Today we have Wanda Vincent with us. Wanda is a lover of laughter and all things chocolate.
Wanda is a prairie-raised mom of four and wife to an amazing husband. She lives in a small town in British Columbia, Canada.
Hearing children laugh has always been like music to her ears. Just as hearing a favorite song you sing along with, she can’t help laughing along with children; and as her children were growing she would make up silly things just to hear them laugh.
Wanda is a graduate of Bethany College of Missions in Minnesota, and she has spoken at children’s settings where she has the pleasure of reading to them, she has also spoken at different women’s groups.
Welcome Wanda, tell us a little about yourself and how you were raised.
I have been married 31 years to a wonderful caring husband we have two adult sons and two teenage daughters.
I was raised in a small city in Saskatchewan. I am the youngest of three children. I remember many summers filled with the joy of camping, fishing, and burning marshmallows over the open campfire.
What’s your favorite genre to read and write? Who’s your favorite author?
“The unleashed joy children have is beautiful”
I enjoy writing for both children and adults. With children’s books, I can be as a child, and enjoy laughing at silly things all the while weaving in Jesus, His love and salvation. The unleashed joy children have is beautiful and something I believe the Lord wants us all to have.
I enjoy many genres, I tend to go through seasons of enjoying different types. My favorite author is Jan Karon. I love her warm, endearing style. She brings her characters through real to life experiences, gracefully bringing the Lord and His redeeming power into the situations, as well as many laughable moments along the way. She has also written children’s books my favorite one is Miss Fanny’s Hat.
Writing for adults allows me to deal with more serious non-fiction issues in life such as hardships and the trials of faith.
What age did you realize you loved books?
Before I went to Kindergarten I would line up my dolls and stuffed animals on the basement stairs and give them each a book I would then proceed to teach them, so possibly I had a love for books then. I do remember enjoying when my mom would read bedtime stories to us.
As well I remember getting my first copy of Sally Dick and Jane Reader in Grade 1 I think that may have been when I first fell in love with reading books. What drew me in were the pictures; I loved the vibrant colors and the expressions of the characters. and then, of course, the joy of being able to read the words on my own.
How did you start writing children’s books?
The ideas just started coming to me so I finally started writing them down. I do believe it was the Lord’s prompting to get started.
The story for Grumpy-Bumpy Bob’s Great Day was where it started.
I was lying in bed and the whole story popped into my head and would not go away so I got up and wrote it down
Tell us about this book. What did you learn about yourself through writing it?
“no matter how insecure I felt about calling myself a “writer” God has actually given me a gift and I need to pursue His will in it. “
The book is about a grumpy man who is in need of Jesus and joy in his life.
One day he meets up with Roly-Poly Farmer and Sunny-Funny Wife it becomes the best day of his life.
I learned that no matter how insecure I felt about calling myself a “writer” God has actually given me a gift and I need to pursue His will in it.
I also learned the importance of writing down ideas when they come to you.
Grumpy-Bumpy Bob’s Great Day was Shortlisted for The Word Guild Awards. I would never have imagined that would happen when I first wrote it down that late night.
Do you normally use an outline for the books you write, or do you just start with a few ideas?
No, I do not use an outline. In fact the idea of an outline sounds more difficult and intimidating to me than writing a story. I find it is easier to just write the ideas as they come and then organize them later.
I am what you would call a global right-brained thinker my notes can tend to be all over the page with arrows and circles connecting things.
Is there a special place you like to write?
I do not have a dedicated writing space so I usually set up my laptop and writing materials at the kitchen table near the window I do find a view of outside helps with creativity.
What was something that surprised you in the way this book unfolded? What character do you like best?
The fact that I was given the whole story at once surprised me, that has not happened again and it is what the Lord used to “kick-start” me into being more serious about writing.
I did write a few drafts but not as many as the other stories I am in the process of writing.
I think I like the store clerk the best… I am not sure why as he is only in one scene and is a silent character, he just seems funny to me. Who knows maybe there will be a future story about him?
What advice would you give a new author?
If I can do it you can too!
If you get an idea, even if it is just one or two sentence write it down. I write my ideas down in my notes app on my phone if an idea comes to me when I am out.
Work on as many drafts as you need to until you feel like it is ready. Do your best, but do not worry if your grammar may not be completely perfect, that is what editors are for. Do not be afraid of editors, they really are there to help.
Have some trusted, kind but honest people who can read your story and give you their critiques.
What project are you working on now?
I am working on three different children’s stories right now as well as blog posts for those who may be discouraged or going through a tough time and need encouragement in their faith.
Where can we find your books and blog?
My Blog posts you can find here