Posted On April 13, 2016 by Print This Post

SO YOU WANT ME TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S BOOK by Lori Wilde

I’m excited to welcome LORI WILDE back to RU. Most of you associate Lori with books like her Stardust, Cupid, Jubilee and Twilight, Texas series, so you may be surprised to learn about her latest venture. Don’t forget to scroll down to the end of Lori’s post to find out about her GIVEAWAY! 

If you’d told me three years ago that I would be co-authoring a series of children’s books, I’d probably ask you how much you’d had to drink.

Ever since I got published, people have been asking me why I don’t write for children. It’s not that I had anything against writing for children. It just wasn’t my wheelhouse. I write contemporary romances, generally featuring cowboys.

That question was always a head scratcher because:

1) It suggests that writing for children is a more noble endeavor than writing adult novels.
2) I don’t have children.
3) By and large children’s books make a whole lot less money than books for adults.
4) It assumes that if you can write an adult novel, writing for kids must be a cakewalk. It’s not. Totally different skill set. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s harder to write for children not easier.

My answer to those inquisitive folks? What on earth would possess me to shift gears and learn an entirely new genre when my romance career was going great guns? It’s like asking a policeman why he doesn’t become a fireman.

gunpowdercover copy
Another common question I’d field was, “Have you ever considered partnering with a co-author?

Nope. Never entered my head. I’m in introvert. I spend all day in my office making up stories. Nothing about that screams “team player.” And let’s be honest, I’m a bit of a control freak. Give up full control of a creative project? Not happening.
And yet, it did.

So how did a doesn’t-play-well-with-others romance writer content with her career path join forces with a cowboy to write a middle grade chapter book for children?

Well for one thing, I’m a sucker for cowboys. Who can resist their polite “yes ma’am” and their courtly ways and their code of honor?

Plus, this particular cowboy, Michael Rountree, had a burning story to tell. His dad, Conrad Rountree, was a farrier and a horse trainer and he grew up deep in the heart of Texas. After Conrad literally died in the saddle, Mike wanted to write a children’s book as a tribute to the man he loved and admired.

Now Mike is a schoolteacher—besides being a cowboy—and he has a son who was just learning to read chapter books at the time inspiration struck.

But Mike was no writer, so he asked me to take a look at his manuscript.

Normally, I don’t do this kind of thing, but Mike is a good guy and he was so earnest about his project, and I admired how he wanted to honor his father, so I thought, what the heck? It’s only a couple of hours of my life.

Yes, the book needed work. Yes, I didn’t know much about writing for kids. Yes, I knew how hard it was to sell children’s books.

But that voice—that elusive, can’t-be-taught, something special that makes people sit up and take notice—jumped right off that first page.

From the moment I met Gunpowder the Cowpony, I was captivated, and I knew I had to work with Mike to bring Gunpowder to the public.

The first book was all Mike, with some input from me. But now we’re working as a real team to complete the second book in the Gunpowder series and we have ten more books planned.

Here’s how we manage the co-author thing. We brainstorm a plot and then Mike gets busy writing, focusing on speaking through Gunpowder’s authentic voice only the way Mike can. Then I come along and put structure to the narrative. And it’s working out grand.

The first book in the series, Gunpowder: Tales of a Wise-Cracking Cowpony is available now through Amazon. We hope to have Gunpowder Goes to Cowboy School out this summer.

What I learned from this experience is to never say never. Who knew all those people pestering me to write children’s book would get their wish?

 

***

Do you read children’s books or have children in your life who read? Tell me about them. Leave a comment. I’m giving away two copies of my upcoming romance, LOVE OF THE GAME, on store shelves April 26th.

LoveGame CVR ORNG

A sexy sports superstar discovers his body isn’t the only thing that needs healing in this newest Stardust, Texas novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde.

With major league good looks and talent, Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond was living the good life. Even if the roar of the crowd could never distract him from the loss of his young son. But now with an injured shoulder and his career on the line, Axel is stuck recuperating at a ranch in Stardust, Texas . . . striking out only with his gorgeous physical therapist.

Kasha Carlyle has one week to get Axel back in action or she can kiss her much-needed job with the Gunslingers goodbye. And any chance to seek custody of the orphaned half-sister she never knew existed. She quickly learns that Axel’s guarded heart also needs healing . . . requiring all kinds of sneaky plays and sexy moves in extra innings.

 

***

Bio:

079loriwilde

New York Times and USA Today best selling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensic nursing from Kaplan University. She is a member of the Internal Association of Forensic Nurses.

Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Clubhas been optioned for a television movie.

A popular writing instructor, Lori is a three time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic. Her books have been translated into 26 languages and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, andQuick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.

 

FB link: https://www.facebook.com/LoriWildeBooks/
PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/loriwilde/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loriwilde02/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/loriwilde
FB link for Gunpowder: https://www.facebook.com/Gunpowder-the-Cow-Pony-1468583390116180/?ref=settings

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34 Responses to “SO YOU WANT ME TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S BOOK by Lori Wilde”

  1. Morning Lori!

    I have 5 grandchildren – I buy them books for Christmas and birthdays and always have a stack of kids books at my house. One way or another they will learn to love (or at least like!) to read. =) Your cowboy series sounds like a blast.

    Now that you’ve stepped out of your “box”..is there a chance for other collaborations or style changes in your future? Love all of your Texas series books…I’ve been a fan of yours for years! =)

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Peters | April 13, 2016, 8:50 am
  2. Just received this in the inbox this morning…

    I was a single mother who had more love than money. With my two children and four foster children it was hard times back in the day. I used to spend hours creating stories to play out for them inside an old painted appliance box with paper puppets.

    They loved it and so did their friends. Those six kids never missed going to the movies or special outings because the stories turned them into heroes on summer nights on the block.

    Children stories are special to me and always will be. Maybe one day I will get that box from the spiderweb darkness of the basement and show the new generation of my young family members what fun a summer night filled with fun and adventure could be.

    I am sure his dad is proud of him. And I know in his eyes you are your own special kind of hero.

    Alma Pagan

    Posted by Carrie Peters | April 13, 2016, 8:51 am
  3. This is a fascinating post, Lori! I can’t imagine having a co-author, mainly because I can’t imagine anyone putting up with my somewhat bizarre (and so far unsuccessful) process.

    My grandkids are one and almost four, and both LOVE books! They’re a little young for chapter books, but they already love to be read to, so it won’t be long.

    The four-year-old loves books that are a bit of scary, but not TOO scary. Some of her all-time favorites are Room on the Broom and Mercer Meyer’s There Are Monsters Everywhere. Her latest favorite is a fabulous book called Whodunnit? I love that one, too. As to the one-year-old, she loves pictures of animals – especially scary lions and bears – and little kids sitting on potties. I’m having trouble envisioning a book that would include all those things. Oh – the baby also likes books with sound effects. 🙂

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | April 13, 2016, 9:05 am
    • Thank you for sharing your story about your grandkids. Isn’t it fun to share books with them? My dad’s love for books was what turned me into a writer.

      And kids seem to love scary stories. Hmm, maybe Gunpowder should meet a monster or witch?

      She’s probably a little young for this, but I’ve discovered a fabulous children’s author who is currently self-publishing. He’s a little bit scary, but also very funny. I’m actually helping him whip his second book into shape. His first book is FRITZ FOMBIE: HAVE NO FEAR and his name is T.E. Antonio.

      Posted by Lori Wilde | April 13, 2016, 10:13 am
  4. I started to writer an adult Contemporary Romance novel many years ago without much success until someone suggested I write something for a younger audience. I did and wound up writing a MG/YA Paranormal romance novel entitled “I Kissed a Ghost.” This had been the best advice I’ve never been given. Today I’ve got an anthology of Flash Fiction and several WIPs.

    There’s something special about writing a children’s book, it allows your long suppressed inner child to come out and have fun writing something they love to read about. One of my WIPs is a MG/YA Urban Fantasy [with a romantic backstory].

    To find out more about who I am, go to

    http://www.about.me/rlmorgan51

    Posted by Robin Leigh Morgan | April 13, 2016, 9:06 am
  5. Lori – What has been the hardest thing about transitioning to books for a different audience?

    My son has been on at me to write a book for or about his kids. I read – and have read – thousands of childrens’ books, but I don’t know if there are particular rules of thumb that apply to this genre.

    Is there a strong association like RWA for children’s authors and illustrators, that you’re aware of?

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | April 13, 2016, 9:59 am
  6. Love these books as do my Grandkids and will be buying the rest as the story continues to have them to share as the kids begin to read – oldest just turned 6!

    Posted by Teresa Fordice | April 13, 2016, 10:09 am
  7. Honestly, the hardest part is the self-publishing aspect and figuring out how to get attention for a children’s audience. Luckily, Mike is a teacher and that’s helped tremendously and getting GUNPOWDER into the school system.

    You’re also right that children’s book–particularly YA–is a wide open genre. Those stories don’t have tried and true structure like genre fiction does.

    My personal challenge is knowing the age group and what language works for that age. Again, Mike is invaluable here. He currently teaches high school social studies, but he’s taught elementary and middle school and knows what works.

    I think the key to a successful co-authoring venture is to find somewhere who is strong where you are weak and vice versa so you bolster each other, and you don’t step on each other’s toes.

    Posted by Lori Wilde | April 13, 2016, 10:18 am
    • Is Gunpowder illustrated? That’s what throws me. I can’t draw a decent stick figure, and I’ve always thought with children’s books magical illustrations can be almost as powerful as the story. My daughter collects childrens’ books by illustrators she remembered from when she was a kid.

      One of my all time favorite childrens’ books is out of print. I wish I could find copies for my grandkids and for my sister’s grandkids. It’s called the Tall Book of Make Believe. It’s wonderful! My husband and I loved books as children and we are obsessive about books as adults. Long before we had our own kids, we had filled a bookcase with childrens’ books. Now our kids each have their own collections, plus all the books they’ve added for the new generation. One thing about writing for children, the impact those books make goes on and on.

      Posted by Becke Martin Davis | April 13, 2016, 6:44 pm
  8. I love Lori Wild romance novels – her strong characters who grow within the story. I am very excited to share my favorite author and her style of writing with my children. We are excited to read Gunpowder…?

    Posted by Susan Lewis | April 13, 2016, 10:24 am
  9. My three children are grown (all readers), but my nieces and nephew run from 8-18. I give them books for presents, so we’re always talong about what they read. If it sounds interesting, I’m happy to read it myself (as with Mr. Lemoncello’s Library).
    I applaud your foray onto children’s books. My husband and I have been working on a few picture books, but nothing ready for publication yet.
    Much good luck to you.

    Posted by Debbie Mekler | April 13, 2016, 10:44 am
  10. Hi, I read children’s books. I was an elementary teacher for 34 years and read to my class every day. Love the historical fiction and read them Robb White’s Lions Paw which my 6 grade teacher read to me. The great Turkey Walk and Sassafras Springs are some more that I love. I also like historical fiction picture books and have a manuscript of one about my grandfather who was in the AAA 1904 tour from NYC to St. Louis. Some of the books written for children are well written. They are not easy to write. I also have 9 grandchildren who love to read too.

    Posted by Mary Lawson | April 13, 2016, 11:01 am
  11. My kids are in their 20’s but they devour books. Lol ! They always loved to read and read anything that strikes their interest . Me I am probably one of Lori Wilde’s #1 fans and after all these years Lori knows it !
    Btw I had over 100 strokes in December 2014 and had to relearn to walk and talk and reading is what helped me . The speech therapist was amazed how fast my words came once I started reading. Took me 2 weeks to be able to read more then a sentence without having to put the book down but after a month I could read a chapter until I got up to a book without a huge problem. That’s do to the love of reading authors like Lori , Vicki Lewis Thompson , Jane Porter and Joanne Rock that I have been addicted to all these years !

    Posted by Diana Tidlund | April 13, 2016, 11:03 am
    • Hi Diana! I do so appreciate you being a loyal reader. You have no idea!

      I had no idea you were going through so many healthy challenges. You are far to young to be suffering through this. I am so happy reading helped you with therapy.

      Love,
      Lori

      Posted by Lori Wilde | April 13, 2016, 3:14 pm
  12. Hi Lori! I am a mom of 4 kids, ages 20, 18, 14, and 10. I love it when I find out that my kids have reading assignments. I get a copy of the book and read it as well; that way I can ask them questions and my child and I can discuss the story. It breaks my heart that none of my kids are really big readers, but my 10 year old son and I started getting into books on CD, and we listen to them on way to and from all his baseball games and practices. I was so tickled that he begged me to go to the library and get more the other day.

    Posted by Sandy Kenny | April 13, 2016, 12:54 pm
  13. Lori! Writing a children’s book! I gotta get a copy — for me 🙂 I can’t wait to share one a favorite writer with kids I know. Congratulations to Mike and you on this new venture.

    Nancy

    Posted by Nancy C | April 13, 2016, 1:28 pm
  14. Lori,

    I learned a long time ago to never say never. Sounds like you have jumped in with both boots! Good luck in your new venture. My grandchildren are both big readers, but at their age now they are probably more inclined to read your romance books.

    Posted by Connie | April 13, 2016, 3:53 pm
  15. Well my grandchildren are now 15 and 17 and they read their own books.I always read to them when they were little and I babyset a little girl I read to but she’s now in her twenty’s.I do read to my two nieces sometimes they are 4 and 3 .We visit them every other month.They will sit still enough to listen sometimes.I said I was going to sign up at school to read to the classes .They want people to do that.I know I would enjoy it.

    Posted by Teresa Williams | April 13, 2016, 4:14 pm
  16. My youngest daughter loved all of the Junie B books my oldest love the ponypals. from the time they both were a month old I sat with them in my lap and read to them. I think it’s very important for kids to grow up with books. I did my Mom had books every where. I grew up with the boxcar children I still have my book, my girls are now 20 and 21 years old and they love books and still have the Dr Seuss books too
    Penney
    Penney

    Posted by Penney Wilfort | April 13, 2016, 8:06 pm
  17. What an interesting post! Change is inevitable. Authors too should embrace opportunities as they arise just like business personnels. With careful treatment of the various intersts of the audience in their minds, they end up growing so huge and fill the world with their creative works and, indeed, popularity.

    Your post has prompted me to start writing my long-time nurtured story, ‘Father’s Living Dream’.

    I bet making it to the finishing line coz you have inspired me so greately.
    Ben

    Posted by Benson Masambah | April 13, 2016, 10:30 pm
  18. This is so awesome! I had no idea you were venturing into children’s books. I’ve written a few, just for fun, for my kids, but never did anything with them because I figured there wasn’t a lot of money it them and I didn’t want to take away from everything else I’m doing, so good for you! I may have to think about doing something with all this.

    Posted by Danica Favorite | April 14, 2016, 12:19 pm

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