Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hey Mom’s Choice readers! Today we have another special interview for you with Award-Winning Author Joni Franks. Joni’s book series Corky Tales, Tales of a Tailless Dog Named Sagebrush is a wonderful series of children’s books whose themes center on kindness and love. We are thrilled to be able to share a little bit more about Joni and Sagebrush, so continue reading below for the full interview!
MCA: Joni, we are so glad we have some time to share more about you and Sagebrush with our readers! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Joni: I live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I have a passion for mountain beauty, environmental protection, and animals. I am deeply inspired by my beautiful Welsh Corgi, Sagebrush!
MCA: We love that Sagebrush is your real life furry friend! What place has writing had in your life? What eventually led you to write your series?
Joni: When I retired from the business world, I found myself writing a tribute to my dog, Sagebrush, in my spare time. I originally thought I would just make one copy of a coffee table book for my family. It wasn’t until I saw the acceptance and praise for my first book through the local community that I decided to continue writing, and turn Corky Tails, Tales of a Tailless Dog Named Sagebrush into a book series.
After winning five major awards in the past nine months, I’m quite happy that I continued the process of writing and publishing my children’s book collection!
MCA: We’re happy you did, too! It is such a sweet series. The themes in your books are important and timely in our day and age. Can you tell us more about what you hope to do, tackling such important issues?
Joni: By tackling a variety of human themes, I hope to teach life lessons based on kindness and love to the newer generations, all through my books. My first book sets the scene for the series when the little ranch dog is born without a tail and is labeled and bullied by her dog peers for looking different. With the help of a kind young ranch woman, Sagebrush learns value, worth, and to herd cattle, finding her rightful place on the ranch.
In the second book Sagebrush Meets the Shuns, the little people known as the Shuns are introduced. They have been displaced from their homes by the giant tree-cutting machines that have clear-cut the forest of trees that the Shuns make their homes in. Sagebrush comes to the rescue of the Shuns, helping them find their forever home on the kind Young Miss cattle ranch, where the Shuns will be protected and can live out their hopes and dreams.
Sagebrush and the Smoke Jumper is inspired by the Hayden Pass fire that broke out 10 miles from my home. This charming tale teaches a forest fire prevention message and embraces environmental protection. This book also honors the brave and fearless smoke jumpers who risk it all to make us safe from forest fire.
Sagebrush and the Butterfly Creek Flood is inspired by the Big Cottonwood flood that followed the Hayden Pass fire. In this search and rescue adventure, Sagebrush endeavors to save a lost hiker and the Shuns from the rising waters of Butterfly Creek. This story teaches the life lesson of having faith in yourself and others. This pairs with the message that all lives matter equally.
MCA: Wow. It’s obvious that these values are important to you personally. You write about them beautifully and in a way that is accessible to children and adults alike.
Joni: I definitely have a passion for environmental protection, the consequences of deforestation, equality, justice, and bullying. I really hope to teach problem solving techniques based on kindness and love.
MCA: Those are wonderful goals and values! We are so glad you and Sagebrush are part of the Mom’s Choice family. What are some of your proudest accomplishments with your series?
Joni: I’m proud to have been honored with the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award. I’ve also won the American Fiction Award for Best Children’s Picture Book Softcover, and am the winner of three EVVY Awards in the categories of Children’s Story Book, Animals/Pets/Nature, and Fairytale/Folklore/Mythology through Colorado Independent Publishers Association. I hope to make an impact on the world through my writing. I hope it makes the world a better place.
MCA: We are so excited for you and Sagebrush, and can’t wait to be a part of your journey as you continue on. We hear there is a fifth book in the Corky Tales series coming!
Joni: Yes! You can watch for the fifth book in my series titled Sagebrush and the Warm Springs Discovery, which is due to come out September 10, 2019. Follow Sagebrush and the Young Miss as they discover the secret warm springs hidden deep within the mountains and teach the moral lesson of sharing Mother Earth’s precious resources with a homeless man and the tiny people known as the Shuns, who are seeking a forever home. It’s sure to be a memorable, extraordinary fairy tale!
MCA: We are looking forward to it! Check out Joni’s website here to follow along with Sagebrush’s adventures. Thanks so much for giving us your time, Joni!