Spotlight on Kevin and Anne MacMillan
By Kevin and Anne MacMillan
We are pleased to introduce Kevin and Anne MacMillan, the authors of Matzo’s Journey and Christmas at Mole Run. Both of these daily advent stories for children are now available for purchase! We asked the MacMillans, to share some information about themselves, their writing and their books!
Q. Where did you get the idea for your Christmas books?
A. We’re passionate to help our children train their children, and we wanted to help make Christmas special for our grandkids. Rather than an Advent Calendar, we created an Advent story. These books originated as a series of daily installments sent to their inbox throughout December so they could read them to their children. Then on Christmas day, as part of our family celebrations, we would read the final chapter together and present them all with a copy of the completed book. We have done this annually for five years. It’s become a beloved tradition.
Q. What are the books about?
A. Matzo’s Journey is a 25-chapter book to be read aloud to kids during the 25 days leading up to Christmas. It’s a fun and engaging retelling of the Christmas story as seen through the eyes of Mary’s pet mouse, Matzo. It covers the events from the angel’s announcement right up to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, and Matzo, along with his friends Tabitha the Turtle Dove and Dan the Donkey, are all part of the story.
We have also written two other books in the series: Matzo: The Journey Continues, and Matzo’s Journey: Back Home!
Christmas at Mole Run is a 25-chapter Advent story of the small animal community at Mole Run. Joel the Mole’s father disappeared two years ago, and with Christmas now approaching, Joel works feverishly to rebuild the family home that was destroyed by a spring flood. With the help of his friends Othello the Owl and Pocket the Ground Squirrel and encouragement from the entire community, Joel prepares for the return of his mother and younger siblings. But a letter from relatives in the east causes all of Mole Run to become a hubbub of activity! And on the train bound for Saskatchewan, there is a mysterious stowaway whose heart is set on Mole Run.
We have written a sequel, and have plans to make it another trilogy.
Q. What other writing have you done?
A. We have written 4 full-length musicals, dozens of songs, a play, many Bible studies and a devotional book based on Ephesians.
Q. Why did you decide to get it published?
A. We have been encouraged by many to make these books available and were thankful to connect with Word Alive Press so it could happen.
Q. Who is your target audience?
A. Families with children between the ages of 4-11. We encourage grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends all to invest in the children in their lives. While these are specifically children’s books, adults really enjoy them as well.
Q. How did you find a publisher?
A. Anne met Word Alive Press’s Sylvia St.Cyr at a Women’s Journey of Faith conference in Saskatoon in 2017, and she encouraged us to submit a couple of manuscripts.
Q. Do you have plans for other books?
A. Yes, we intend to continue with children’s books, but we also want to branch out writing for adults. Kevin is fulfilling the requirements for a Masters degree in Divinity at Providence Seminary in Manitoba, and so is honing his writing skills daily.
Q. What advice would you like to share with other writers?
A. One of the best things you can do to help your writing is to read a lot and read widely. Becoming familiar with the medium is essential for effective writing. And write as much as you can, even if it’s not for a specific project or deadline. Try to set aside time each day or throughout the week to work on your craft.
Do set some deadlines for yourself. Creative types can sometimes procrastinate!!
Start or join a writers’ club and share your current work with one another. Create a face book group or group text to encourage one another and remain accountable!
If you write collaboratively as we do, jot down ideas together but write individually and then allow your co-author to edit, revise and expand your ideas. Be willing to make changes because if you publish, your editor will make lots of revisions, and that’s a good thing!
Kevin and Anne would love to meet you at one of these upcoming events:
Saturday, Nov. 3: Christmas Trade Show, the Kindersley Mall, Kindersley, SK, 10 am – 4 pm
Saturday, Nov. 17: Book signing and reading, Kennedy’s Parable, Saskatoon, SK, 11am – 2 pm
Saturday, Dec. 8, Book signing and sale, Station Arts Centre, Rosthern, SK, 11 am – 2 pm
About this Contributor:
Kevin and Anne MacMillan have gratefully spent three decades in full-time local church ministry serving in creative arts, teaching, preaching and pastoral care. They have written children’s books as well as several stage productions and musicals which have been produced at their church in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. They have two married adult children and six wonderful grandchildren. Today, much of their creative energy is spent encouraging and nurturing healthy relationships between generations, which will continue via their website.