Author Spotlight – Lisa Riebe
Lisa Riebe has an active imagination and it has served her well. Riebe is the creative force behind The Remarkable Adventures of Pond Punkies, a sci-fi book series introduced in 2009 with The Arrival. Book two, The Unearthing was released in 2011, and book three, The Departure was recently released June of 2012.
Pond Punkies started with the simple idea of creating a toy that her son and other young people would enjoy playing. She’s always been an inventor; she has an entire folder full of concepts.
One day she was sitting near her backyard pond when the idea of developing a super hero came to her. The plan was to relate the character to ponds and thus Pond Punkies came to be.
Before Riebe could begin to market an action figure, which she had commissioned, she needed to introduce the characters and decided the way to do that was through a series of stories.
The Arrival served to introduce Young Blaze, a super hero from the planet Neptune who uncovers a secret plot to destroy his home.
The introductory book, now in its second printing, was selected as a finalist in the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for children’s/juvenile fiction and a Global eBook Award Winner.
Inspired by a struggling reader, Riebe kept that in mind when writing Pond Punkies. “Young readers are often reluctant to read because of how many words they see on the page. Intimidation sets in and they close the book. That’s where this series is a little different,” Riebe said.
The font in her books is large, with extra spacing between lines, and each edition includes up to 18 pages of illustrations by Laurence Knighton.
Being an independent publisher/author has not always been a bed of roses for Lisa. She joined the Independent Book Publishing Association and Association of Independent Authors to guide her through the intricacies of publishing. After eight years of researching and a lot of compromising, Pond Punkies were finally in print. Through her efforts, she was able to get her book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble.
Now that Lisa has the books, along with a prototype of the action figure, she has been going on school visits and speaking at reading conferences. This year, she said, is the year she is making her dreams come true.