I know all stories have a beginning and an end. But the beginning of my story of becoming a children’s book author was indistinct and vague. I never imagined I would be writing anything let alone stories for children. This was never a dream of mine. I didn’t have the desire to write for a career, a living, or for fun. I have always loved to tell stories just not write them.
The idea of writing stories came to me, oddly enough, while I was in seminary. My time at seminary was one of the worst and best experiences of my life. I started to read like I had never read before, and I’m not referring to the required reading for classes. Honestly, I read books to get lost in the stories of others during some of the darker years. I got lost in the lives of others; in the adventures and the relationships, in the heartbreak and the joy, in the world away from my world. It was escapism, but I couldn’t escape. I decided to write. I wrote because I wanted to tell stories like the ones I read for the purpose of why I read them.
I quickly found out telling stories and writing stories is a very different skill set. However, after marrying and having our first son, I started reading many children’s books. We read to our son (which later became our sons) every day and every night. They love books. They love stories.
Eventually, I started to tell my oldest son stories while lying in bed trying to get him to go to sleep. He loved them. He would talk about them the next day. He would ask me to tell him a story over reading him a book. It was then I decided to write them down and to share them. However, the main reason I had never thought of writing children’s books was because even if I could tell a decent story, I couldn’t then and still can’t draw or illustrate.
In comes the illustrator for my first book. My wife’s sister Rose – the illustrator of Speckles- was in the middle of high school, but showed a great talent for illustrations and art in general. I approached her about illustrating some of my stories and the ride began. Mascot Books picked up my first manuscript which will be published Oct. 4th 2016! My hope is that this is only the first of many after seeing the product of our work. I still tell my sons new stories and even sing them to my middle son to help him go to sleep. My youngest son, I hope, will enjoy them as books. If my sons are the only ones who appreciate my books, then to me it will all be worth it. But I do hope you will enjoy my books. If you want to join the adventure with me, you can pre-order at my site erichshrose.com. Thank you for reading and please follow my blog which I hope to update with tales from the adventure and general children’s literature information. Live long and read often.