Our special guest today is Nancy Stewart, author of the bestselling children’s picture book, One Pelican at a Time. We’ll talk to Nancy about her writing, what led her to write this book, and what’s up next.
Welcome, Nancy. It’s great to have you here. Can you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
Writing children’s books was not my original career. Rather, I taught about them—Children’s and Young Adult Literature as a professor of education. I also used them constantly as an elementary teacher but only began writing them about five years ago. A bit of a late bloomer in the literary world.
What does it feel like to release your first book?
The depth of feeling to see the book in print was astounding. It surprised me to react so strongly. And then, as our fickle minds will do, it was on to the next one in the series!
What is this book about and what inspired you to write it?
The book, One Pelican at a Time, is the story of two girls, Bella and Britt, who love living by the beach. During an oil spill, however, they realize their old friend, the crooked beak pelican, is in grave danger. The girls, after having been told by adults that kids can do nothing to help, take matters into their own hands and try to save him from the oily gulf.
Were there any special obstacles or challenges you faced during the publishing process?
As we were rushing to be the first children’s book about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, my publisher, Lynda Burch, of Guardian Angel Publishing, set ourselves a frenetic pace to accomplish that, the whole time with fingers and toes crossed, by the way. We did it, and Pelican is the first one out!
Did you write any of yourself into a character or characters in the book?
I certainly didn’t intentionally do that, but as we are all a combination of our experiences and individual humanity, I suppose it’s a given that I did. In thinking about your question, I can see some of me in each of the girls. (Let’s hope it’s the good parts!)
What is your favorite part of the book?
My absolutely unequivocal favorite part of the book is this: Britt and Bella run down the beach toward the clean-up crew, trying desperately to get help for the oiled pelican. The crew chief, on bended knee, replies, “Ah, I know that old bird. Let’s go get him.”
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
So far, it is sold at: www.guardianangelpublishing.com , www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.indiebound.org
What is up next for you?
I am hard at work on the biography of an eleven year old girl. Sorry, I can’t say anymore about it for now.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
For those new and aspiring authors out there: “Just keep writing. Honing your craft is much of what it’s about—that and always persevering.”
Thanks for spending time with us today, Nancy. We wish you continued success.