Connecting with authors is one of my favorite parts of writing a children’s book blog. I especially enjoyed featuring Rebecca and her book, Guion the Lion, A Colorful World because of the positive messages of diversity, kindness, and helpfulness she embeds throughout her story (http://wp.me/p4m4Tu-zI).
Find out more about the inspiration for her story by reading her interview:
What experiences, people, and/or books were influential in your life, leading you to write your own children’s books?
My mom published her first book, Songs of Nature Meditations in Psalms, in 2001. Seeing how much she enjoyed the process and the reward she felt from writing initially got me interested. In 2006, my first child was born with Down syndrome and with his birth came many concerns and worries for the future. One of my biggest concerns was about how people would treat him. The book Guion the Lion was born from there.
When did you begin writing children’s book manuscripts?
Guion the Lion is my first book and has been a labor of love from the moment I started.
What was the first book you got published and with which publishing agency?
I self-published Guion the Lion but I did work with Inspire on Purpose a self-publishing platform to help me along the way.
How many books have you written that are published?
I have published one book so far but I have several in some form – a concept that is simple chicken scratch on a piece of paper to a draft of a full manuscript that is awaiting some additional TLC.
What was the inspiration for your main character of your favorite book?
My oldest son is most certainly my inspiration for Guion the Lion – it’s even named after him. My hope is that children will read the book and take away that everyone with whom they come into contact has something valuable to add to this world.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I generate most of my ideas when I’m around my children – then I have to take a break from the ideas to bring them to life.
How long did it take you to write, edit, and publish your first book?
Seven years. I was on maternity leave with my second son when my creative juices started flowing. I woke up in the middle of the night and had the idea for this book but I really wasn’t sure what needed to be done next. I attended several writing conferences where I began to learn about writing for children and I joined a critique group with other writers. The process was extremely enlightening and it was helpful to hear other people’s perspective on the story so I could refine and tighten up the story.
What advice can you share with children reading your books?
It is our responsibility as members of God’s great Earth to make it colorful – helping and accepting help from others is one of the ways to make it so.
What advice can you give to those of us who are working to write and publish children’s books?
Share it with others and listen to their comments. Be open to suggestions. I know I struggled throughout the process to let go of some of the storyline that I felt were important at the time but looking back I’m glad I listened.
What are three hobbies/interests you have besides writing?
I’m a big fan of trying to keep balance in my life between family and work. I started boxing (just for exercise so no sparring) and it has been amazing. I also love to travel and have been fortunate to explore some pretty amazing places with Tanzania topping my list – it’s how I even know what a Pangolin is.
Please leave us with a quote from one of your books!
Guion beamed. “Spectacular! You found the switch!”
“We all did!” cheered the animals.
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