Allyn M. Stotz is a children’s book writer who has just released her fifth picture book, Cookies for Punch, published by Guardian Angel Publishing.
This might be her fifth book, but it’s actually the first story she ever sent in for publication which was way back in 2009. Why so long you ask? Well that’s a long, not so interesting story. (She wipes her sweaty brow, and hyperventilates as she becomes exhausted thinking about the difficult journey she’s been on to get it published).
That’s why when people come up to her and say, “I've always wanted to write a children’s book. Is it difficult?” she has no clear and easy answer.
Every author has a different journey and every manuscript travels on different adventures to get published. Her first picture book, The Pea in Peanut Butter began with a title. She knew she wanted to write a story about peanut butter but wasn't sure what she wanted to happen in the story. So she thought of a catchy title and wrote the story from there. And I can tell you this for certain … that title stirs up a lot of attention!
Allyn isn't the typical writer who dreamed of becoming a published author all her life. In fact, she never even thought about it until she turned 52 yrs. old. (Lesson learned … it’s never too late!) One day, her brother (who is not a writer but certainly has the talent for it if he wanted it) posted on his blog a story about a computer game he was hooked on. His writing was fascinating with such vivid details of the fantasy world in the game that it made her think to herself how much fun it would be to write a fantasy story. She immediately thought of a game she and her siblings used to play as children. She sat down at her computer, began typing the story and her fingers have not stopped writing since!
That’s when she realized she had never enjoyed herself so much as when she typed up the first few chapters of that story. She quickly went online and researched how to write a story for publication. At that time, she decided she wanted to go for the gusto but still didn't know what type of book she really wanted to write or what genre. After finding a class online, she signed up and discovered it was small children she wanted to write for. She has always loved the little kiddos, but never was blessed to have any of her own. She thought writing books might be a way to reconnect with them.
And she was 100% correct! So to answer the question of “how do I get started being an author” my first answer would be to discover what kind of book it is you want to write, first. Then research, research, research. There are all kinds of rules to follow when writing a book and different sets of guidelines for each publisher.
Allyn believes that becoming a published author is one of her greatest accomplishments. Although it’s very difficult and really tests your patience, it’s very rewarding at the same time. Seeing people’s faces light up when they realize you wrote a book is truly amazing. But even more than that, Allyn feels tremendously rewarded by the fact that after she became published, her 83 yr. old mother (another example of it’s never too late!) and one of her sister’s decided it was time for them to fulfill their lifetime dreams of writing a novel. They have teamed up together and published three mystery/romance novels and just released their fourth book, Holiday Connections, which is a collection of short stories.
If you’d like to find out more about Allyn’s books, visit her at www.allynstotz.blogspot.com. All of her books are available online and at Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, LA.
Thank you so much for agreeing to write for my blog Allyn. It was fun finding out more about you and your delightful stories. Barbara