen years ago and nowadays the Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism takes care of upgrading the radiology technicians’ professional excellence and skills – they should always be of state-of-the-art quality!

Probably, a lot of people consider continuing education just a waste of time, but with the radiology specializations it is different – any radiologic technician should take the utmost care about staying on top of the game throughout the whole career. The technology and radiology applied sciences are constantly on the move, modern medical technology is advancing speedily, the health care protocols are changing. Any professional in health care industry needs to upgrade his or her skills and knowledge at least once in two years.

What are the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists requirements for the continuing education of radiology specialists?

According to requirements of ARRT any registered radiology technician is required to renew his or her registration. The minimum requirement is 24 continuing education credits during the last two years. You have to be able to prove that you have obtained those credits, otherwise the ARRT will not renew your registration, and it will be suspended. And you will be left without such critically important professional designation as the registration with ARRT! As you see, the continuing education is far from being waste of time for radiology specialists!

Is it difficult to provide 50% of Category A credits, as approved by Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism?

A piece of good news is that the minimum requirement of at least half of continuing education credits for radiology professionals is not as difficult as it sounds. The term “Category A activity credits” means that such credits need to be approved and evaluated by a Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism, as simple as that. The difficulty level of such activities is not higher than the activities you were engaged with during the coursework you did to get your degree and become a certified radiologic technician. So, you do not have to worry about that. The detailed information related to Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism and its requirements is readily available at the official site of ARRT and other online resources.

Keeping up with the continuing education requirements is of critical importance for the successful career development and professional growth of any radiology technicians who cares about further working in the field of health care industry. The Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism is very far from being something of a fancy or a nasty hindrance, designed to make the life of radiology specialists miserable. Nothing of the kind, this procedure, though it might look troublesome for outsiders, helps a radiology specialist stay at the prime level of professional fitness, and that is an excellent thing in itself!

Continuing Education for Beauty Careers

The required continuing education for beauty technician careers ensures that people in all of the various cosmetology professions are always aware of the current health and safety regulations and on the cutting edge of the latest techniques. You may think that after you finish cosmetology school, get your license and begin working in the field that you won’t have to do any more training or attend any more classes. However, this isn’t the case, which is a good thing. If continuing education was not required for beauty careers, the hair, makeup, nail, skin and other beauty services we have on the market today would not be of a very quality. It’s required, and it’s important-but it doesn’t have to be a pain in the butt. You can complete your continuing education requirements online and remain on the cutting edge of beauty without making huge sacrifices of your time and effort.

Continuing Education Requirements

The continuing education requirements for beauty careers vary depending on the specific branch of cosmetology you work in and the state you live in, so make sure to get all the facts straight as soon as you have your license so that you don’t let it expire. If your employer doesn’t remind you, the state board probably will send you a letter, so there isn’t a good chance you’ll forget. However, it’s much better to be prepared ahead of time than to be reminded right before your license is going to expire, when you don’t have time to plan. The best way to be prepared and get a head start is to check out the Board of Cosmetology website for your state. This will have all the information you need to be ahead of the game.

The best part about today’s continuing education requirements is that many approved courses are available online. You can finish your studying from the comfort of home or anywhere you have access to a computer and Internet connection. You can even do a little studying on your laptop while you’re on lunch break. Make sure that the online program you’re considering is approved by your State Board of Cosmetology, however, since unaccredited courses will not fulfill the requirement. Don’t think of it as a chore; think of it as an opportunity to advance your profession, ensuring that you and every other licensed cosmetologist is on the cutting edge of the beauty world.