Monday, November 4, 2019

Life as a Published Author: A Guest Post by Jean Hall

For over ten years Jean Matthew Hall and I have encouraged each other as writers. I was delighted when she received her first publishing contract for Bountiful Blessings Series with Little Lamb Books. I hope you take a minute to read my review of her first book in the series, The Blessings of Fall. Jean's words are lyrical and the illustrations by Olya Badulina's are beautiful. 

In this post, Jean shares what it's felt like to enter into the world of being a published author. 



Becoming an official author is an emotional roller-coaster!
My family thinks I’m up there with James Patterson and is celebrating my “fame!” I love them and their enthusiasm for this time in my life.
I feel excited to be in the spotlight right now – no matter how small that spotlight is!
Gratitude to God swells up in me each time I read the book, God’s Blessings of Fall on real paper with real ink. God does give us dreams in our lives, and He helps us make them a reality sometimes. This experience is a dream come true for sure.

Writing friends are high-fiving me on social media, at conferences, via email. It’s fun to have a tribe ya-hooing with me. 
Current friends are excited to think they know a REAL author! My Sunday School class have no small children, but they are rushing to Amazon and Barnes & Noble to order copies of the book.

I especially enjoy my visits to kindergarteners, first and second graders in Christian schools. The kids are excited. The teachers are excited. I’m excited. So much enthusiasm for what the Lord has done.
And for a few moments I feel like a celebrity.
The school visits are tiring for this old lady, but I love them. Such wonderful memories rush back as I stand or sit in front of dozens of adorable kids glued to the pages of the book. Many thanks to Olya Badulina and Little Lamb Books for creating gorgeous artwork to bring the text to life. 

I might sing a childhood hymn with the little ones as they keep rhythm (“All Things Bright and Beautiful” or “This Is My Father’s World”). Or we might make paper plate owls together. I help kindergarteners cut large paper leaves and string them up. Teachers get the fun of figuring out how to suspend them from the ceiling.
It’s all fun! And that is what reading is supposed to be. I am glad for every class, every school, every opportunity to share with children:
  • The beauty of God’s creation
  • The language of art
  • The beauty of words
  • The joy of reading
  • The fun of sharing

If you write books for young children find some schools that will let you in!
There’s a lot of work and preparation for each visit, but it is so worth it. If you write for older kids, you can share the fun and hard work of writing and creating with students. Most of them are hungry to learn. And they are fascinating by the writing and publishing process.
Teachers are, too.
So, dive in! Hunt down the schools in your area. Make a spreadsheet of contact info. Spend a few hours on your phone and email. You can do it. 
Then you, too, can feel like a celebrity.
And share God’s blessings with the next generation of readers and writers. 


Jean is giving away a copy of God's Blessings of Fall to one fortunate blog reader. Leave me a comment (make sure you leave your email address!) and I'll enter your name. For an additional chance to win, post this on social media and let me know what you did. Giveaway ends November 7. Continental United States only. 

Jean Matthew Hall has spent most of her life singing songs, reading books, playing games, cutting, coloring and gluing with children of all ages. And, she loves it! Creating encouraging board books and picture books is her idea of fun, but her favorite times are spent with her eight grandchildren. 
Contact Jean or learn more about her here:
Facebook                     Jean Matthew Hall Author
Twitter                         Jean_Hall
Pinterest                      JeanMatthew_Hall


Jean said...

Thanks, Carol, for highlighting my book. You're a true friend, and I appreciate you.

Can't wait to see who is going to win a copy.


Carol Baldwin said...

I'm excited for you, Jean. This is a beautiful book!

Lois said...

Congratulations, Jean! There's nothing quite like holding your own book in your hands. May there be many more.

Lois Bartholomew

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Lois. Make sure you leave your email address if you win!

Sandra Warren said...

What a beautiful book! Congratulations Jean! Lois Bartholomew said it best. . . "There's nothing like holding your own book in your hands." I would add, "especially your FIRST book." But then it never gets old.

Wishing you many more books with your own name on them.

Danielle H. said...

I love the idea of this book! I think it will help caregivers enrich kids' lives with faith. The book is beautiful too. Congrats! I shared:

Carol Baldwin said...

Thank you Sandra and Danielle. Danielle, you're in twice!

Dora William said...

I devoured the entire book in a day and that for me is the sign of a good book ! I am a newbie author with 2 books to my name. helps me get reviews for my book.

Jean said...

Thank you, Daielle!

Jean said...

Thank you, Sandra and Lois.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Dora. Please leave me your email address if you want me to enter your name in the giveaway, and congrats on your books.

Clara Gillow Clark said...

What a wonderful book, Carol! It immediately made me think of a number of relatives who would love it! I'd love to win a copy for one of my nephews and nieces, both grands and greats! (I'd love to read it myself!)

I'll share on twitter, toe! Thanks for this lively and lovely post! Congratulations to Jean!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Clara. You're in twice!

Carrie said...

Looks like a great book and such fun activities with the little ones.

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol, Thanks for sharing Jean's exciting story.

Dear Jean,
I am very excited and happy for you! You are definitely the personification of perseverance!

Never Give Up

Carol Baldwin said...

Carrie and Joan--thanks for leaving comments. Your names are in the hat!

Joan Y. Edwards said...

You are very welcome!

Never Give Up

Rosi said...

Congratulations to Jean. It's an exciting time for her. The book is very pretty. I will pass ont he giveaway. Thanks for the post.

Grannyjo said...

Loved hearing about her visits to schools to share with children.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, JoLynn. You and your grands would love this book. Great seeing you!

Jean said...

Thank you, Grannyjo. It's loads of fun.

Jean said...

Many thanks to Clara, Carrie and Joan! May the best commenter win!!!

Jean said...

Danielle, Dora and Carrie, thank you for commenting. It does sort of feel like a dream.

Thanks to those who "shared." I really appreciate it.

Jean said...

Many thanks to Lois and Sandra for commenting.

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