Cindy Freland writes the Chesapeake Bay Adventure series, teaching children the wonders of the Bay and how to care for it, the creatures and the land. The series also teaches children to be brave, helpful, patient, resourceful, loving, friendly, unselfish, respectful, careful and forgiving. Books are for children 3-10 years old.
How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your books?
I have lived in Bowie, Maryland, since 1967. I love the Chesapeake Bay and the animals of the Bay. The gorgeous fields of sunflowers, children playing at the beach, soaring bald eagles, and majestic blue herons give me wings to fly into each story I write.
What were your goals and intentions in these books, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goals in writing the first book, Jordan the Jellyfish, were just to write a fun story about the adventures of a jellyfish and to teach children about a misunderstood creature. Then I decided to write a series of books about the Chesapeake Bay and I wanted children to learn life values. I included stories to help with bravery, unselfishness, and helping others.
What are the future plans for your books?
I have three books, including Jordan the Jellyfish, Curtis the Crab, and Heather the Honey Bee. I am planning at least 10 books in the Chesapeake Bay Adventure series to be published by 2017. A few of the other titles are, Oakley the Oyster, Olivia the Osprey, Chester the Chipmunk, and Christmas with Marco. I am very happy with the results of the books as they are in 25 retail locations and three library systems so far.
Can you share some stories about people you met while researching these books?
While I was a vendor at a craft show in the fall of 2014, I met another vendor who told me about a manatee who swam from Florida to the Chesapeake Bay. The vendor asked if I had written a story about him. I said “no” but I would think about it. I am now planning a holiday book called Christmas with Marco, based on the true story of the manatee the vendor told me about.
What are some of the references that you used while researching these books?
I do a lot of research for my books about the Bay. I love searching online and using just about anything I can find, but I especially love the website for The Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured of your books?
The stories I write are to help everyone, especially children, understand the benefits of the Bay and the animals. Some of the animals are misunderstood, including the jellyfish. They sting but jellyfish are very beneficial to the beauty and the bounty of the Bay.
What inspires you?
I love children and animals and they are my inspiration. I have two adult daughters, Alyssa and Andrea, to whom I dedicate all of my books. I also enjoy traveling to the many places around the Bay, including Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland, where I saw my very first bald eagle.
How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
I am determined and a survivor of many personal obstacles. I take after my 85 year old mother as she is very determined too. I try to help people along the way in hopes they will help someone too.
Cindy Freland can be found at www.cbaykidsbooks.com, and cindy at marylandsecretarial dot com. She lives in Bowie, Maryland.
Angela Shelley, herself.
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