Thank you for joining us, Jeanne. Please tell us a little about your latest book, Annabella’s Crown.
Annabella’s Crown, narrated by the royal cat, is a parable for children about developing a loving relationship with God. Princess Annabella and her sisters receive jewels from the king. When gems start disappearing, her sisters seek answers. Annabella doesn’t care for mysteries – until her sisters discover jewels on their crowns.
What an interesting premise. Were there any surprises during the research or writing of your book?
What surprised me most while writing Annabella’s Crown was how effective and fun it was using a royal cat with attitude as our narrator. Making Leopold the narrator solved the problem of staying in one viewpoint while following the activities of three princesses.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope readers will understand more about the amazing relationship we can have with God because of Jesus. God’s love is unconditional. We can’t earn God’s love, but our relationship with Him grows through our obedience. Also, He has different jobs for each of us, based on the gifts He has given us. So when we use those gifts to serve Him, obeying is not difficult.
Such critical truth for us to remember. Has God used the message of your book in your own life?
I used to compare myself with others, thinking I wasn’t good enough. Sometimes I became jealous of what others got to do that I didn’t. Then I realized God gave me exactly the right gifts to serve Him the ways He wants me to. Serving God with the talents He gave me brings me great joy.
Was anything particularly challenging in writing this book?
The greatest challenge in writing Annabella’s Crown was discovering what type of book it should be. In its dozens of iterations, Annabella’s Crown has been a shorter picture book, a chapter book, and now a longer, illustrated storybook. My daughter (my coauthor) and I found the sweet spot when we allowed the story to remain at its current length.
Are there themes you return to again and again in your writing?
When I was in college, I believed all the unbiblical propaganda many of my professors taught. I wasted several years believing lies. Therefore, biblical truth and developing a deeper relationship with God have always been the main themes of my writing. For children, I incorporate these themes into entertaining stories.
Has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
Although writing has been a major part of my Christian life, I believe my relationship with Christ has affected my writing more than writing has affected my Christian life. Writing is a way for me to communicate truth while informing and entertaining my readers. I also use writing as a tool to help me think through life’s issues.
What other ministries besides writing are you involved in, and why?
I teach Sunday school to children in grades three through six. I do it because I want to help the next generation learn to defend their faith by understanding why we believe the Bible.
My ministry, Heritage of Truth, exists to help families nurture lifelong confidence in biblical truth. For ten years, we have tried to fulfill that goal through interviews, blog posts, online articles, and downloadable resources.
I am also passionately involved in foreign missions because everyone needs the truth of the gospel.
What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
I am a singer/songwriter and the illustrator of Annabella’s Crown. I especially enjoy painting with watercolors and sharing the truths of God’s Word through music.
Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
I don’t have pets in my home, but I thoroughly enjoy my grand kitties. They were the models for Leopold, the feline narrator of Annabella’s Crown.
I’m sure you must have another project in the wings. Can you tell us about it?
Matt’s Compusonic is scheduled for release early in 2022. Matt receives a new video game for his birthday. Unfortunately, Matt’s videogame obsession could cost his baseball team the championship. This humorous story reminds children of their power to choose an active life over one continually in front of a screen.