Monday, December 05, 2011

Nuclear Power: That's how Santa lights his Christmas lights!

My elves have been busy and I owe my children big time for this one!

December is always a busy month and this year it's also the launch month for Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works! 

What's the worst-best reindeer gifts you ever received? That's the topic I'm addressing when I speak at the Apex, North Carolina Rotary club on December 8th.

Then I'm looking forward to going to Bay City, Texas where I'll be the guest author at a booksigning event at Lisa's  Main Street Wine and Coffee Bar on Saturday, December 10th.

On December 17th I'm getting an early Christmas present as I watch my daughter Tabitha  graduate from North Carolina State University as one of her college's Valedictorians!

Hope there's a moment to do some Christmas shopping in there somewhere. Ho Ho Ho!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ex-porn star, Sasha Grey, read to kids at a Compton Elementary School
as part of the Read Across America Program.

Never thought I would find myself empathizing with an ex-porn star.  I’m a children’s picture book writer, for God’s sake, but Sasha Grey has my empathy.  The same week she got condemned by self-righteous bullies for reading a children’s book, I got condemned for writing one.

Sasha Grey is the former porn star who caused a minor melt-down (pun intended) amongst some parents for reading to students at Compton Elementary School in California as part of the Read Across America Program.

I’m the author of Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power PlantReally Works! a children’s picture book that explains the inner-workings of a nuclear power plant.

It got heated and hot, and not just inside Nukie Nuclear Power Plant’s reactor. There was a whole lot of fissioning going on, on my Facebook page, this past week between anti-nuclear extremists and nuclear power advocates.

Anyone who bothers to read Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works! will learn that it explains how a nuclear power plant works in a creative format that young children will find appealing.

I suppose that is the problem.  Children will find it appealing. The book does not demonize nuclear power, or point out, as my anti-nuke critics did, that its author is a disgusting example of motherhood that ought to be ashamed of herself.

Frankly, this disgusting example of motherhood is fed up with adults who masquerade their bullying techniques behind feigned concern and outrage about how something they disapprove of affects children. I got the distinct impression some of the self-righteous disliked my book because it did not cause anxiety, distrust, and nuclear nightmares in children.

Since I don’t watch porn, I had never heard of Sasha Grey until this past week, but I’m happy to hear she reads children’s picture books.  Maybe she could read my book to the anti-nuclear advocates who posted on my Facebook page.

Call me crazy, but I find it difficult to trust the credibility of an advocate who claims to have first-hand knowledge of events pertaining to the nuclear industry when they will diss a children’s book about nuclear power plants without reading it first.

In the wake of Japan’s nuclear disaster I can understand why people are concerned about nuclear energy and THAT is why I wrote NuclearPower: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!

Moms Choice Awards has named "Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!" among the best in family-friendly media, products and services in  the science & technology and children's picture book categories.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Explaining the Nuclear Power Plant in the Backyard to Children
Children’s Book Uses Fun Format to Teach about Nuclear Energy

Apex, NC, November 02, 2011—In the words of renowned nuclear expert Dr. Theodore Rockwell, “now kids can learn the basic facts about nuclear energy without first being scared witless.” Nutcracker Publishing Company announced today it is getting ready to  “radiate brilliance” with the release of a children’s picture book that explains the inner workings of a nuclear power plant.

Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works! by Amelia Frahm, is both educational and entertaining,  and it offers parents and educators an opportunity to teach children about nuclear energy in a fun and unbiased way.

The book is being released in the wake of Japan’s nuclear disaster and has faced criticism from anti-nuclear activists. The topic is timely, as the future of nuclear power plants is currently in question.
“I was putting the final touches on the book when Japan’s nuclear accident occurred, but I had recognized the need for this book from past experience,” said author Amelia Frahm. “After college, I was hired to do public relations at the South Texas Project Nuclear Plant.  It was after Three Mile Island and during Chernobyl.”  One of Frahm’s job assignments was to do an elementary school program.

Frahm always wished for a more creative format to explain nuclear energy to her students. Her book explains how a nuclear power plant works through the eyes of a rat and bird who believe the local nuclear power plant was designed by a cat named Penelope so she could use electricity to cook them for dinner.

Parents and educators can get a glimpse of what to expect from the book from the following video: News anchor Birderson Cooper interviewing the book’s chubby rat character as he demonstrates a fission chain reaction or as he says, what makes a nuclear power plant nu-cle-ar.”

Frahm is no stranger to writing a children’s book that deals with difficult subject matter. She previously authored the award-winning picture book Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy.
Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!   costs $9.95 and is available from the publisher, at Barnes & Noble Bookstores, on line at, and at other bookstores.

About Nutcracker Publishing Company
Nutcracker PublishingCompany was founded in 2000. The company publishes children’s books that educate, entertain, and make it easier to establish a dialogue between children and adults about difficult subjects such as cancer and nuclear power. Nutcracker Publishing Company is based in North Carolina.  Crack Open a Book! Visit:

Media Contact:
Amelia Frahm
Nutcracker Publishing Company
Apex, NC

Monday, October 03, 2011

Hard to imagine, but there was a time when library shelves did not contain children’s books about cancer, I was told the mommy in Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy was just too mean, and the Tickles Tabitha character would not have been invited to a public school because talking about cancer to elementary kids was still taboo. Videos like this one would have been deemed inappropriate.

All that and more are some of the things I shared with audience members at the Apex Chamber of Commerce Women’s Networking Event, where I was invited to be guest speaker and we kicked off breast cancer awareness month a few days early.  Check out Becca’s Blog on Sept. 28th for more info.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In 1994, I was 34 years old when I found a lump in my breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

At my house, along with the traditional orange, I drag out the pink pumpkin jack-o-lanterns to celebrate the significance of the month.  October also celebrates the 11th anniversary of Nutcracker Publishing Company, and ten years since Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy was launched on the Rosie O Donnell talk show in honor 
of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 2001.

My pink pumpkins hold the pink ribbons and book marks I take with me as I promote Breast Cancer Awareness.

Are y'all ready for October?  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 27, 2011 Time: 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM  I'll be speaking at the Apex, North Carolina's Chamber of Commerce Women's Networking Event.  

 "Surviving to Thriving-Why Nausea is a good thing and other advice I gave my Daughter!" (Unsolicited and unappreciated advice.)

Click here for more information or to register for the event. 

Miss Michelle Burke the proud
winner of our story book give-away at Progess Energy's 6th Annual  
Community Day.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

"Connected to the Community" 

 6th Annual Community Day at the Harris Nuclear Plant 

 Saturday, September 10th

 10 AM - 2 PM

Progress Energy invites you and your family to their 6th Annual Community Day.  It will be a fun-filled, high-energy day, complete with control room simulator tours, and behind-the-scenes information about Harris Nuclear Plant.

This year they have invited me to participate!  I will be explaining to children and adults, Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!  

Professor Chubby Rat will be reenacting his tail-trimming fission chain reaction demonstration, and Nutcracker 
Publishing will giving away some freebies.  Hope you live near enough to make it!

Organization: Harris Nuclear Plant
Location: New Hill, NC 27562
Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time: 10:00am to 2:00 pm
Harris Energy and Environmental Center
3932 New Hill-Holleman Road
New Hill, NC  27562

More Information about the Harris Plant may be found at HARRIS VIEW.

Friday, July 22, 2011

While the weather outside soared to triple digits, I was inside Progress Energy’s air-conditioned Energy and Environmental Center at the Harris Nuclear Plant, on an Energy Safari with Senior Community Relations Representative, Kim Crawford, my son Jordan, and about forty Wake County, North Carolina fifth graders and their teachers.

It was a good day to learn how nuclear power plants produce electricity and even better day to point out it takes electricity to power our air conditioners. 

Last year students participating in the Wake County Energy Camp  were recruited to be my personal guinea pigs for my nuke book, which was still a work-in-progress.  This year’s students got to critique the finished product.

Despite the air conditioning, I was perspiring with nervous anxiety.  These were not just any guinea pigs,  but children that have an aptitude for the sciences. It was obvious from the get-go we had several future engineers in our audience.  

What a relief to receive the endorsement of the experts! 

The only thing hotter than the weather was Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!  

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The restaurant where she works is in my home town, the book I’m promoting has received plenty of press, the topic (nuclear power) is timely and age appropriate, children love the puppet characters, there’s a nuclear power plant in our own back yard, and she has booked people with fewer qualifications than my own, but even before I hung up the phone I knew the children’s event planner I was talking to wouldn’t be calling me back. 
Marketing 101- to be successful you’ve got to show that you are successful.  Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time it works, but there’s always that one person who sees the news, views my website, or listens to my elevator speech, and concludes I need to be knocked down a peg or two. 

Or is so hell-bent on advancing their own agenda they don’t care who they hurt, like the person who labeled me a nuclear pedophile.

If only it was as easy, impressive, and one-sided as the press releases, elevator speeches, or marketing pitches like this one make it sound:

Even before Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!  was sent to print, it caught some buzz!  The Raleigh News and Observer did an article that was also printed in the local Southwest Wake News. The proof we received from the printer looked great and books will be available soon.

When my book’s proof arrived at my home in North Carolina, I was at a hospital in Pensacola, Florida where one of the persons it’s dedicated to, my father, Preston Solomon, was in critical care and doctors didn’t expect him to survive.

My children assured me the proof looked great, but there were some issues that needed addressing.  I stressed over the book, worried about my father, complained about my computer which wasn’t working in the hospital, and tried not to cry when talking to my cousins.

Weeks earlier I had left my home in North Carolina.  My plan had been to drive to northern Alabama where my husband Randy works and lives. Along the way, I was going to hit bookstores, media, and other venues, and pitch my upcoming book.

Instead, at the last minute, I decided to drive straight to St. Augustine, FL, where my cousin, Jerry Vaughn, was hospitalized.  He had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor and it just wasn’t going as well as we hoped. It was a shock to all of us. Jerry had the distinction of being the only person in our family over the age of 21 that’s never been overweight. He had no bad health habits, still ran, biked, and swam, and looked ten years younger than his sixty-seven years.

He and his older brother, my cousin, Jimmy were young adults when I was born, but I always adored them and they me.  When I left the small panhandle community of Walnut Hill, Florida for the much larger, more liberal, and more sophisticated University of Florida, I spent many a homesick weekend being fed and favored at my cousin’s who lived a short drive from the university.

Last year Jerry and his wife, Elaine drove for miles, out of their way, just so they could get reception and listen to me being interviewed on a radio talk show.  Most of my relatives would have considered that a waste of good gas money.

Jerry passed away not long after I visited.  By then I was at my parent’s home, eight hours away, in the Florida Panhandle.  I had been planning to wait there until arrangements had been made for his funeral and then drive my parents to it, but then my father became ill and was admitted to the hospital. 

Daddy was diagnosed with Parathyroid Disease which is usually not life-threatening, but his prognosis went from bad to worse when he aspirated after a routine procedure that had to be administered prior to surgery. 

Words can’t describe the panic I felt when I heard a code blue being called in my father’s hospital room.  I jumped ahead of a line of people, shut the elevator door in their faces, and then uttered a profanity that a Priest overheard as I took my shoes off so I could run to his room. The room was filled with hospital staff and they were able to revive my father. 

My dad was on a ventilator in critical care for over two weeks, but he surprised his doctors, and has made a remarkable recovery.  He’s still hospitalized and doctors have advised us his recovery will not be quick due to his age and health history, but he was well enough for me to leave. 

My father has asked about Jerry’s wife Elaine, but still isn’t cognitive enough to remember his nephew died, or be told that none of us had attended the funeral. 

Instead, we had kept vigil at his bedside, and for the first time in more than 40 years my siblings and I were together with our daddy on Father’s Day. Too bad he won’t remember it. 

Even in the worst of times, some things are tragically comical. Like listening to my delirious father complain about picking cotton, and yell orders to my cousin Jim.

A month after I left North Carolina, I finally arrived in northern Alabama.  Together, my husband and I, drove back home to North Carolina to celebrate the 4th of July with our children.  

My summer has been filled with professional triumphs and personal tragedies, laughter, and sorrow. I reflected on this as I hung up the phone with the event planner.

Rejection is common when you’re marketing a book, but summer 2011 has put name-calling and rejection in perspective. This year I've learned to appreciate the joy that’s present when life is ordinary.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Between the pretty blue birds and lab rats, that we've been videotaping for our marketing campaign, and the bunnies and chicks of our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt, life's been hectic.  However, I had to take moment to share the cover of:  
Nuclear Power:
 How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!

Great job Andrew!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

At the Nukie Nuclear Power Plant, inside the nuclear reactor that sat beneath the big dome, a whole lot of fissioning was going on.  Where did it come from?  Where did it go?  Everyone who lived nearby was curious to know. 
This is the opening page of How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works, the children’s picture book I’ve been working on for the past several years.
 I never imagined the entire world would be watching Japan and asking these same questions.
My heart goes out to the people in Japan and I feel for Americans trying to obtain information about loved ones who are there. 
Like everyone else I’ve been glued to the TV watching the nuclear emergency unfold hoping to hear facts not speculation. 
Instead I’ve been struck by how this real life nuclear crisis is mimicking the pages of my children’s picture book.
            In the book a chubby white lab rat and a pretty blue bird have a skewed sense of how a nuclear plant works. They speculate, exaggerate and blame everything they don’t understand on their arch-enemy –a cat named Penelope.
I’ve made a career advocating the importance of talking to children about cancer and as one of my colleagues put  it, “Why on earth would you want to write a children’s book about nuclear power?”   
Because I believe that fear, whether it’s of cancer, nuclear power, or a cat named Penelope, is fueled, not by nuclear power, but by a lack of knowledge and misinformation.   
In 1981 I graduated from the University of Florida with a Public Relations degree and was soon hired to work at a nuclear power plant that was under construction in Bay City, Texas.  It was after the Three Mile Island Incident and during the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident.  I had stepped right in a deep pile of doo-doo.
One of my responsibilities was to create a school program for elementary children. It was the perfect assignment for me because in order to educate the students I first had to educate myself.  It wasn’t easy.
Those familiar with the nuclear industry know that nuclear engineers like to use mathematical formulas, measure anything they hang, and everything they do or don’t do has to have been designed and calculated at least 10 times on paper prior to execution.  I’m the creative, polar opposite, but it was the nuclear industries tenacity for such things that convinced me to become an advocate of nuclear power plants even after I quit receiving a pay check for it. 
 Long before 9-11 the nuclear industry required security clearances and emergency preparedness plans.  When I left the nuclear industry I was astonished to learn other industries did not.
Despite my history working at a nuclear power plant and the children’s book I’m doing about it, I am not, nor do I claim to be an expert on nuclear power as it pertains to what's happening in Japan.
  There are differing levels of expertise.  I want to make that clear-- I am considered a pioneer in cancer resources for children and by virtue of my experiences known as an “Expert,” but I would never claim to be a medical expert on cancer.
What I do claim to be is an expert at making difficult subjects fun, entertaining, and easier for children and their parents to understand, digest and talk about. 
Much of my publishing success with Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy I owe to lessons learned during my nuclear plant days.  Parents I noticed would use their children as an excuse to visit the nuclear plant.  Now that I'm a parent, I understand, we're only as smart as our children think we are.  Children I noted were only as frightened as the adults around them made them feel.  
When I worked at the South Texas Nuclear Project I longed for a more creative format to present my school program.  As writers know, once you get an idea you can’t let it go. 
Several years ago I began working on a children’s picture book about nuclear power plants called:  How a Nuclear Power Plant Really WorksIt's the book I'd wished for when I was working at the nuclear plant presenting school programs.  My creative take on the brochure that most nuclear power plants hand out. 
It’s become increasingly evident by what’s taking place in Japan that nuclear power is a topic we'll be discussing in the days to come and something we all need to know more about.
I will be hard at work finishing this book.  In the mean time, for credible information about Japan’s nuclear disaster and other information about nuclear power plants please go to the following sites:
 PopAtomic  --Explaining Fukushima to Children:  A Visual Resource.

Amelia Frahm helped pioneer cancer resources for children. She’s the owner of the Nutcracker Publishing Company, author of the award winning, Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy, co-author of How we became Breast Cancer Thrivers, and creator of Crack Open a Book! cancer education curriculum. 
BUT....the first children's school program she did was about nuclear power plants.  Several years ago she decided to write what she had wished for back then, a creative, entertaining book to pique children's interest in nuclear power plants. Nuclear Power:  How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!  is scheduled for release Summer 2011 or  pre-order it  now from the publisher.