Books by Rose Rosie Russell Children's Books Author Illustrator
 
   Allow me to introduce to you a special author I met awhile back, Jennifer Milius! 
Jennifer is also a Motivational Speaker and a Radio Host!
    Welcome Jennifer and thank you for this interview!!

How long have you been writing children's books?

   That’s a great question! Although I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a young child, I started writing children’s books during the summer of 2011. The first story I wrote was actually the third book I published, Einstein & Moo and the Quest for the Catnip. It went through several iterations while I also worked on the first two books of the series, Einstein and the Leaf and Moo and the Case of the Mistaken Identity.

What inspired you to start writing them?

   First, let me tell you a little about the two characters, as they are our family’s real-life brother and sister tuxedo kitties, Einstein and Moo.  We adopted them in 2009 when they were about three and half months old.  They have brought our family so much joy! They are loving, sweet, and curious, but they have very different personalities. Einstein is quite talkative and will talk even more when it is close to mealtime; sometimes, he will play fetch.  Moo squeaks more than meows, and she loves to hide underneath the coffee table and wave one paw at your feet, like the monster under the bed.

   It originally started as a creative outlet to make up stories from their perspectives, especially considering they are indoor kitties. What might they think when they see a hummingbird go to the feeder by the window? What might they say to the squirrel or skink venturing on the porch during their backyard watch?  My husband would play along, and we would create some funny dialogues.  So, during that summer, I decided to take some of the ideas that I was verbally creating and put them to paper.  The first three stories started out as poems with minimal punctuation just because that was how I preferred to read them, unless there was dialogue or a specific inflection was needed, then appropriate punctuation was used.  

   As I was tweaking and polishing Einstein and the Leaf and Moo and the Case of the Mistaken Identity, I started to shift my thinking about how to turn them into published books and proceeded to figure how to make it happen.  For instance, I wanted to introduce each kitty individually, and then together, so the fact that the third story was still being revised was good.  

I see you have someone else illustrate your books. What advice would you give other authors that are looking for an illustrator?

   That’s correct. My stickmen are wonderful, but I wanted something more for the Einstein and Moo series.  Before I share some advice, let me share a little background for perspective.

   The first publisher I approached was concerned that there were no pictures and said I should find a friend or family member to do them for me.  I knew some talented people and reached out to them, but they all declined. They did not feel they could do the stories justice, but I continued to keep my ears open to new opportunities and eyes open to beautiful talent.  I also took each door closing as moving me forward to where I was supposed to be and not as rejection. At face value, it was a form of rejection, but I did not take it as a deterrent from my goal.

   After a couple of years and lots of “doors” ☺, but I connected with my publisher, who in turn, connected me with my illustrator.  It was important to me that the illustrations looked real because the kitties are real. I included pictures of the kitties to show what they look like and my publisher helped me by providing samples from various illustrators to see how they would capture a part of the story and the kitties. My illustrator not only captured Einstein and Moo's look beautifully, but also their personalities.  When I saw the samples, I saw love, and that was important to me. I knew I found the right person for my stories.

   So for advice, I would say: 


   Stay true to your vision.  There are many talented people, but you will know you found the right illustrator when you get that little feeling inside that lets you know this is the right step.  You will find the right publisher, illustrator, and path for you.
  • Read a lot – different genres, different authors. The different styles will help you improve your abilities as well as better articulate what you would like from an illustrator.
  • Be open to feedback
  • Don't give up
  • You can do anything you set your mind to – tell yourself positive things and really believe what you say
  • Take each door closing as moving you forward to where you are supposed to be - not as rejection

What is your biggest challenge/challenges being a children's author? 

   From the business perspective, I am challenged by how to increase marketing in an effective and efficient manner, but I see it more as an opportunity to creatively reach readers.  From a writing perspective, I am trying my hand at non-picture book writing, and there are times when I question myself, especially when I feel stumped or something isn't flowing. Writing about the kitties comes very easily to me. So when I feel stumped with other writing, I take a break from working on that piece and focus on another part of the business (i.e. read, lining up events, radio show, marketing, blog). I try it from a different angle, like changing the point of view or writing from a different point in the story. I also make sure that I am kind to myself by recognizing I'm doing the best I can do. I tend to think we can be our own worst critics, so sometimes the inner editor needs to be silenced until you are ready for that voice/helper to come out.  When I feel the inner critic, I will color or journal about what is on my mind, then when something starts to flow for the story I was working on, I'll resume that writing. I think it is important to make sure the inner dialogue going on is reminding you of your positive attributes. Let those positive thoughts encourage you, just like you would want them to do if you said them to a dear friend.

 

 Last but not least, I see you are not only an author, but also a Motivational Speaker and a Radio Host? Can you tell us more about that?

   Sure! Encouraging people is one of my passions. I believe that each of us have something special to offer, but sometimes it takes a leap of faith to be willing to share that gift. I think this belief started when I was three.  I was in the children’s choir at my church, and one Sunday we were going to sing “This Little Light of Mine” during a service. We were all told to put one finger in the air while we sang these lyrics: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”.  My parents said I was the one who dared to be different by putting my whole arm in the air while wiggling it and my hips while I sang, grinning from ear to ear. I let my little light shine that day and believe that when we are following our passions, our little light shines because we radiate the joy we feel. We feel empowered and that what we are doing is adding value.

   So writing, co-hosting the radio show with my friend and fellow author Doug Huggins, and doing speaking engagements are extensions of that passion.  On our radio show, Encouraging the You in Success, we talk about concepts and applications around employee engagement, understanding and leveraging individual strengths, effective communications, and process improvement efforts while considering both a personal and a business perspective.  Whether you are an individual contributor or team leader, a spouse or your child’s team coach, you can make a positive difference in all your endeavors, and our show is about enabling people to do that.  

   Sometimes the encouragement needed is not about sharing your gift, but coming through uncertain times. Change can be difficult, even if the change is expected.

   I believe that our thoughts are powerful and that it makes a difference what we tell ourselves, so I focus on positive, encouraging thoughts. Being able to engage with people and offer support and encouragement to others has enabled that light in me to shine brighter than before.

Thank you for your interview Jennifer! You are so inspiring! 
Rosie 




Click on the links below to find Jennifer's website and books.

website: www.jennifermilius.com
Facebook: /authorjennifermilius
Twitter: /AuthorJenMilius
Blog: www.jennifermilius.blogspot.com
Google: google.com/+JenniferMilius
LinkedIn: /JenniferMilius
Goodreads: /AuthorJenniferMilius
Instagram:/authorjennifermilius
Pinterest:/jenmilius
email: author.jennifer.milius@gmail.com

In addition to my website, my books are available at the following locations (I’ve included the links to my works directly):

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Milius/e/B00O5A55JM/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Waterstones
https://www.waterstones.com/books/search/term/jennifer+milius

Barnes and Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Jennifer+Milius?_requestid=199504

Books A Million
http://booksamillion.com/search?id=6689374733564&query=Jennifer+Milius&where=All

Rocket Science Productions (Publisher)
http://www.shop.rsplaunchpad.com/searchquick-submit.sc?keywords=Jennifer+Milius

 


Comments

03/31/2017 7:16am

Writing a novel or any literary piece is a complex process which needs both your expertise in the field and fresh ideas which would not bore your readers. It's hard to please your audience. What would you do to make your writings stand up and be different? Children's books are a lot more complicated. You have to be more observant and sensitive to their developing minds and emotions. My aunt is a great writer of novels and she said that children's books give her a hard time in writing and finishing it.

Reply
03/31/2017 9:29am

Hello,

I couldn't agree more. Writing can be very hard and complex.

Children's stories can be much harder to write.

Many say, "Oh, that must be easy since the lack of words that are involved." This is further from the truth.

One has to think of the reading level on which the target age is intended for.

They have to know the likes and dislikes of the reader at that age.

They also have to make it as visual as possible, leading the reader to see what is happening in the story but not telling too much.

The grammar has to be perfect as young readers are learning new words and punctuation.

Thank you for your comment and feedback today.
Have a great weekend,
Rosie

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04/13/2017 11:55pm

Glad to read about JENNIFER MILIUS a multi talented woman . Her personality is very charming like her fantastic works. I just love the way you write. Your writing have something really interesting and charming.

Reply
04/14/2017 6:49am

Hello, thank you for stopping by today and leaving your kind words about Jennifer and her work.
I agree, she's very talented. :)

Have a great weekend,
Rosie

Reply
04/14/2017 6:49am

Hello, thank you for stopping by today and leaving your kind words about Jennifer and her work.
I agree, she's very talented. :)

Have a great weekend,
Rosie

Reply
04/22/2017 4:43am

Articulation approach of author is very particular. I misplaced in my mind after I read out first few strains of this weblog. yes, really impressively converted articles offered through writer. He can upload one extra follower to his listing.

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04/27/2017 11:07pm

Quite talented person she is.

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04/28/2017 7:28am

Thank you for your kind words for Jennifer.

Rosie

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04/28/2017 12:45am

One woman many talents.

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04/28/2017 7:29am

Yes, Jennifer is very talented in many ways.

Thank you for your kind words.

Rosie

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05/02/2017 11:03pm

Nice sharing.

Reply
05/03/2017 7:32am

Thank you! Glad that you enjoyed.

Rosie

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this is simply best to observe content material material of this weblog. A is very great and big knowledgeable platform has been given by this blog. I virtually understand this blog to has such type of educational information.

Reply
05/04/2017 5:49am

Thank you for your input.

Rosie

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05/05/2017 12:39am

Thanks for sharing.

Reply
05/05/2017 5:44am

Thank you for stopping by to read my interview with author Jennifer Milius.

Rosie

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06/15/2017 2:04am

I love how you really sticked to writing children's books with illustrations. It's incredible to see authors still willing to reach out to children and present them with colorful books and stories. It takes passion to be stick into the industry where children are involved. One does not usually have the patience to be with the children in their line of work. It tells a lot of character about you, because of the things that you do.

Reply
06/15/2017 5:23am

Thank you for stopping by with your comment for author Jennifer Milius.
Writing for children is not as easy as one thinks. Jennifer's books are adorable, with engaging illustrations. I'm glad you enjoyed this interview.
Thanks again,
Rosie

Reply
07/06/2017 9:19pm

thanks for this information.

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Books by Rose Rosie Russell Children's Books Author Illustrator