Saturday, August 13, 2011

Interview with Joe sutton

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Interview with “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” Author Joe Sutton


Can you tell us who Joe Sutton is?

Joe Sutton is a former Army Colonel who works in the energy industry and lives in The Woodlands, Texas, with his wife Suzanne.  He is now a published children’s book author, his first book being “Wanda and the Oblahlahs (Bright Sky Press.)

 How did this book come about and why was it published?
“Wanda and the Oblahlahs” is based on a story Joe Sutton dreamed up for his children that was stored away and forgotten in the attic for 35 years, surviving 23 family moves when Sutton was in the Army. The Dad and Granddad created the story after realizing an effective way to get his message across to his children was to tell them stories with carefully disguised lessons.  This particular lesson was to listen to one’s parents and, in this case, throw away your chewing gum at bedtime (or the Oblahlahs would come play in your mouth!)

With his daughter Megan Sutton-Reed’s encouragement, Joe Sutton has published “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” to bring the age-old story back to life for the next generation, including Joe’s five grandchildren.  The book will appeal to parents and grandparents who will find that Wanda’s antics do more to illustrate the importance of minding than any amount of parental nagging.  

For someone who does not know about you and what you do with the proceeds from the book can you tell us Please.

To help support children who may not have loving families to share stories with them, Sutton will donate proceeds of book sales to Children at Risk to support their work to help stamp out child trafficking, a cause to which he is deeply committed.

Then can you share with us how we could help out.

The best way right now to help out is to buy a book since 100% of the proceeds go to the effort to eliminate child trafficking. As we get some momentum behind the effort, we will need to generate public support and we would welcome your participation through your network of concerned parents.  There are Wanda logo items for sale as well -- water bottles, insulated lunch bags and t-shirts -- that also benefit Children At Risk,

I am doing book readings at libraries, school Book Fairs and book stores to promote “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” book sales.  Let me know if you have an interest in hosting such a reading to help sell books.   To request a reading, go to

This book was written for your daughters.  Would you like to share anything about your family? 

I am blessed because our family is a very close family. I always tell people that having daughters (I have two) is good and bad. It is wonderful because they tend to stay closer to home and their parents.  On the other hand, as the only man in the family, I now have three people telling me what to do! We all live in or near Houston and see each other quite frequently, talk daily, and are able to participate together in family events. I particularly enjoy my grandchildren and it is a joy to be able to watch them in their various activities and sports. I try to make it to everything.

I have continued the tradition of telling stories to my five grandchildren. They all know and love Wanda and learned early on to spit out their chewing gum at bedtime or they would get the “Oblahlahs”!

Did you always want to be an Author? If not as a child
what did you wish to become and did you? 

I don’t really see myself as an author, per se. I like to tell stories and particularly, children’s stories.  I am honored that one of my stories was published and people like it.  I never envisioned that would happen which is one reason that this story rested in the attic for 35 years.
What is your favorite part of the book and why? 

I like the depiction of the Oblahlahs by my sister.  You must remember that I came up with the story but she had to put it in pictures. I think she did a great job with these tiny little creatures.

Do you have a least favorite?

No, not really. Remember it is my story so I could edit what I might not like.

Is there 1 thing you would care to share with us and why? 

I am not one to give advice, but I would tell parents to spend more time reading to and telling their children stories. It is what children like and remember; it costs nothing; and it is fun. There is no substitute for parental interaction with children. Too many times parents substitute television, video games, and the Internet for that interaction.  Just tell them a story, made up or real life -- they love it.

If someone wanted to publish a book what is one thing you
would like to tell them and why? 

Don’t be afraid, just do it!

What Author would you like to speak to and why? They
can be dead or alive. 

Rudyard Kipling. Because of the breadth of his writings. He lived in a unique time. He wrote stories, poetry, children’s books, about war and soldiers.  He is my favorite and it would be interesting to have a conversation with him.

Where can they purchase your book?

Go to the “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” website,


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Wanda and the Oblahlahs is an instant classic bedtime story that teaches children a simple truth…listen to your parents!” said Dr. Bob Sanborn, Children at Risk President and CEO.  “It is a whimsical tale that will delight children of all ages. Not only that, but it will also benefit the work of CHILDREN AT RISK and all that they do to change the lives of children across Texas. We could not be more proud to partner with Joe Sutton on this exciting endeavor.”

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Wanda and The Oblahlahs
This is such a cute book for children of all ages.
Not only are the characters fun but it teaches a lesson
that can be used over and over again.
I would recommend this book to parents and teachers
I Love that it teaches a lesson that I have not seen
approached before and if he ever writes another
book I would be one of the first people to read it.
My son even ask for it now when he gets a piece of
gum and so I know he likes the story and that he
understands it as when it is nap time or bedtime he
always ask to throw his gum away. So Please take
the time to look for the book and read it. I think it
would be a nice fit in dentist offices as well.
Please make sure and read the interview that follows
and go and check out the book and let me know what
you think of it.