As we get closer to the 25th, you might find yourself browsing the Internet looking for gift ideas for the grandchildren, niece or nephew or other little ones on your Christmas List. Well, I’m sharing some new authors this week to help give you some perfect gifts for this year’s holidays.
Let me introduce you to Lou Jenkins. Having worked as an RN for decades, she earned her MFA in literature and writing after many years of service to her community. She loves to write stories that nurture and connect with nature, animals, and that promote science. In her book, “Goodnight Dear One”, she builds a night of peaceful thoughts as the animals around the world fall asleep, passing gentle comfort and wishes to each other. I had the chance to talk with Lou about her favorite childhood reading memories, author influences, writing routine, and what she has in store with future projects.
- What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?
Lou Jenkins: My favorite childhood memories of childhood reading are not from my childhood, but more from the years I read to my children. Some of my favorites: Turning pages with a giggling toddler we read ‘The Monster at the End of this Book;’ going to the library or bookstore with my selections of nature essays while my kids finding their interests in classics, silly books, as well as the popular Harry Potter series and
Jerry Spinelli books: and talking about what we are reading together. I still do this today with my grown kids. Sharing a love of reading builds a rich relationship. When I write a children’s book like ‘Goodnight Dear One,’ I imagine the experience of reading to a little one and the possible alchemy of emotion present while the book is read.
2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?
Lou Jenkins: One favorite author? Impossible. One of my favorites is Barbara Kingsolver. There is an authenticity to her work that inspires me to find truth on a path to self-actualization. Her essays, memoirs, and fiction all resonate with a love for language, a reverence for the natural world, and a spiritual seeking that seeks to love rather than judge or control. I need to mention another writer. Shel Silverstein’s children’s books helped me to feel free to write for children as well as adults. He was a tough guy who could be silly and loving and stoop down to look into the eyes of a little one and see an important human. He reminds me to respect all readers.
3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
I learned from Natalie Goldberg that I need a writing routine and that, for me, routines sometimes stop working. I used to write in the middle of the night when the house was quiet. Now I write in two blocks of two hours on most days. If things dry up, I switch it up and go to a coffee shop or change rooms. When something works, I stick with it. I write
4) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?
Lou Jenkins: I write memoirs, nature, and literary criticism. I’m writing a series of writing courses now for JackWalkerPress.com. I write book reviews for the Sierra Club. I also write for children as they inspire me, and I have two other titles in the works. See what I’m up to at AmyLouJenkins.com.
5) What is writing to you in one sentence?
Lou Jenkins: Writing is an art that can create a contract with the reader that is fulfilled when the words and story become part of the life of a reader.
“Goodnight Dear One” is a bedtime story that fills the room with a world of love. The tall Giraffe’s wishes for sweet dreams drift in the breezes above the African plains. The fishes send their good night words of comfort from deep in the water. The lovely moths brush at the window as they offer their evening wishes. All around the world, animals say goodnight with caring words of comfort.
Fill your home with love for your dear one. This is bedtime reading for a bonding, calming, and loving bedtime ritual.
“Goodnight Dear One” is available in eBook and paperback at Amazon.com.
***Hardcover edition will be released on Jan.2, 2022.