I have had a heart for children for as long as I can remember. From baby-sitting to teaching to leading children’s church to homeschooling—I have an ability, a gift, if you will, to connect with little ones—and it’s one they recognize.
For instance, when my daughters were growing up, my house became the neighborhood playground for eight little girls, especially the garage. I couldn’t park my car in it for over two years because they turned it into their own playhouse! We had sleepovers, picnics, water fights, prayer meetings, home-grown theater, fox & geese in the snow, to name a few.
Even though many years have passed since the squeals and giggles filled my home, whenever I am in a group of adults and children, I still gravitate to the children. I ask them questions, play games with them, and generally pay more attention to them than the adults.
When I look at them, I see God-given potential. I want to impart so much into them, especially the understanding that they have a future and a destiny to fulfill.
I am called to teach, to plant seeds in the hearts and minds of little ones. Whether it’s a fun and silly book or a story to make their spirits grow, my passion for writing children’s books is interwoven with my passion for children and helps fulfill my destiny.
A children’s writers group came up with a writing project for us one summer. The theme was “Summer in Montana.” We could choose between a picture book, a poem, or the first chapter of a chapter book. Because the topic was so broad, I had trouble coming up with ideas. So I called my daughter and began asking her about her memories of Montana summers.
She mentioned a number of activities, including the annual county fair and our trips to Yellowstone Park. I asked her to expound on the fair, but nothing jumped out at me. Then I asked her to tell me more about the Park. She started with Old Faithful, then the buffalo, followed with grizzly bears, and finally she said “the rotten egg smell.” Once I heard those words, I knew I had a book.
Absolutely! I have two I Do Not Like manuscripts completed and a couple of others in the incubating state.
In a nutshell:
Step 1: Decide on type of publisher—traditional, hybrid, self
Step 2: Find illustrator
Step 3: Find investors who believe in you and your story
Step 4: Work with illustrator
Step 5: Decide on hybrid publisher
Step 6: Submit story to chosen hybrid publisher
Step 7: Sign contract
Step 8: Try not to panic when attempting to meet deadlines
Step 9: Submit final files to publisher
Step 10: Wait for book to actually be published
And there’s a whole lot more that will go unsaid.
I originally tried working with another illustrator. But after a month of attempting to connect with her and zero communication, I knew I had to look elsewhere. The day I made the decision, I opened my Facebook page and saw a short video clip of a group of fellow members from a virtual writers conference I had attended six weeks prior. One of the women had just received a box with her new book, and of course, everyone wanted to see it. She pulled out a picture book with brilliant illustrations. I immediately sensed that this illustrator had the talent and the gift to bring my story to life. I Googled his name, found his website, called his number, and had my first conversation with Robert Sauber, an award-winning artist.
While many authors have little input into the illustrations, Rob and I worked together as a team. Since he had never been to Yellowstone Park, and I had been their dozens of times, he relied on me to make sure the background reflected not just the Park’s beauty, but also accuracy in the scenery and portrayal of the animals.
Bed-time book: Definitely one of my all-time favorites
Talking animal series teaching values and morals: Adventures with Thaddeus Tortoise and Henshaw Hare and friends
Fun, silly series: Of course, the I Do Not Like series
Biblically based: One on miracles, one on praise, one on the armor of God, plus others
I would be thrilled to visit schools or libraries. Please use my contact form here.