I meet most children’s book authors online these days; on blogs, face book and twitter. I met Renée Hand online through another online friend who probably met her online too. She has authored a series of adventure chapter books for kids that have done well on SlimyBookworm.com and has been in the children’s book writing business for a while and has a lot to share about being an author and making a living from your work.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing for over 25 years, for me it started when I was a child. It was a way for me to express myself and my feelings. After that, my writing began to evolve and change into the way I wanted to read books. I wanted my stories to be full of heart and soul, to be mysterious and to have good relatable characters. But I also wanted to educate, involve and satisfy the reader, having them get everything out of my stories that I am putting into it. My stories are never vacant, but full of life and meaning.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me about 6 months or less to write a book.
3. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I will do lots of research and/or travel to where my characters are going. I love history and learning about fascinating places and things.
4. When did you write your first book?
I wrote my first book in 2006.
5. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy spending time with my children and playing tennis.
6. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have been an author for 8 years. My first book was a romance novel; from there I have progressed into writing children’s books. Now I have 10 books published with 3 more on the way this year alone. I have also won 5 awards for my books. I love them all.
7. What is your perspective on the present and the future of publishing industry from the view of a published author?
I think the author has to adapt and change with the industry. The author carries many roles they have to get used to doing. We are not just writers anymore but salesman, self promoters, and marketers.
8. What advice do you have for aspiring children’s book authors?
If writing is your dream, then follow it and don’t give up on it. I love being an author and all that it entails. Just keep in mind that there are no easy ways to do something and writing a book is an investment in time and money. Know what you are getting into before deciding to write a book because you feel that it would make a good story. Realize that books don’t sell themselves.
This is a tough business and there are many new books coming out everyday. Understand who you are trying to connect with and start building a platform for yourself, getting people already interested in you and your product, building credibility. Depending on your needs and desires there are many publishers out there who can fulfill your dreams, both big and small. Be open to everything that’s out there and look at the bigger picture.
Thanks for sharing your insights, Renée.
Renee’s crypto-carper titles on SlimyBookworm.com include:
- Case of the Missing Sock
- The Case of the Red Rock Canyon
- The Chest of Mystery
- The Legend of the Golden Monkey