WILL WRITE AND ILLUSTRATE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION
FOR WRITERS, ILLUSTRATORS, PARENTS, TEACHERS, LIBRARIANS,
AND BOOK LOVERS EVERYWHERE
Conferences are amazing places to connect with kid-lit folk. And I was thrilled to have a chance to meet today’s guest in person at the Wild Wild Midwest SCBWI Conference in Naperville, Illinois back in 2016. She’s an amazing person…and a fabulous writer with her debut picture book that launched April 1, 2022. And she also very generous. Cindy is offering the winner of the giveaway a choice: a critique/Zoom consult OR a signed copy of her new book!
Cindy Williams Schrauben lives in Michigan where she writes books for kids that range from the truly serious to the seriously silly. Before embarking on this path, she held positions as a preschool administrator, teacher, and assistant director of a children’s museum — always striving to empower kids. When not writing or honing her craft, Cindy might be found dissecting her grandsons’ shenanigans for story ideas, reading on the floor in the bookstore, or eating ice cream… ideally all at once.
You can connect with Cindy here: www.direct.me/cindywilliamsschrauben or www.cindyschrauben.com
ME: Welcome, dear Cindy! Thank you so much for stopping by. I know everyone is interested in learning a little bit more about you and your writing journey, so let’s get started.
Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
CINDY: Hi Vivian…it’s lovely to be here! I am ashamed to say I wasn’t a big reader when I was a child. I was too busy being rough and tumble. But, the first book that spoke to me was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and Garth Williams. My 3rd grade teacher read it to us every day after lunch and I loved it. Later, I was a huge fan of Jack Prelutsky – I admire his humor and rhyme.
ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
CINDY: Early on I wish I had known to be more patient and not submit stories before they were ready. On the flip side, it is probably a good thing I didn’t know how long the journey would take because I may have given up. I am SOOO glad I didn’t; it was worth every moment. The kidlit community is so generous and they kept me going. I can credit blogs and contests like yours with pulling me through. Thank you!
ME: You are so welcome! I’m also inspired by other bloggers and kid lit mentors like Susanna Hill and Tara Lazar. Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?
CINDY: Because I live in Michigan, the answer varies depending on the weather. In the winter, I write in my quiet studio with a cup of coffee (and hopefully, cookies). In the summer, I like to write in the screened porch at the lake. I do my actual writing on a laptop, but you will find ideas on scraps of paper scattered throughout my house – I don’t recommend this method.
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
CINDY: I don’t do anything early in the morning. Ha. I write every day of the week – usually in the afternoon and evening, but I’ve been known to write late into the night. And, I dictate into my phone while in the car – I tend to get ideas in inconvenient moments.
ME: Why do you write for children?
CINDY: As a former educator I have always had a passion for inspiring kids. When my daughters were young we would spend hours reading – I want all children to have that experience. That is one reason I am developing a program I call Partners in Literacy in which businesses and organizations can sponsor school visits by purchasing books for kids through a local indie bookstore. I hope to kick this initiative off soon.
ME: Oh, I love that idea, Cindy. We just did a literacy initiative with #50PreciousWords and the generous participants purchased over 400 books! I’ll be sending good vibes for your school visit initiative. Author visits can be life-changing for a child.
Also, if you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, Cincy, please share. As well as anything else you want to talk about that parents, educators, writers, librarians might want to hear.
CINDY: My book focuses on a growth mindset… the belief that our abilities are malleable – we can always learn and improve. While writing the book I realized how crucial this attitude is for writers. I have dreamed of becoming a published author for my entire adult life and finally made it happen at the age of 63 – it’s never too late. I want to give back to the kidlit community and inspire other writers to use a growth mindset, as well. The back matter in my book will speak to anyone with a dream.
ME: YES!!! IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!!! And when kids see that older folks write books, create art, and do other wonderful stuff, I think that inspires them to follow their dreams. And Cindy is also sharing a dreamy dessert that she stirred up just for us.
WOW! This looks amazing. I’m a huge fan of oatmeal…and peanut butter…and chocolate. And you’ve got them all together! Thanks so much, Cindy…and thank you for stopping by.
And, dear friends, if you want to be in the running for the lovely giveaway – the winner’s choice of a critique/Zoom consult OR a signed copy of the new book…make sure to leave a comment below. Maybe you can tell us how you like to eat your chocolate…drizzled on ice cream, shaved into hot chocolate, by the block, or…whatever way you like!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I’m packed for my trip…I fly to Chicago tomorrow night.