Why I Write Children’s Books by Amberly Kristen Clowe
We’re continuing our series this week with insight and inspiration from our fourteen authors. We asked each of them a variation of the question, Why do you write children’s books? and we loved their answers. We think you will too! We will continue sharing the authors’ thoughts with you each week here on the blog. So, get comfy, grab a glass of sweet tea, and be inspired.
Teeny Sweeney, the main character in my Teeny Sweeney series, was inspired by my love of characters like Ramona Quimby, Pippi Longstocking, and Junie B. Jones. They have such fresh, interesting and often hilarious perspectives. I have always been able to relate to a well-meaning heart, but bumbling execution. I’ve been known to put my foot in my mouth a time or two—million. Awkward is pretty much my middle name, but that’s okay, because there can be such beauty and joy in the journey, as wild as it may be. So, yeah, these characters are my girls.
Even so, the Teeny Sweeney series is different than the above-mentioned series. The scripture and faith-based values within really do set it apart. The funny thing is, the first draft of Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash, the first book in the series, had no scripture in it. Zilch. During editing was when I really felt God inspiring me to add scripture, and what was so interesting, is that I didn’t change any scenes when I added the scripture. The fluidity of this was such a God-thing to me.
I also had very little expectation that Teeny Sweeney would find a publishing house. I knew the chapter book market was (is) stiff competition and many agents and publishers, at the time, were flat-out not interested in acquiring new chapter books. Now, add some Christian values to that, and I so didn’t think it would go anywhere. Unfortunately, I was putting limits on what God could do. Nonetheless, I felt compelled to at least try, and when I connected with the #FaithPitch Twitter party through a friend, I was absolutely floored that a Christian publisher wanted not just the book, but the series. Rachel Pellegrino, founder of Little Lamb Books, already had true vision for Teeny. (Not to mention, the first time I spoke to Rachel, it was like speaking to a close friend.) Truly, the quick timeline, from first thought to sold manuscript, was nothing short of incredible.
For me, Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash is one of those stories that feels like home. I am very appreciative to God for getting to share it with others.
I can not wait to share the next one. Did I mention I’m working on the third?
God is good, y’all.