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!
If you'd like to support our featured authors/illustrators you can do so by following them on Twitter, requesting their book through your local library, posting reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and of course, purchasing their books.
I hope you enjoyed this post — comments and shares are appreciated. Thank you!
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 multi-published, award-winning children's author and kid lit Writing Coach. She's the creator of Picture Book Mastery System™ that is proven to help emerging children's writers advance their career and get closer to their publishing goals.
Rosie's latest picture book, Sunday Rain, was featured in The New York Times and recommended by Parents magazine. Her upcoming picture book, The School of Failure: A Story About Success will be released in the spring of 2022 in both China and the USA.
Rosie also loves to visit schools and her interactive workshops empower students to unleash their creativity and grow in confidence through reading, writing, and creating. Teachers and librarians love Rosie for her bubbly, upbeat personality which captures students' attention, encourages them to think creatively, and motivates them to pursue big dreams.
She has been featured on TV, radio, podcasts, and print media, and also speaks on women's and moms’ topics, sharing her journey from a Bulgarian immigrant to a published author.
Find out more about Rosie's online courses, mentorships, and her work by visiting her website: RosieJPova.com
Check out her Critique Services here, her Workshops here, and her school visits page here.
Rosie is represented by Jennifer Herrington of Harvey Klinger Literary.