I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Author Mimi Q. Atkins about her new book Adventures in Rainbow Valley: How Big is Your Faith? (Volume 1), which is a series of Christian-based imaginative fiction for children. Mimi discusses the encouraging message in her book, advice for aspiring writers as well as some interesting facts about her journey to creating Adventures in Rainbow Valley.
Her book can be purchased on Amazon. For an autographed copy, it is available on the book website. Mimi Atkins also welcomes all new readers and followers to visit her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/WriterMiMi and to visit the Mimi Q. Atkins website.
What was the inspiration for Adventures in Rainbow Valley (how big is your faith)?
At night I would tell this story to my daughter when she was six months old about a flower named Faith. For a long time she was never a specific flower. Sometimes she would be a rose, tulip, or daffodil. Everything except what she became in the story, which is a sunflower. About two years ago, my daughter said “Mom, I’m a big girl now. You don’t have to tell me stories anymore. I can read and write my own.” I said, “How about I write the story and share it with the world? If you don’t want to listen to it anymore, let’s not keep it between you and mommy anymore. Let’s go ahead and share her with the world.”
I don’t want you to give away the whole story, but can you give a tiny snippet of what your book is about?
Okay, well, it’s about a tiny sunflower named Faith that is having trouble because she doesn’t understand her role in life and that sunflowers have a unique way of growing. It hadn’t rained in days and she thinks she isn’t growing because it hasn’t rained. She has a series of friends (frog, butterfly, and bumble bee) that tell her how unique and special she is. They discuss how they all have various roles in nature and that they each provide something different for the world. In the end, Faith knows what her role is in life and she learns that all you have to do is have a little faith. People that have read the book have said it teaches children about friendship. It teaches them how to be a good friend. When your friend is not okay, you don’t turn and walk away from your friend, you help you friend.
What message are you trying to put out there with this book?
In order to appreciate who you are, you must first know yourself. And along the way we’re going to need someone to help us and give us an encouraging word to motivate and inspire us. Also, when you think God is nonexistent or he’s not there, God is there and all you have to do is have faith.
What were some of the struggles you encountered with writing the book, getting it published and your whole journey before you got to where you are now?
The biggest thing was writers block because I was trying to write a romance. I have this romance novel that I’m dying to get out of me. But they say, you are what you are. Sometimes we’re good for something else but we want to do something else. And at this point in my life, children’s literature is my niche market. It’s best for me because I can just sit down and write, and I get happy. The thoughts just come. Also, prioritizing my time and saying: You know what? This is important and you need to get this out.
I started my own publishing company after receiving 14 rejection letters from the big publishing companies. The name of my publishing house is Glitter Moon Press. I’m looking forward to helping other writers accomplish their dreams. I really believe in paying it forward.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
I have a writers spot where I can just go breathe in and breathe out and say: okay, here I am, I’m here, just let me write. Sometimes I go the park or get in my car and go someplace quiet and remote. I think it’s very important for every writer to have a writers spot. It’s very important for us as writers to have our quiet time.
To anyone who wants to become a writer, there are two things you need to do. Read what is within your genre. Sometimes we need to live vicariously and be bold enough to read something outside of our genre. I’m not into paranormal writing or poetry that much. But sometimes poetry is a good precursor to actually writing. The paranormal writing and horror thrillers, I’m not really into them but I do read them. And you’ll be surprised sometimes how a word will jump out at you and you’ll think of a title or a character. So, I would say read and get outside the box. Don’t just read what you like. Read some new genres; keep up with what’s trending in literature. And my most important thing is, better writers make better papers. You have to just write. You have to keep reading and you have to keep writing. I believe that’s how writers block creeps in. If you don’t practice your craft you will get rusty.
Thank you so much for giving me some of your time Mimi!
Oh, it was no problem. It was so well worth it. I blocked this day off specifically for you!