My writing for children began fairly naturally while taking continuing education classes for teaching. I was constantly creating reading and math activities to try to make learning fun and memorable and help students be successful. All the songs and poems I penned about colors, letter sounds, shapes, and more always came out in rhyme and I was able to try them out in my kindergarten and first grade classrooms.
I say, “Dr. Seuss lives in my head but Jesus lives in my heart!” because I also had a passion for making Bible stories and lessons come alive for youngsters. When I began being awakened in the middle of the night with lyrical stories and ideas, I knew I had to get up and write them down. My portfolio was expanding.
When a couple of friends asked me to lead them in a study through the Bible, my propensity for writing grew more obvious. Once I retired from teaching, I had the luxury of jotting down the many observations, applications, and questions for each Scripture passage. I warned my friends they were not expected to read all my notes, but I had to write them down … at least, for me.
Realizing that God had given me a new purpose and assignment in life, I started to research the world of authorship and publication. So began the cycle of mailing manuscripts, query letters, and proposals, then waiting, sending, waiting … waiting and sending. I became a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, joined a local SCBWI KidLit and critique group, and attended my first writer’s conference in 2018. In the summer of 2019, I experienced the So-Cal Christian Writers’ Conference and through a connection there, God opened the door.
Here We Go!
After nearly four years of ‘door knocking,’ I sent a proposal to Elk Lake Publishing Inc. and in just over an hour received a response from the publisher/editor-in-chief saying she and her children’s editor wanted to offer me a contract. She also recommended an agent whom I signed with the following week. Three months later, I chose an illustrator and together, along with my editor, we began working on details for Before Your Birth Day, which was released July 2020.
In August 2020, I signed a contract for my second picture book, Adam Plus One, and soon found an incredibly talented high-school-aged illustrator. Adam Plus One was released in June 2021. Currently, my agent is looking for a home for my third children’s book manuscript. And so . . . the adventure continues!
Check out my “Wednesday Whisper” blog, a weekly word of encouragement, at: http://pointingtheway.live