How did you come up with the idea of your Christmas themed book?
I teach children's church. One Christmas, I was teaching about Jesus' birth when it dawned on me that I had never seen the shepherd's point of view in a children's book.
Could you give me a short synopsis of the story for my readers?
A Gift for All of Us: A Shepherd's Tale is the nativity story from the shepherd's perspective. We know the story of Jesus' birth, but have you ever wondered how the event impacted those who witnessed it? My story gives children a glimpse into how a shepherd might have been touched by the awesome experience of being present at Jesus' birth.
A Gift for All of Us follows the shepherd, Nathaniel, on his journey as he is directed by an angel to go to Bethlehem. He is so moved by his experience that he feels compelled to share it with others. Children will learn the joy of sharing their testimony along with the story of Jesus’ birth.
What made you decide to do a Christmas themed book?
I enjoy writing children's books and when the inspiration came to write about a shepherd, I thought it was a great idea.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
We open a Christmas Eve present, usually in pj's and while watching movies. We make gingerbread houses and drink cocoa. Christmas morning we come downstairs as a family and read Luke chapter 2. We open the rest of the presents. Then we spend the day watching Christmas movies.
What’s next? (future books, novellas, special appearances you want to mention)
Through December, I've done book signings. After the Christmas season, I will continue to work on more illustrations for a couple of my other books.
What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been give that you’d like to share?
I've learned to keep trying. If your books are rejected, see how you can improve them or try another. But don't give up.
What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
It's not as simple as getting your story to a publisher. There is more ground work than I assumed there would be. There are expenses involved in promoting and marketing a book. That starts with the little things like bookmarks and flyers and goes on from there.
Any last words or tips?
I love what I do as an author and illustrator. For me, writing is about creating and sharing stories. God has blessed me with the greatest opportunity. I am so thankful a publisher accepted my book and I started this awesome journey. I hope everyone enjoys my book as much as I did in writing and illustrating the story. I look forward to writing and sharing many, more to come.
That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Crystal and her writing, here are some ways to get you started.
My Twitter page-https://twitter.com/AuthorCrysVines