Collaborative Writing

By Crystal Bowman

Crystal Daughter
Crystal Bowman & Teri McKinley

I’ve had a few co-authoring projects over the years that were one-time contracts with no further commitments to another author. But now that I’m writing with my daughter, Teri McKinley, this could be a long-term collaborative relationship!

Teri was only 8 years old when my first book came out. I often brought her to my book signings where she enjoyed being my “side-kick.” She studied journalism in college, but decided that wasn’t her thing and majored in interior design instead.

After she finished grad school, got marriage, and settled in TX, I began sending her my manuscripts, asking for her feedback. I was amazed at her insights, suggestions, and creative ideas, and she was amazed at how much she enjoyed being my personal editor.

When My Grandma and Me was published in 2013, I told my editor at Tyndale that my daughter’s name should have been on the cover since she helped me so much.  My editor said, “Well let’s get her name on the next book!” And that’s what happened. Teri and I co-authored My Mama and Me which received the 2014 Logos Bookstore Award for best picture book. Our next book for Tyndale was M is for Manger—an alphabet book which tells the Christmas story in chronological order. We’ve also been co-authoring for Discovery House and have helped them launch children’s products for Our Daily Bread.  The first two books are Our Daily Bread for Kids and Our Daily Bread for Preschoolers. Two new board books have just been released to launch Our Daily Bread for Little Hearts. Adam and Eve’s 1-2-3s and A is for Ark hit the shelves in March.

People often ask what it’s like working as a mother-daughter team. For us it has been a dream come true. We love how it keeps us connected since we live in different states. With our close relationship, we can push each other to do better because we don’t have to worry about hurt feelings or walking on eggshells. Our board books and picture books are written in rhythm and rhyme, so it’s good to have double input. If one of us feels the rhythm is off or the wording is awkward, we revise until we are both satisfied. We can be open and honest and just have fun with these wonderful projects that allow us to teach children about God.

I’ve been writing children’s books for over two decades and never imagined writing with my daughter. But it’s no surprise to God—to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we can ask or think. (Ephesians 3;20)

CrystalBowman100

 

Crystal Bowman

www.christianchildrensauthers.com

 

 

Fall Board Books

ON MY SHELF I also have a small collection of board books about fall and the Thanksgiving holiday. They are all bright and inviting replete with the warm colors of fall on every page. Each one creates a wonderful opportunity for curling up with a preschooler you love to enjoy the language and laughter of fall and Thanksgiving Day.

If you don’t have a preschooler to snuggle with try visiting the children’s section of your local public library or book store. Plop yourself down in one of those tiny chairs and feast your eyes on the fall-themed books there.

The fall board books ON MY SHELF include:

happyThat’s When I’m Happy written by Beth Shoshan, illustrated by Jaqueline East, published by Sandy Creek in 2007, is a cozy read about the love between a toddler-bear and his daddy and mommy bears with fall as a backdrop.

 

 

Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills, findapumpkinpublished by Scholastic Inc. is one tale in the Duck & Goose series. It is a sweet, simple and slightly silly tale of Duck, Goose and the perfect  pumpkin.

 

 

pumpkinprayer

 

A Pumpkin Prayer is written by Amy Parker (Hi, Amy!) illustrated by Kirsten Richards and was published by Thomas Nelson in 2011. It is filled with lovely rhyme, rhythm and poetic language. The cute mice characters in the illustrations make young children feel welcomed to come right in and talk with God – “A God who loves me so!”

 

Happy Thanksgiving Day! is written by Jill Roman Lord happythnxday(who just happens to be one of my critique buddies from Write2Ignite! and Word Weavers of Charlotte). Jill’s language is cleaver and bouncy as always. AND, gives young children the message of the real reason for Thanksgiving – not to simply be thankful, but to give thanks to GOD. Thanks, Jill, for another sweet read. Happy Thanksgiving Day! was published by Ideals Publications in 2013.

 

Happy Snuggling!