SOUTH TAMPA — Theodora Klein-Carroll arrived in Tampa by chance.
Tired of the fast pace of New York, and not wishing to move back to her hometown in North Dakota, she knew she wanted to live near the water. In 1994, she moved to South Tampa to finish her degree in business management at the University of Tampa.
Klein-Carroll, 44, now runs a personal concierge business and manages the Bigelow Helms Mansion on Bayshore Boulevard.
About 15 years ago she wrote a book, “Tippy the Raindrop.” The children’s book, about a raindrop who dreams of helping a flower blossom grow, was published last year. The book’s sequel, “Tippy and the Runaway Cloud,” published this summer. In this follow-up book, Tippy learns about friendship, perseverance and the environment.
We speak with Klein-Carroll this week about her writing and why she decided to pursue a second career as an children’s book author.
Q: What inspired you to write “Tippy and the Runaway Cloud”?
Answer: Tippy and the Runaway Cloud was inspired by my upbringing on the family farm in North Dakota. Our community’s main industry was growing crops and raising livestock. Taking care of our gardens and farm was our livelihood so rain was really important to us. Nothing can exist without rain in our lives, and Tippy came from this value impressed upon me while growing up.
Q: How long did it take you to write the book?
Answer: It took me two weeks to write the book and one month to illustrate.
Q: There are several themes in your book – the importance of hard work, cooperation, the environment. Why do you think those issues are important for young readers to understand?
Answer: I want to plant seeds of knowledge to children that nothing comes for free. Dreams come true through hard work, perseverance and working together. I feel some of these life lessons have been forgotten or lost. I want children to learn valuable life lessons while reading and enjoying a positive story.
Q: Do you have plans for more books?
Answer: Yes, I do have plans for other books! I am working on my third book for the Tippy series, and I have others in my mind.
Q: What do you enjoy most about writing?
Answer: I enjoy writing because it allows me to be creative and I have fun while I write. I find myself laughing at times while writing phrases and illustrating the pictures.
“Tippy the Raindrop” and “Tippy and the Runaway Cloud” are available at Amazon.com, BN.com and the Barnes and Noble store on Dale Mabry Highway.