We are pleased to introduce children’s book writer Mary Beth Bozanin. Mary Beth has published two delightful children’s books with Word Alive Press, An Amazing Story and Shauna Sees Stars. Both titles are now available for purchase through the Word Alive Press Bookstore , and everywhere fine Christian books are sold. We asked Mary Beth to share a little bit about herself, her writing, and her books!
Mary Beth grew up in a suburb of Toronto with her brother Paul in a loving and supportive family. From the age of ten, she assisted in her Sunday school with the three and four-year-olds. As a teenager, she enjoyed Canadian Girls In Training (CGIT) and then began an exciting career as a teacher of young children, including those with special needs and those learning English as a second language. She and her husband have two great sons and now have daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and a great-grandson who bring them great joy.
Q: When did you begin writing?
A: For many years, I felt God was leading me to write children’s stories, but I believed I couldn’t be a writer. I was a teacher. As the conviction set in that this was what God was calling me to do, I signed up for a course in writing children’s stories at the Institute of Children’s Literature . I studied and wrote under the teaching and mentoring of Kathleen Muldoon, a published author.
For various reasons, I filed away my manuscripts for ten years. Last year, God said it was time to publish. I got them out and sent three to Word Alive Press. God’s timing is perfect.
Q: What prompted you to write An Amazing Story?
A: One of my assignments was to develop a character with a believable and likeable personality. That’s how Benjamin became a real little boy in my mind. The next assignment was to drop this child into a story.
Young children often feel that they are too little to help, so Benjamin was discouraged because he was told he was too little to help fish. When Jesus came to his family’s hillside, Benjamin was able to share his lunch with Jesus. Soon he learned that he wasn’t too little to help Jesus, and the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand came alive—through Benjamin’s eyes.
This book was a pleasure to write, and I’m beginning to feel the excitement of this publishing journey.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your new book?
A: As I write this, my next book, Shauna Sees Stars, is being published and I am eagerly awaiting my author’s copy. In the story, Shauna is staying with her grandparents while her parents are away, but she feels lonely. Grandpa and Grandma distract her by talking about the stars as they gaze at the beautiful night sky above that God has created.
Q: Do you have any future projects in the works?
A: I feel I am beginning a new calling. As my grandchildren would say, “I’m on a roll.” I’m excited to find out how God will lead me. Watch for future books.
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about writing a book?
A: If you feel you would like to write, just begin! Each day I am learning that we are never too little, too old, too sick, too poor, or too busy to serve the Lord. He is a faithful and amazing God. May all glory be given to the Lord who leads us to use our God-given gifts to serve Him.
Q: Do you have any advice for children’s book writers?
A: Observe the age group you are interested in and note their interests, feelings, and activities. There are so many possibilities and ideas out there, especially with children. They are always exploring, testing, and experiencing new interests. Develop a main character and make him or her alive for your readers. Explore the problem and possible solutions that you will present from the eyes of your readers.
We can always strengthen our writing through practice and reading. Read lots of children’s books so you know how the market is trending. Your local librarian may be a helpful resource also. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish once you set your mind to it.
Q: What have you learned since becoming a published author?
A: There’s more to being an author than writing books. My family is helping set up a webpage for me, and I’m learning how to accept credit card payment and e-transfers. This is a learning curve for me.
Q: Do you have any upcoming events?
A: My first book signing was on April 6, 2019 at a ladies conference at our church. I have a book signing scheduled at another local church in September and I look forward to planning a book signing at a local bookstore.
Mary Beth was a school teacher and Sunday school teacher of young children, including children with special needs and students with English as a second language, for thirty-three years. Young children are always close to her heart. Her prayer for her stories is that the love of Jesus will touch her readers in a special way.