Welcome, Becky. What has drawn you to writing for children?
Having been an elementary teacher and later a principal, and reading aloud to eight grandchildren these days, I can’t put enough emphasis on the benefits and the joy of reading aloud to young ones. So naturally, as I set about to capture a true family story into book form, I just knew my target audience would be children.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was a young mother, I cheered for my four daughters at swim meets and ran them back and forth for swim practice. As for me, I never learned to swim as a child, so I finally took swim lessons as a young mother many years ago. In the summer of 2019, I told my adult daughters, “It’s my turn!” I entered the Rocky Mountain State Games for two swimming events as a 65-year-old grandmother—it was great, and yes, a little quirky for me!
Way to go! When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I don’t know that I can pinpoint a specific time in my life. But what I do know is that I taught 6th and 8th grade writing classes, and I realized that my own writing kept improving.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy reading historical and contemporary fiction and biographies as well as romance. And I very much enjoy reading children’s books, even to myself!
I love reading good children’s books, too. What other books have you written, whether published or not?
Talitha, the Traveling Skirt is my only published book to date, although I have a companion book ready to submit for publication,
, the Traveling Harmonica. I have also
written A Dog’s Best Friend which is
unpublished at this time. Harvey
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I would say my age has naturally slowed me down and I can’t argue with my age! As I have put on the brakes, I can now invest more time into my family and hobbies, and especially reading, all of which keep me sane and stable.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
I would have to say that I am most proud of the publication of my first children’s book, Talitha, the Traveling Skirt. I was able to preserve a true family story which was my goal.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I really just want to be a human being, myself, Becky, as the way God made me. But I think this is a fun question for the imagination! If I could become a bird, I would enjoy the “bird’s eye view” looking down upon the world.
What is your favorite food?
I have so many favorite foods, but I will have to go with pork chops.
Is it hard to break into the children’s market?
I really don’t know. I submitted Talitha, the Traveling Skirt only one time to one publisher, Elk Lake Publishing Inc., and they offered me a contract within a month. It was a lucky break for me, or really, I should say it was a blessing.
What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
I would encourage all potential children’s book authors to not give up. If one publisher rejects, try another. And Indie and self-publishing paths are great options as well.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
There is a story behind the story of Talitha, the Traveling Skirt, which can be found on my website at www.beckyvanvleet.com. We have had a little skirt traveling around in our family since 1948, more than 70 years, three generations. To create an imaginary tale appealing to children, I personified the skirt as the main character. My very talented illustrator, Courtney Smith, captures the passage of time in her detailed illustrations. My children’s book sparks imagination, family traditions, children, adventure, and family life, and is geared for ages 3-8. The story ends with simple discussion questions, and I believe wholesome family discussions about traditions and family life will be generated when this book is used as a read-aloud.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can find me on FB, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn as well as my website at www.beckyvanvleet.com. The tagline for my website is “Where Creating and Preserving Memories Happen.” If you are into family memories, traditions, connecting one generation to another, please check out my website! I welcome your family ideas so that I can share with my readers. As a baby boomer, I believe it is important for my generation to encourage the generations after us to share stories and create new traditions.
Thank you, Becky, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me.
Readers, here are links to the book.Talitha, the Traveling Skirt - Paperback
Talitha, the Traveling Skirt - Hardback
Talitha, the Traveling Skirt - Kindle
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