Nancy Stewart is the bestselling author of the four Bella and Britt Series books for children: One Pelican at a Time (18 weeks on Amazon Bestselling List), Sea Turtle Summer, Bella Saves the Beach and Mystery at Manatee Key. All are published by Guardian Angel Publishing.
She and One Pelican at a Time and were featured in the PBS Tampa (WEDU) special, GulfWatch. Pelican was nominated for a Global eBook Award and has won the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Nancy’s travels take her throughout the world, most particularly Africa. She is US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education. She and her husband live in Tampa and St. Louis.
I understand you were a university professor teaching classes about children’s and young adult literature before you started writing. How did the leap from teacher to author come about?
I thought fleetingly about writing for children through my years as an academic, but it never seemed the right time. After teaching children’s and young adult literature, though, the idea crystallized. The day after my granddaughter, Leah, was born, I wrote my first children’s book, I Held You on the Day You Were Born. Since then I’ve never looked back, and those pent-up books flow faster than I would ever have expected. So, in a real way, Leah (who is now five) is the true catalyst behind my writing.
What makes you passionate about writing for children?
My entire academic career has been about children, from teaching young kids to teaching pre-service teachers. It was, I think, a natural segue to begin writing for them. The combination of my love of all things books and the real joy I feel about children and their growing awareness of new ideas led me to this passion.
Congratulations on the publication of your latest children’s picture book, Sea Turtle Summer. What was your inspiration for this story?
My morning walks on Clearwater Beach provide me with so many ideas, particularly for the Bella and Britt Series. With Sea Turtle Summer, I walked by a cordoned off area of the beach that contained a sea turtle nest. The orange tape and the affixed state seal warning about the serious consequences of tampering began the process in my mind.