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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Interview with Glenys Nellist and Book Review of 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

On Christmas Eve, many families read Dr. Clement C. Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas."  Now, thanks to Glenys's beautiful words, they can share the story of Jesus' birth to the familiar rhythms of an old classic.

In my opinion, Glenys has a natural gift and flair for rhyme and rhythm.
Here is a sample from one of the darling pages:

"Now donkeys, now cows, now pigeons, and sheep,
Now oxen and mice in the manger did peep.
His eyes, how they twinkled, his dimples so sweet,
As they nuzzled his fingers and cute little feet."

One of my favorite rhymes describes the shepherds:

"They ran to the stable and peeked through the door,
And saw something never imagined before!
There, in a manger, a baby boy lay--
No blankets, no pillow, his bed made of hay."

It is a wonderful book!  If you would like to buy it, here is the link on Amazon:

Link to buy 'Twas the Evening of Christmas on Amazon

And, as a treat to all of you, Glenys is here today to answer some of my questions.

Hi Glenys, welcome!  I'm so glad you could join me on my blog!  Let me congratulate you on your newest book (well at least I think it is your newest) 'Twas the Evening of Christmas.  I absolutely love the cover with the three wisemen.  But it is the rhyme and content of the words that I admire the most.

But, since I can't wait anymore to hear your answers to my questions, let's get started...

First, do you have a process you use in order to tell God's story in such new and creative ways?

Well before I begin any new project, I pause to ask God to help me and to be with me as I write. Since I believe that God's creative, Holy Spirit is limitless, and IN all of us, I always pray that God would show me a new, creative way to share the story. 

That is beautiful.  God definitely answers that prayer!  In my opinion, you have a special way with word choice, rhyme, and rhythm.  Besides that being a natural gift, is there anything else you have done to improve that skill?

I do three things in particular: Firstly, I pay attention to other writers, such as Crystal Bowman (who is the queen of rhyme), to see how they do it. Secondly, I always read my poems out loud because it helps to see if the words fit and flow. The third thing is that I literally count the syllables on my fingers,to make sure that the rhythm of each verse is consistent and concise.

I can picture the counting on the fingers thing, because I have tried it.  I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who does this! Another question I have is,  Looking back over the last three years as an author, how has God surprised you?

When I look back on the last three years, I am completely and utterly amazed that one little book became a series of four (soon to be five!), which led to another series (Snuggle Time) and more titles beyond that. I can honesty say that although I work hard as a writer, I don't really know how that happened. The only possible explanation is the principle of Ephesians 3:20 at work in my life: God is able to do IMMEASURABLY more than all I could ever ask or imagine.  

God has done an immeasurable blessing.  And as your friend, I have had a chance to see how genuine you are.  I love how your beautiful heart shines through everything you do.  I am sure may people reading this are wondering, what advice do you have for aspiring authors?  

Pray a lot, work hard, be patient, and NEVER give up. 

That sounds like great advice!  I do want to know, what is the most rewarding part for you in writing picture books for children? 

For me, the most rewarding part is reading my words to them. Children are a great audience!  Also, because I'm British, but live in the USA, when I visit schools here to read to the children, their reaction is, "'s the British author." Then, when I visit schools in England to read to the children, their reaction is, "'s the American author!" It is so cute, and a total win-win for me! 

I can see how that would be very rewarding.  Also, I would love to visit Britain!  I have been there before, but I can never get enough travel.  And btw, I do love your accent.  It is very charming!
My last question is...What's next?  Do you have any new projects that you are able to share with us?  
Well EASTER LOVE LETTERS FROM GOD will be on the shelves in January, along with two cute titles for Mother's and Father's Day, called  GOD MADE MOMMY SPECIAL and GOD MADE DADDY SPECIAL. I'll also be making an exciting announcement soon, but I can't say any more about that at the moment!

Three new books around the corner is so exciting!  And I can't wait for your announcement.  Well I guess I will wait, but it will be exciting :)  So thrilled for you, and I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.  I wish you all the best!  Thanks, Glenys!


About the author:  GLENYS NELLIST was born and raised in a little village in northern England.  Her stories and poems have been published in children's magazines where her writing reflects a deep passion for bringing the Bible to life for young children.  Glenys lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, David.

Glenys Nellist's Website

Twitter: @Glenys Nellist

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