Today I have a great interview for you all. Connie Arnold has a new picture book out. It’s called Olive and the Great Flood and I jumped at the chance to join her blog tour. First, I want to say the illustrations done by Kathleen Bullock are beautiful. The story of Olive (the dove Noah sent to find dry ground) published by Guardian Angel Publishing is a charming rhymer with gorgeous art that pops. Check out that gorgeous cover.
Olive doesn’t say a word (of course), but she is a well thought out character. I loved reading this delightful Bible story again and again and you will too. Olive keeps the other animals on the ark calm by lulling them to sleep with soft, peaceful songs.
It’s a joyful, rhythmic, fun picture book that children will want to read over and over again. Olive and the Great Flood is sure to become a classic.
So please welcome Connie.
Connie, Olive and the Great Flood is so fun to read. Where did you get the idea to write it?
The thought just sort of popped into my head when I was thinking about Noah, the ark and the flood, about what an important part the dove had in the story. Along with that was the thought of pictures of a dove with the olive branch or leaf in its mouth depicting peace, and Olive came to life as a peaceful bird who wanted to help the other animals.
You had to be excited to find out that Kathleen was going to be the illustrator. Did you all talk about the art? Did she ask for your opinions?
I had only seen book covers and a few illustrations that Kathleen had done and am thrilled at how her illustrations for Olive and the Great Flood turned out! As with my two previous books, I provided the text, the publisher provided the illustrator, who did the art. I never saw any until all was finished. A most pleasant surprise!
Do you have plans for future stories taken from the Bible?
There is nothing specific I have planned at this time. I would love to write something else but need to get the inspiration first. I do have another book coming from Guardian Angel Publishing, but it is not a Bible story and will be my first without rhymes.
Can you tell us about your experience writing this particular picture book? How long did t take you to finish it? Did the words just spill out onto the page? *wink*
Good one, Robyn! It really didn’t take long to write the first draft. Then I kept reading it, putting it aside for a while, reading again, making changes, then submitted to critique group, who made several suggestions. Writing a children’s book is always challenging, but when you are doing it in rhyme with rhythms that must be perfect, that steps up the challenge considerably!
You make writing picture books look so easy with your wonderful stories. You know that I know it just ain’t easy. Ha. But please, some words of wisdom for the writers who are reading this.
There are a few things I think are important to keep in mind: get your thoughts down when you have the inspiration and don’t wait; once it is written you can go back and do the proofreading and corrections; have someone else read it and give you their opinion; put it aside for a while and come back to it fresh; and read it aloud to yourself or someone else.
Best and worst part of being a writer?
Best is the positive feedback when you discover that someone loves what you wrote, and worst is having a great story going and getting stuck and unable to finish it satisfactorily.
Connie, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story with us.
It has been my pleasure, Robyn! Thank you for being a valuable part of my tour for Olive and the Great Flood. I will check in for comments and to answer any questions that someone might have.
You heard that, y'all. Ask away. Don't forget, you'll be entered into the giveaways.
Thanks for reading!
Links for book:
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Olive-Great-Flood-Connie-Arnold/dp/1616335920/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423498341&sr=1-8&keywords=connie+arnold
Guardian Angel Publishing - http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/olive.htm
Connie’s blog for tour schedule and prizes - http://childrensauthorconniearnold.blogspot.com
Those who comment will be entered to drawings for two prizes, a copy of my first children’s book, Animal Sound Mix-up, and a gold dove windchime.