Blog Archive

Friday, November 25, 2016

Christmas Love Letters: Author Interview with Glenys Nellist

Glenys Nellist is a Zondervan children's book author of two popular series: Love Letters from God and Snuggle Time. Besides writing for children she is also active with the children's ministry at her church.

How did you come up with the idea of your Christmas themed book?Christmas Love Letters from God is the third in a series of Bible story books for children. My inspiration came from a little book that we used to read when my four sons were young. It was called The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, a wonderful book in which the pages are actual envelopes that contain real letters. For my sons, there was tremendous excitement every day as they opened and took out each new letter. 

When I decided to write a children’s Storybook Bible, I felt God whisper to me, Remember the letters? Write Bible stories with letters after each one, from me, to the child. This then, became my inspiration behind Love Letters from God and then Christmas Love Letters from God, both of which contain lift-the-flap letters from God, to the child.

Could you give me a short synopsis of the story for my readers?
Beginning with the prophecy in Isaiah, and ending with the visit of the Wise Men, Christmas Love Letters from God takes young readers on a journey through Christmas in seven chapters and letters. The stories are written using a combination of both prose and rhyme, and each one ends with a lift-the-flap letter from God, which can be personally addressed to the child. Since there are seven stories in the book, it makes a wonderful daily devotional to enjoy in the week leading up to Christmas.

What made you decide to do a Christmas themed book?
After the success of Love Letters from God, it was really just the next, natural step to take.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

It’s an interesting question. I am from England, and so my favorite Christmas traditions originate from there, but now that I live in the USA, I have new ones! 

In England, I used to love singing Christmas carols around the neighborhood with my church family and making mince pies. As a little girl, we would always put a mince pie out for Father Christmas (not Santa!) and a carrot for Rudolph on Christmas Eve. Then we would go upstairs with my dad to see if we could see Father Christmas’s light. (We always could…because we lived on a hill overlooking a town, and on any given night, there would be a thousand twinkling lights). 

Now that I live in Michigan, I don’t make mince pies anymore (but I do decorate Christmas cookies with my grandsons) and of course, we love to decorate the tree and eat together, as our family always did in England.

What’s next? (future books, novellas, special appearances you want to mention)
I’m excited to announce that Girls' Love letters from God will be published in April 2017, followed by 'Twas the Evening of Christmas (October 2017) and Easter Love Letters from God in the spring of 2018. I also have new titles coming out in my Snuggle Time Series and more beyond that! God is good, and can do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

Any special awards or achievements you’d like to mention?
Love Letters from God, my first book, was a finalist in the 2014 ECPA Christian book awards ..something only God could do. 

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given that you’d like to share?
I love the advice that I heard from an editor at my first writers’ conference. She said: Your writing has to sing. I really hope mine does.

What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
I wish I had known more about marketing when my first book came out… having just published my sixth, I am so much better at it now!

Any last words or tips?
Since we’re talking about marketing, the best piece of advice I could share with aspiring writers or authors is to keep writing. Subsequent books will do much more to market you and your work than any tweet or Instagram photo. So keep writing!

That's it for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Glenys's writing, here are some options for you.
Listen to Glenys read 'Mary's Song' from Christmas Love Letters from God 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Christine, for the opportunity to share about my latest book.