How to Make a Sandwich Virtual Book Tour, Author Interview, and Giveaway

Wednesday, May 22, 2024


How to Make a Sandwich

Written and Illustrated by Lorena M. Proia
Ages 4+ | 32 Pages
Publisher: PnM Publishing | ISBN-13: 979-8-9885730-0-5

Publisher’s Book Summary: Making a sandwich is fun and easy! And Rae knows just how to do it. The bread is like the parents, it keeps the sandwich safe and happy. The turkey is the love, the lettuce is the fun. But every time Rae adds an ingredient, it disappears, and she soon realizes there is a sandwich-stealing thief intent on eating her creation! Will Rae ever get to eat her lunch? Suddenly making a sandwich isn’t so easy after all!

Available for purchase on Amazon or the Author's website.


When Lorena M. Proia graduated with a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in Graphic Design and Painting, she never imagined she’d become an Information Architect in high-tech. She thought her creativity was lost until she was rescued by an Australian Shepherd named Phebe. Inspired by Phebe’s antics, her drawings became Phebe-n-Me, a t-shirt company, which grew up to become a children’s book! How to Make a Sandwich is her first picture book.

You can find out more about her, Phebe, and her books at, Instagram, Facebook.


Life Is What It's Called - What do you want readers to know about you?

Lorena M. Proia - I’m a huge animal lover with 2 cats, 2 dogs and a horse. I also compete with my dogs in a sport known as Dog Agility. 

Life Is What It's Called - What inspired you to write this story?

Lorena M. Proia - After losing my first dog, Phebe, I was heartbroken. Drawing her and remembering her silly antics helped heal my heart. The initial drawings were more cartoon-like, and from those, I made humorous T-shirts and sold them so that I could spread the joy she brought me. It made me feel good to know that Phebe was still making people laugh, but after a while, I felt that there was so much more to tell than a T-shirt could ever convey. So, I decided to write a story about the time she really did steal the turkey off of my sandwich. It literally happened the way I tell it in the story. Nothing was disturbed, and I thought, 'Oh, that’s strange. I could’ve sworn I put the turkey on the bread.' That initial story was revised many times, and it took several different forms, but I always held true to the main kernel of the story: how she deftly stole my turkey without making a sound or moving the slightest thing out of place. And with me standing right there! TWICE!

Life Is What It's Called -What do you want children to learn from this story?

Lorena M. Proia - I think there are a few things children could learn, and if they were to come away with any one of them, I’d be very happy.

First, I hope they learn that it doesn’t matter how your family is configured or what the “ingredients” of your family are; it’s the love that defines it. The second lesson is that no matter how frustrated or upset you feel, when you take a moment and listen to your heart, those negative emotions will melt away.

Both of those lessons, however, roll into a third that I hope is the main takeaway, which is that it all comes down to love and that’s the most important thing of all.

Life Is What It's Called -How is this book different from the other books on the market?

Lorena M. Proia - I think the majority of books out today are wonderful, but I do think that my book is different than a lot of what’s in the market today. It focuses purely on storytelling without veering into any polarizing agendas. It’s just a story about a girl, her dog, family and love. This allows readers from all backgrounds to enjoy the narrative without feeling alienated or bombarded with specific viewpoints. While it sounds simple, the feedback from parents is that it imparts a quiet yet powerful lesson. 

Life Is What It's Called -Are the characters in the book based off on your own life?

Lorena M. Proia - Yes, they are!

Nero was my first cat as an adult, and Phebe was my first dog. As a child, my nickname was Ray, so I played off of that for the girl’s name. The character of Rae was developed entirely from imagination. Although she bears no resemblance to me, I did lend her the bangs and ponytail I once sported as a child. Otherwise, she embodies all of those precocious little girls out there with the big attitude that I find so endearing. The character of Phebe, on the other hand, is all Phebe. She was full of mischief and love from the day I brought her home, and everything about the character is her.

The drawing of the father is based on a cartoon drawing I used to doodle of my own dad when I was a teenager. However, my mom’s features didn’t lend themselves to a cartoon format, so the book’s mother looks nothing like my real mother. Instead, I decided I wanted the mother to resemble Rae.

Life Is What It's Called - How many books do you anticipate for this series?

Lorena M. Proia - I have three more books planned, so I hope there will be at least four books in total. Who knows, maybe more!


Enter for your chance to win this amazing prize package:

  • A signed copy of How to Make a Sandwich
  • A set of Phebe-n-Me t-shirts (1 child and 1 adult size)
  • A gorgeous set of 12 blank note cards featuring Phebe-n-Me designs

How to Make a Sandwich: Book Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Lorena M. Proia. The review and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

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