Over the summer, we reviewed the book Moonbeam Dreams by Gina Browning. You’ll find that review here. We’re thrilled to have Gina back during her virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion to discuss the challenges of writing for children.
“The Challenges of Writing for Children” by Gina Browning
While I am by no means, an expert, I believe that writing for children is not at all challenging, if you can get in touch with your inner child or at least some of the happiest times in your childhood. This is not easy as we get older and more and more stressed by events in our everyday lives, but if we can just relax and open up, the inspiration can come.
This usually happens for me as I’m in the shower, or just before I drift off to sleep, or during that state that is between wakefulness and sleep; in the wee hours of the morning. I start pondering the story or poem that I’m working on, and invariably the ideas come to me. Of course, if I don’t jot things down as I’m thinking of them, they’ll soon disappear.
The initial version of my book, Moonbeam Dreams, was a bit of a different story though. In 1993, I was at my father’s house, recuperating from major surgery, when the poetry and images began flowing freely every time I closed my eyes. I guess the anesthesia helped to remove walls and blockages and essentially opened up the creative process for me again. I had all sorts of fantasy images and fantastical verse just pouring right out of my head. I couldn’t close my eyes without more and more verses coming to me.
Then the initial story sat on the back-burner for several years while I worked at my jewelry business, worked other jobs, taught several jewelry classes per year, raised two kids, moved internationally several times, etc, etc, but eventually I was able to devote much more time to the book. I elaborated on and lengthened most of the verses, worked on the illustrations, tried to keep things creative, funny and interesting, and I added other verses with other weird and wonderful animals, situations, and scenes.
It took quite a long time to find a literary agent and eventually a publisher, but with the internet I was eventually successful. When my book content was edited, the editor voiced concern that some of the words that I used were too advanced for young readers, or that the phrasing was too difficult for young readers to say out loud. But I didn’t want to make it too “elementary.” I wanted it to be just a bit educational and interesting and something that young readers could “grow in to.” I also wanted it to be clever and entertaining for adult readers as well. I think that the alliteration in some verses and the intricate rhyming mechanics and imagery will keep kids and adults, alike, entertained each time they read it. Dr. Seuss was one of my favorite authors when I was a child. Even he used words and phrasing that was sometimes too complicated for a very young reader. But I enjoyed the challenges, and grew into those stories. I’m very hopeful that, soon, many other readers will enjoy my book in the same way.
Gina C. Browning, October 12, 2009
Gina C. Browning is a creative, independent thinking, married mother of 2 adopted children and has been living her dreams for as long as she can remember. She is from Texas, but due to her husband’s job, moved to Australia with her husband and 17 month old son, Ryan, in 1989. Since then, they have moved internationally (because of her husband’s work) 4 more times, with a few domestic moves thrown in for good measure. In 1997 she and her husband adopted their daughter, Raechel, from China.
Having graduated from North Texas State University in 1979, with a BFA in “Metal craft and Jewellery”, Gina has been a professional jewellery designer/maker for the better part of 30+ years, and has written poetry, on the side, since she was a child. She is currently living in Australia (for the 3rd time), with her husband and daughter, where her dreams continue to inspire creativity. Her son, now 21 years old, no longer lives at home.
Gina’s book, Moonbeam Dreams, can be found at: http://www.eloquentbooks.com/MoonbeamDreams.html
You can visit Gina’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com during the month of November to find out more about this great book and its talented author.
Bookmark & Share