Hello, amazing readers!
Welcome back to KidLit Oasis ― it's always great to have you visit! This is the place to refresh your spirits, recharge your creativity, and get a literary mood boost!
Now, stretch your smiles wide and get comfy and cozy for a lovely chitchat because today we have another awesome creative on the Chitchat series... Children's author Deb Gruelle is here to share some wisdom, insight, and inspiration with us! Plus, she's giving away a copy of her new book, Sleepy Time Colors!
Welcome, Deb! Thank you for joining us on the blog. Please briefly describe your journey to publication.
A: I never thought of being a writer. I always thought being a writer was far beyond my grasp, but I’ve always loved reading and loved words. My mom took us to the library often. I was a voracious reader. And when I learned words, they just stuck in my mind.
But the seeds of writing may have been planted by reading Raggedy Ann and Andy stories and knowing I was related to Johnny Gruelle, the author of those stories.
I grew up in Silicon Valley, and eventually started working as a technical writer there. This helped give me the confidence to write magazine articles and my first book on infertility and miscarriage. My first book was traditionally published way back in the era before social media.
When I became a parent, I saw how stories affected my children in such positive ways.
When my youngest son was just about to turn one, and my dad died. We flew from Colorado to California to stay at my Mom’s with other extended family for the funeral. As I connected the longings of losing my dad, what I wanted to pass on to my kids, and one small practical way to pass that on, the idea for a picture book came to me. I wrote it, edited it, then tried to sell it to a couple of publishers. It was rejected with some nice comments, but I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. So I put it away in a drawer.
Sixteen years later, I went to a writers conference and submitted this children’s book manuscript. A large publisher bought it. Because Ten Little Night Stars did so well, the publisher had room for my second book, Sleepy Time Colors, which just released.
Q: What do you find most challenging in this business, either on the creative or publishing side of things? What do you find most rewarding? What helps you stay motivated?
A: I live with chronic health issues, so I find I need to pay for help for many of the business aspects of writing. So, that’s one of my biggest challenges.
What helps me stay motivated are the reader responses. I received an email last week from Grace, a grandma who said, “I babysat my one-year-old granddaughter last week. I read and reread and reread your book to her because she loves it so much. Thanks for investing in the lives of little people.”
I love that my book became a tool that helped strengthen the bond between this grandma and her granddaughter. That’s motivating to me.
Q: Could you share any craft tools or techniques that you find most helpful to you when working on a project? What does your revision process look like?
A: Reading the words out loud helps me hear uneven rhythms. Having someone else read the story’s words out loud catches even more problems.
Q: What's coming up for you next? Please tell us about any new releases, exciting news, upcoming events or anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
A: My second children’s book, Sleepy Time Colors, just released!
Thank you, Deb, and all the best on your journey!
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Connect with Deb:
G I V E A W A Y ! ! !
Comment on this post by for a chance to win a copy of Deb's book (US).
Deb Gruelle is a bestselling and award winning, author who loves writing children’s booksto help little ones transition to sleep. As the great-grand-niece of Johnny Gruelle, the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy, she grew up on his whimsical stories and enjoys being a third-generation children’s writer.
Sleepy Time Colors (Zonderkidz/HarperCollins, 2020)--playful rhymes allow parents to snuggle their little one in their favorite jammies as they lift the flaps to learn their colors.
Ten Little Night Stars--follow cuddly animals through their bedtime routine to prepare children to transition to sleep as they learn to count to ten.
And the winner is. . .
Ellen Leventhal!!! Congratulations, Ellen!
About Rosie J. Pova
Rosie J. Pova is a
award-winning children's author, speaker, and writing coach on a mission to inspire children not only to read and write more, but to use their creativity, follow their passions, dream big and believe in themselves.
Rosie visits schools and shares her inspirational journey as an immigrant from Bulgaria and how she became a published author, encouraging kids to persist, push through rejections, and hold a high vision for themselves.
Rosie's upcoming picture book, Sunday Rain, will be released in March 2021. It's a story that celebrates imagination, the love of books, and new friendships.
Check out her Critique Services here, her Workshops here, and her school visits page here.
Rosie is represented by Jessica Schmeilder of Golden Wheat Literary.