What type of writing do you do? (Books, blogging, articles, genre, audience, etc.) And are you traditionally published or self/indie published?
I am an author who writes picture books for children to empower them to read, learn, and grow.
Initially, I self-published my first book, 31 Days of What if Bible Devotional. Soon after, I learned about Elk Lake Publishers. I shared a copy of my manuscript, Daddy, How Does a Sloth Give a Hug. They loved it and offered me an opportunity to become one of their publishing authors.
Although I signed with ELP, I still have the flexibility to self-publish as I chose to do with my third book. Rain, Rain, Come Again.
What inspired you to begin writing?
I was called to be a children’s writer. God has been grooming me for a while, but I was too afraid to write. I was reminded of the verse in Exodus 4:12, “Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say.” I knew I was going to be okay.
How often do you write?
I write several times a week. I teach homeschool and ESL, so some days I write more often than others.
Do you schedule time or write when the spirit moves you?
Early in the morning and late at night are the times I write stories. I will often take notes in notebooks around my home. Also, as a homeschool mom, it is pertinent for me to write a schedule and stick to it.
Are you a pantser or an outliner?
When I first got started on my writing journey, I was an outliner. I quickly realized that my story waited for no one, and it must be written, or at my age, I would forget it. My stories usually come to me while driving in my car. My daughter would write the notes I relayed to her, and then later, I would write a story.
What are your favorite resources for writing, and why?
The books that I use as references are Writing Children’s Books for Dummies. It gives me information about picture book writing. I also use 1,000 Character Reactions from Head to Toe and 1,000 Strong verbs for Fiction Writers by Valerie Howard. Sometimes I need to use a strong verb, and I cannot think of one. I can open these books, and they help me find the word I need to create better sentences. Writer’s Digest is the magazine that I usually read front to back at least four of five times. It has articles about well-known authors and sometimes up and coming authors. It also has a page for self-publishing authors and is usually on point. I learn many valuable writing tips.
When do you bring outside help?
My kids are the first people who get to listen to my story during my revisions. They usually ask questions about aspects of the story I never considered. Then I will let it sit for several days before doing some more modifications. After that, I emailed the manuscript to the editors, followed by my awesome beta readers. Finally, the manuscript is off to the illustrator and formatting.
I signed a four-year contract with Elk Lake Publishers, so I have an opportunity to share my books with them, or I can choose to self-publish.
Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is Ann Whitford Paul. She wrote Writing Picture Books, and she also writes the cutest picture books. She tries to help authors. I found out recently that she participates in conferences. I would love to attend a meeting where she is the keynote speaker.
What do you find the most challenging about writing?
It is challenging to find new ways to market my books and build my email list. I am working hard, so I know that my efforts will pay off.
What would you most like to share with other Christian writers?
My advice comes from Proverbs 3:5 -6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall directly your paths.
God has chosen you and He has equipped you to do this job. Do it well.
Author/Teacher; Teach Learn & Grow
Diane Elgin has been an elementary teacher for almost sixteen and a half years and an art teacher for four years. She recently began to focus on writing by going to conferences, joining critique groups, and developing her writing skills, more than a year ago. Diane creates refreshing tales with unique, engaging characters in relatable circumstances. Children and adults will appreciate her festive themes and characters’ embrace of virtue driven decisions.