Hazel Nutt is a pen name created by Lord and Lady Doherty. Hazel Nutt is more than just a pen-name, but a persona (and based on a real two year old toddler)...
Hazel Nutt is a baby who is nutty about nature, especially squirrels, whom she often has a good natter with. They tell her their secrets and her parents help her write them down to share with the world, as picture books.
Loving nature is really important to her and Hazel Nutt hopes to make sure that lots of other kids get nutty about nature as well.
She also likes to blog about her observations on life and teach other toddlers how to train their parents.
Which book or books are you currently promoting?
We are currently promoting the What Squirrels Do Trilogy of Picture Books.
The three books are:
What Squirrels Do When You're Not Looking
What Squirrels Do - The Squirrel Olympics
What Squirrels Do Just For Fun
They are available as paperbacks and Kindle ebooks on Amazon.
Can you tell us what the book/books are about?
Ideal for an adult and child to read together the "What Squirrels Do" series combines imaginative rhyme with delightful illustrations. The books inspire little imaginations and instil the seeds of a lifelong love for reading and nature.
A little more about the books:
What Squirrels Do When You Are Not Looking: this book answers some of life's mysteries like why car alarms go off in the middle of the night and why shopping trolleys can be found deep in the wood – squirrels have something to do with the answers.
What Squirrels Do: The Squirrel Olympics: Our Olympics take place every four years, but squirrels get up to all sorts of fun events like squirrel bunjee jumping or limbo dancing all year around, when everyone’s backs are turned.
What Squirrels Do: Just For Fun: A look at the everyday antics of squirrels and what they might do to keep themselves entertained, like swinging on the ivy like Tarzan, or pulling faces at humans behind their backs.
How did you come up with the idea for this book series?
When the real baby Hazel was younger, she used to love lying in her buggy and looking at the trees, as we walked through the park. We got to thinking about what might she be seeing that we don't notice.
Up popped the acorn of the idea of what squirrels might do when people are not looking and the whole oak tree of the What Squirrels Do series just sprouted from there!
What can you tell us about your main characters?
The little girl in the books is Hazel Nutt! She is the baby who talks to squirrels, just call her Hazel Nutt, the Squirrel Whisperer!
The other main characters are obviously the squirrels, although the squirrels depicted may have had their identities changed to protect their privacy. Some of the other squirrels might not appreciate some of the secrets that have been shared with Hazel Nutt!
How long does it usually take for you to write a book?
Sometimes we can write the words for a picture book in one day, other times they come from moments of creativity that span over several weeks, or even months that suddenly come together. However, it is the illustrating and getting the pictures just right that is the time killer. Also as self publishers, putting the book together for publication is time consuming and can be very frustrating.
Do you have a general idea of what direction you want the plot to take ahead of time?
We don't usually know where the plot is going to go ahead of time, we tend to go with the flow of ideas and moments of inspiration. We might have left some corkers of ideas in the atmosphere though, as we forget many times to write down brilliant ideas!
Have you ever had second doubts about a story you’ve written?
Yes, don't all authors have second doubts? However, we do lots of editing and re-editing, proof reading and double checking that the book looks good and reads as well as possible. We also take proof copies of our picture books to local toddler groups to get honest opinions of our work.
What other projects are you currently working on?
On Hazel Nutt's blog, we post her paintings and we call them what we can see in them e.g. “Bearded Dragon” or “Manic Surfer”. We have so many of these paintings, we plan to create a collaboration picture book, with Hazel's pictures and Mum and Dad's accompanying poems and short stories.
What is different about your books from other books on the market?
Well apart from creating the persona of a toddler as the author, our books are beautifully illustrated, funny and well written, which I'm sure that many authors will say about their own books, but our books have passed the Toddler Test!
What's the Toddler Test?
Our toddler and other toddlers at the toddler groups we attend have wanted the “What Squirrels Do” series read AND REREAD to them, once they've heard it the first time.
In addition to this, we hope to instill a lifelong love of nature and reading in other toddlers, help in developing little imaginations and encourage parents and little ones to bond over a good picture book.
How long have you been writing?
Before becoming picture book writers, we had been ghostwriters for a few years. When our baby came along, we decided to try a new venture, which hopefully will become a legacy for our daughter. Although, we have both been writing poems and short stories from an early age.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us that we have not already covered?
We have had some squirrel masks made up to accompany the What Squirrels Do Trilogy of Picture Books, so that children can wear them and perhaps be more successful in spotting some interesting squirrel antics and activities. These can be found here: http://whatsquirrelsdo.com/activity-pack
We also have an ongoing giveaway where you can win signed copies of our books, prints and even a dedication in a future edition of the What Squirrels Do Trilogy, see here for more details: http://whatsquirrelsdo.com/whatsquirrelsdogiveaway
Where can the readers find more information about you?
Book Website: http://www.WhatSquirrelsDo.com
Social Media Links:Twitter:
Amazon.com Purchase Links:What Squirrels Do When You Are Not Looking:
What Squirrels Do: The Squirrel Olympics: http://www.amazon.com/What-Squirrels-Do-Squirrel-Childrens/dp/1482354195/
What Squirrels Do: Just For Fun: http://www.amazon.com/What-Squirrels-Do-Rhyming-Childrens/dp/1482354349/
Review: Storyline about squirrels make this story unique. This is a cute story made of rhymes that tell how squirrels stay busy without you knowing it. They may go play in trees or on a swing. Without you seeing them, they buy their food, dance, and get into mischief. It is a decent story for kids. Love the artwork.