Thank you, Elizabeth Van Liere, for inviting me to participate in the World Blog Book Tour.
Elizabeth Van Liere is the author of Dare to Live: Devotions for Those Over the Hill, But Not Under It! Elizabeth’s articles, poems, children’s stories and devotions have appeared in periodicals for some sixty years. Dare to Live is her first book. Her second book, Laugh. I Dare You., will be out in 2015.
She is not only an inspiring author, she’s my Grandma. She has been an encouragement to me throughout my life to pursue art, photography, and now writing children’s books combining those elements I love so much. I am thankful God has blessed me with an amazing woman to look up to. I’m proud of the legacy she is leaving, for myself and others, through her writing.
You can enter to win a copy of Dare to Live over at Good Reads up until September 25, 2014. If you aren’t over the hill yet this would make a great gift for a grandparent on Grandparents Day (Sunday, September 7, 2014).
Now it’s my turn to answer a few questions about my writing process.
After I answer the questions you can follow other authors on World Blog Book Tour and see what they’re up to.
What am I working on?
I have a few little books swirling about my imagination. The one that has demanded the most attention is a little book about birds. I envision this as a little board book and e-book. I’ve written the words, now I’m busy trying to capture just the right photographs to go along with those words. I love this part!
My first four books for children are also board books. I See the Me God Made, I See the Creatures God Made, I See the Colors God Made, and I See the World God Made from Standard Publishing came out in 2008. These cute little books of photographs and scripture are out of print now, but my husband and I are exploring turning these into e-book form or app form. I love the printed book and I think it provides a valuable role in the cognitive development of children, but I also think digital media is a growing force in education. I’d love to explore this area more.
How does my writing differ from others of its genre?
I think my writing is different from other little board books because I like to show what I see through writing and photography. I love art and I love story and those authors and illustrators who do that so well. I think my little books are more concept driven than story driven though. At least that’s where I’m at right now.
Why do I write what I do?
It started when my son was just a baby. I left the photo studio where I worked on commercial photography to become a stay at home mom. One of the first gifts I received was a Christmas book and a letter encouraging me to pray with my son read scripture aloud to him even though he couldn’t understand yet. I spent many days reading lots of different books to my cute little boy. I went to bed a night with silly rhymes floating through my head from all the different books we had read together. It made me think of that first gift and letter. I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing if I could teach my little one all about the world and share little verses with him? It was an idea that became the begining of four little books about the wonders God has made.
My son jokes with me now about my book ideas, “Mom, is that another book for babies?”. I think he’d like me to write a grand adventure like his favorite, Treasure Island, but I’m not there yet.
I think the most incredible thing about infants is the fact the whole world has yet to be discovered. The whole world! What joy to be able to teach little ones about the world around them. As adults we’re in a hurry quite often, but you notice things when you have a baby. You share these wonders because they point you to them. They are explorers in a new land discovering beauty and wonder, a breeze, grass, a bird calling, airplanes overhead, beetles crawling on the ground, splashing water… It’s amazing to think about. Spending time with a little one forces you to slow down and notice things all over again.
How does my writing process work?
I’ll see something in nature or in the day-to-day with kiddos and a little idea starts. I write it down and kind of let it set. If the thought or idea doesn’t go away, I grab my sketchbook and write more. I’ll add a 16 page spread of a book mock-up and place text so I can see the flow of the story. Because I’m a visual person I need to really see and feel the book in my hands my next step is to make a book dummy with text and photos. I write WAY too much for a board book and then I remember it’s a board book. A book for infants and toddlers. Then I cut out 75% of my text. This is terrifying at first and then it’s a relief. Something simple and beautiful shines through out of the excess. This is all amazing fun. The hard part comes in writing a book proposal and pitching the book to editors or agents at a writers conference. I’m still learning that part!
More authors on the tour:
Stop by to check out author and international speaker Karen Whiting. She is the author of several books, including Nature Girl: A Guide to Caring for God’s Creation, The One-Year My Princess Devotions, 2014 Christian Retailing Best Award, children’s nonfiction, and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front, Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal, faith category
I have several of Karen’s books and have had the joy of connecting with her at the Florida Christian Writers Conference over the years. She is a talented author and a great encouragement to me.