We spoke with Adventist writer and author, Karen Spruill, about her latest children’s book.
Editor – Karen you are a seasoned writer have written for numerous journals, magazines, etc. And I appreciate the weekly blog that you write for Answers For Me. But lately you’ve been writing some children’s books, and have just released a new one this week. What motivates you to write for children?
Spruill – I loved books as a child and I still enjoy the art and stories in children’s books. Earlier in life I had some editorial positions with several children’s magazines, plus writing stories. When I started working as a children’s therapist, I enjoyed creative ways to engage them in healing play. After I got my rescue dog, I wanted to tell stories about him that would help children as though he was their “therapy dog on paper.” Puppies and children have a lot in common! And now I have a grandson to read with and share stories.
Editor – Tell us about your book that has just come out.
Spruill – Scribble Dee Sophie was inspired by my own daughter and the fun we had with art as she grew. We are fortunate to have numerous family members with artistic talent. We have all used our love of beauty in diverse ways.
All Sophie wants to do is draw, and that can be a problem at times. Budding artists can get discouraged by things that other people say about their work or future success. I want children to see that there is hope for their talent as they mature. I also found that information about children’s art development can be helpful for parents and teachers. So this book combines a colorful children’s story with sidebars about art development. Then I wrote my talented illustrator into the end of the story from his real life work visiting schools with his art. Artists and writers need inspiration from mentors. I like what Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist.” Imagination and creativity should be nurtured and cherished!
Editor – You have written another book for children. Tell us about that one and where both of them can be purchased.
Spruill – My first children’s book was Teddy Tales; the adventures of a rescue puppy and his friends. Teddy is my real-live rescue dog who inspired these stories. I thought of writing the book since Teddy and lots of children are from mixed heritage–but that isn’t the most important thing in life! Teddy has experienced a lot of fun and problems similar to what children experience: going to school, making friends, eating something bad and going to the doctor, staying overnight away from home, going on vacation, having a bad haircut, being afraid, getting new family members, etc.
I have worked as a child therapist in the past and I wanted Teddy to be a “therapy dog on paper” for 4-10 year-olds. Parents, teachers and counselors can read along with the kids and use discussion questions at the end of each chapter. There is also space for kids to draw at the end of each chapter. I plan to write a second volume of Teddy Tales.
Editor – Wonderful. I love it. And I see that your books can be purchased on Amazon. Thank you for mixing your love for art, children pets and writing into these two creative works.
This interview was conducted by Rich DuBose, director of Pacific Union Conference Church Support Services.© 2017 - 2021 ASA. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.