Her blog, Children’s Bookroom, will launch on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. As a retired teacher-librarian and reading teacher, she is an advocate of children’s literacy. According to the 2015 Nation’s Report Card, only 36% of 4th grade students and 38% of 8th grade students read at grade level (http://www.nationsreportcard.gov). With these staggering statistics, it becomes imperative to introduce a rigorous literacy program for children’s development between kindergarten and second grade. The goal of her blog will introduce literacy issues children encounter and recommend books to inspire and motivate children to read despite any obstacles. To subscribe to her blog, please visit her website: www.vanessafortenberry.com
So glad to have you as our guest, Vanessa! Let’s get right to the first question:
What books have fortified you as a writer? How?
Vanessa: So many books have fortified me as a writer. However, there are three that stand out for me: Write His Answer: A Bible Study for Christian Writers by Marlene Bagnull; Sowing Seeds: Writing for the Christian Children’s Market by Kathleen M. Muldoon; and Writing So Heaven Will Be Different compiled by Joyce K. Ellis and Tammie Edington Shaw.
In 2010, I hit the road running when I heard God’s call to write children’s books. I responded with a resolved “Yes” and launched my writing career. Habakkuk 2:2 states: The LORD responded: “Write down this message! Record it legibly on tablets, so the one who announces it may read it easily (NET). The book, Write His Answer . . . aligned with the previous stated scripture confirmed the message that God indeed called me to pen my Christian stories. In addition, meeting Ms. Bagnull in 2014 encouraged me and fueled my mission as an author to write His answer.
Many people believe that writing for children is easy. Quite the contrary; writing for children is quite challenging. Sowing Seeds . . . is a great how-to book that provides writing exercises, information about the publishing and marketing industry, and other essential writing nuggets. This gem of a book gave me practical advice for writing for children and spoke to me spiritually, so that my writing would sow faith-building seeds into children.
Writing for me, breathes a multifaceted life filled with hard work and sometimes isolation. Yet, I find it to be the most exciting and exhilarating career. In this profession, I have met some awesome people, especially at writing conferences. However, one conference, which I regretfully have never attended, is the Write to Publish. The book, Writing So Heaven Will Be Different is a compilation of success stories and testimonies written by previous attendees of the Write to Publish conference. The stories inspired and encouraged me to keep writing; no matter the challenges. I wake up to a new morning each day; motivated to write so that heaven will indeed be different for me as a writer, and most of all for my readers!
You have a great attitude and those sound like three inspiring writing books. I’ve read the one by Marlene Bagnull and I loved it. Now…
What secret talents do you have?
Vanessa: My secret talent is an events coordinator. While I am not advertising for a job in this area, I believe I excel when organizing events: such as literacy or music programs at schools, church, book launch parties, and even for my own retirement party.
Cool talent. Maybe one day you’ll coordinate a writers conference 🙂
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Vanessa: Guest coming to my house for dinner would feast on a fare of seafood galore. I would prepare fried or sautéed fish, shrimp, crab legs, and lobster, along with a salad and vegetables. Of course, one would not leave my home without a homemade dessert, such as lemon pound cake, key lime cake, crème cheese pound cake, brownies, and/or cookies. In addition, a refreshing tall glass of my iced peach tea will complement the entire meal!
Yum! And I especially love hot cookies fresh out of the oven so I’ll arrive early. Thanks again for the visit, Vanessa! And make sure you check out her new blog when it launches May 4th…
Vanessa has offered a paperback copy of her children’s book, Mama, I Want to See God, to one blessed person who leaves a comment.
More about the author and her book.
An inspirational author and speaker, Vanessa Fortenberry penned the children’s verse story, Mama, I Want to See God (BQB Publishing). This story is the first book in the series, Families Growing in Faith. Be on the lookout for the publication of Daddy, I Want to Know God in April of 2017. Vanessa is also a contributor to the book, Relief Notes: Encouraging Letters for Tough Times written by the Christian Authors Guild. She also writes a quarterly e-newsletter, “Connecting Readers to the Word.” Vanessa savors the moments she spends with her family and friends. She is most relaxed when in her kitchen baking delicious desserts for her loved ones. You can visit her at www.vanessafortenberry.com, Twitter, or Facebook.
Do I look like God? Where can I see Him? Wanting to connect more with God, a child asks his mother these questions and more in this rhyming verse book. In answer, Mother’s tender and patient responses model God’s love. At the story’s end, Mother has answered all of the questions, letting the child have a true connection with God. The purity of children and the spirituality of all cultures radiate in this touching story.