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Cameron Park author introduces Cindy Moo

By: Margaret Snider, Telegraph Correspondent
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One local author makes pictures come alive in her new children?s book. ?Cindy Moo? is the latest creation of picture book author Lori Mortensen of Cameron Park. She will be available to sign books and answer questions at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, at Barnes & Noble in Citrus Heights. Previously, Mortensen studied dance and obtained her degree in that discipline. Then after years of being a stay-at-home-mom, and with her two sons and one daughter grown up, she tried to discover what exactly she wanted to do. ?I did interior design, I did master canning, I did a variety of things, sewing,? Mortensen said. ?But when I found writing, it was like a light bulb went on. This is it. I wanted to do it more than anything else I?d ever tried.? Now after producing many nonfiction books for the educational market, she has three trade picture books out. Her recent picture books have won numerous accolades and awards, including 2010 National Science Teachers Association/CBC Outstanding Science Book K-12 Winner for ?In the Trees, Honey Bees!,? and the same award in 2011 for ?Come See the Earth Turn,? ?The Story of Léon Foucault.? The ?Léon Foucault? book also won the Smithsonian?s Notable Book for Children award for 2010. Michael Troyan, Community Relations Manager for the Barnes & Noble on Sunrise, said that Mortensen participated in her first event at that store recently, raising money for the United Way. At that time she read ?In the Trees, Honey Bees!? to audiences at the store. ?She brought all kinds of bee ?equipment? that fascinated her audience,? Troyan said. ?She told me of her upcoming new book, ?Cindy Moo,? at that time and I was happy to accommodate a signing here at our Citrus Heights Barnes & Noble store? Mortensen said that writing a picture book is not an easy journey. ?Each word you use has to count, and it?s very difficult to find that fresh slant with a twist at the end that appeals to the right age group,? she said. ?If you?re rhyming, the rhymes have to fall right into place, not be forced, and that can take a lot of time, too. So it?s much more difficult than people would imagine. Just because it?s for children doesn?t make it easy.? Her advice for those who dream of writing is simple. ?I think persistence is the biggest key. It?s easy to get discouraged because you will get rejected, and most successful writers are still rejected,? Mortensen said. ?One success builds on another, and pretty soon you?re writing better, you?re learning more. You?re doing better and you reach the finish line if you keep at it.? Tina Ferguson, owner of El Dorado Hills? new bookstore Face in a Book says she has not had a chance to have Mortensen in for readings or signings yet, because of how busy everything has been with the new store. ?I?ve met her,? Ferguson said, ?and certainly would like to get her in at some point.? In the story of Cindy Moo, the cows on the farm overhear a tale they have trouble believing. ?Hey Diddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon!? the cows hear someone reading from a book. Cindy Moo sets out to prove that a cow can really perform the feat. Of course, one must read the book to find out whether or not she succeeded. For more information, visit lorimortensen.com.