Monday, April 04, 2011

Interview with Brittany Crawford

Brittany Crawford, already suffering from Cerebral Palsy, decided to write a story on being blind for her elementary school project. It was so good that it appeared in the school newspaper, Tee Pee Talk. From that day on, she knew she wanted to be a writer. Today, her dreams of becoming a published, children's author has come true.

What was your path towards publication like?
I think publishing a book is like sending your child off to college. You pour your heart and soul out to your kids, teach them, mold them, shape them.

I sent a copy of the book to a potential publisher in August, they were impressed, and wanted to see more. Strategic offered me a Joint Venture Publishing contract in September 2009. The book was released in February 2010 It was a long six months, but I feel it is paying off.

What is your biggest obstacle when it comes to pitching yourself as a writer and what steps have you taken to overcome that obstacle?
Well, I have Cerebral Palsy. This disability affects the right side of my body. Driving is one of my biggest obstacles. When I set up a book signing and book pitches, I am always upfront and honest about my responsibilities to my grandmother, who has dementia as well as my own situation. After I tell people my story, they usually work around my schedule.


Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book?
Five year old Penny Brown is slightly different from the other boys and girls in her kindergarten class. She must sit in a wheelchair and cannot jump rope or slide down the big slide like all of her classmates, which makes her very sad. However, Penny finds support from her friends and family.

Her friend Amy helps Penny focus on the activities that she can do in her wheelchair, like kick a ball with her left foot, play with dolls, and draw beautiful pictures.
When Josh, a new student, comes to school, will Penny find comfort in something they have in common?


If you could choose just one thing for your book to accomplish, what would it be?
I want kids, and adults, to know that it is okay to play and interact with people who are disabled.


What is your best advice for getting past writer's block?
Play Scrabble. I have a CD-Rom version of the game, and forming new words on the board, helps me focus. I will also read my writing out loud to my Grandma. She often doesn't follow it, but the reading entertains her, and helps me check for spelling errors.


What’s ahead for your writing?
Children deal with a lot of tough stuff in this day and age… death, divorce, illness, etc. I am planning to create a Penny Brown series with my illustrator Michelle Oakley that will deal with these issues.
The second book, in the Penny series, is being illustrated now. It deals with a series illness.


Visit Brittany Crawford on her blog, http://www.thepennybrownadventures.blogspot.com/

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This post was sponsored by The Dabbling Mum.

For more great articles geared towards authors and writers, check out the Writing Center.

1 comment:

Knit 1 for the Road said...

I love Brittany's message to big and little kids alike. This was a a very inspiring interview. Thank you for sharing the message and the info about Brittany Crawford and her writing.

Margaret

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