1. What was the inspiration for your children’s book?
There is a cabin resort in the North Georgia Mountains that has beautiful
scenery. John’s relatives used to own it and his family would visit there in his youth. He always felt like it was magical. John and I rented a cabin for our honeymoon. There were fewer distractions. No drama. It felt like being closer to God. It was very peaceful.
2. When did you take up writing?
John started writing adventure stories in comic book format when
he was secondary school. He wrote comic book adventures about his childhood friends. I had a desire to write romance stories in high school. I excelled in English and Literature through out my education.
3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
It’s extremely important to convey the scenery and warmth that we felt while on our while in the North Georgia Mountains. We want the reader to feel the same awe and pleasure that you experience when visiting the mountains. The
illustrations are very close and in some places identical to photos we took while visiting.
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current children’s book?
Finnethy is John’s favourite character. The character is very imaginative and witty. Finnethy’s actions are loosely based on our son. I adore them all and love to see them come to life when I colour the illustrations.
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
John says, “Write what you know.” Bobbi says, “If you call
yourself a writer, never stop writing.”
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
Since we do both writing and illustration, the timing for this is different. With a busy family of two children and a dog, the writing is done usually on the run. John will bring his note pad alone and write what comes to mind. I proofread it after he has typed it. The drawing of the images for the children’s books can’t be done on the run. John will sit at his art desk and
draw for hours on end and often ignore all else around him until it is complete. I have to the same thing with the colouring and effects to the images. This is the most time consuming process of creating the books.
7. Are you plotters or do you tend to wing it?
We are both plotters. There are some instances during the plotting process that ideas flow and dialog has to be written down before it’s gone. The plotting process tends to eliminate the ever frustrating writer’s block.
8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
We have to do market research on other children’s book so we do quite a bit of reading. The Bible is our main source for lessons to teach the children how to respond to difficult circumstances that they may not currently understand.
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
We have 5 books we are working on right now for the Big Cabin Country Critters collection. Each story contains a different Biblical lesson to help kids learn why they are important to God. In these first few books, we hope
to capture the essence of the scenic beauty as experienced in each season, from the bright greens of spring to the crisp browns and oranges of fall! We are working hard to learn from the experience of finishing each book and making the
next one better than the one before. Together we are learning new techniques in digital colouring. In a lot of ways, we compliment one another. John will express an idea for creating an effect that he can’t manage to execute that I
can make it happen but I never would have thought of trying it with out his imagination.
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
There will be challenges and road blocks, but never give up until it’s published. It took us 2 years from the time we conceived the characters and story to publish a book in print and digital formats.