I am a children’s book author and mother of 11 children. No wonder I write children’s books, huh????
I was inspired to become a writer after winning my first poetry contest in elementary school. I was an only child, so books became companions for me. Reading and writing remained my “friends” through middle school and high school. They even convinced me to place them into plays! My plays never made it off educational stages or classrooms, but that experience has helped me in writing dialogue for my stories. So, here I am . . . a lot older now, and still “living in a child’s mind”. I guess it’s not so bad . . . the carefree spirit and the enthusiasm keeps me young at heart.
Writing came easy for me, and it wasn’t hard to please my teachers. But once I became serious about my writing, and decided to share my writing with children, that’s when the rejection came. I found out about the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and attended my first conference in June 2007. Boy, was I amazed at all the authors, illustrators, editors, agents, fellow writers, etc. I was overwhelmed with everything. So much until, I became discouraged about my own ability to measure up to the “professionals” who shared how they MADE IT.
I left the conference with my notepad bulging with information, but I had mentally closed my notepad to writing. With 8 children, at that time, I did not see how I could possibly devote the amount of time to writing that was outlined by the “professionals”. My husband became the “fire behind my writing”. He told me, “You are a writer. You don’t have to write on someone else’s schedule. Write on your OWN schedule.” I may have nodded, but in my mind, I thought, yeah, right. Well, he wouldn’t leave me alone about “giving up”. He found out about Lee & Low Books offering a New Voices Award and encouraged me to write my dad’s story of desegregating the public school system in 1960’s Greenville, NC. Now, my mind gives my husband a big YEAH, RIGHT. Again, my husband wouldn’t leave me alone. So, I interviewed my dad and wrote his story. Sent it in to Lee & Low in September 2007 (only 3 months after the conference). In December 2007, an editor from Lee & Low called me to announce my winning the New Voices Award!!!!!!
So, now as a mother of 11 children, I can add the birth of my first traditionally published book, As Fast As Words Could Fly, as a new baby! There was plenty of pain and suffering behind this one as well, but the rewards, like always, are well worth it.
Feel free to find out more about me, my books, and my LARGE family at www.pamelamtuck.com