Everyone at On the Scene in ’19 wishes Annette great success on her debut picture book, OBI’S MUD BATH. On this special Monday after Mother’s Day, it’s both fitting and beautiful to hear about what sparked Annette’s journey to becoming an Author. Annette is a mom, a writer, and so much more. Check out those Pinterest-worthy cookies! We’re impressed. Learn more about Annette and what inspired her to write this incredible book with a charitable cause.
At what point in your life did you know you wanted to write?
As a little girl, books transported me to magical places. Then when I became a mom, I would snuggle-up my kids and read every night. It was during these treasured moments that I first thought of writing my own stories. When children read my debut picture book, OBI’S MUD BATH, I hope they find their own magic with Obi and his friends.
How did you learn to write for children?
As a registered dietitian-nutritionist, I’ve done a lot of writing about food, health and nutrition. Writing children’s books was a whole different ballgame. I needed to become an expert, so I began reading lots of picture books, took writing classes, joined a professional writers’ group (the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), found critique groups and started writing (a whole bunch). I haven’t looked back.
What inspired you to write OBI’S MUD BATH?
I’m an avid believer that inspiration for stories can be found anywhere. The seed idea for OBI’S MUD BATH came while reading a newspaper article about an event in Southern Africa. On a scorching day, a little rhino bull named Mark was searching for juicy greenery. As luck would have it, his snout and horn became stuck in a tire, leaving him unable to eat or drink. A team of vets came to the rescue and Mark made a full recovery.
The incident kept playing in my mind with the little rhino full of determination, exhausted and then finally free. I envisioned a picture book that could not only entertain, but also bring attention to the important topics of respecting our environment and addressing worldwide water issues.* And, Obi was born!
How did it feel when you signed your first contract?
It felt amazing! I was super excited, as if I had won the lottery. I write because I absolutely love it and there’s nothing better than when a story comes together, but a goal I had set was to become a published author. It took hard work, a whole lot of patience and a sprinkling of good luck to connect with my remarkable publisher.
I’ve been writing for many years, so my advice is to never give up. If it can happen for me, then it can certainly happen for you too!
What is your favorite hobby?
Besides writing, it’s definitely dancing. Have you ever seen Snoopy when he does his happy dance? Well, when I dance a huge smile sweeps across my face too! In my hip-hop class, we learn an entire routine in little blocks and by the end of the class we know the whole dance. It’s challenging, but super fun and full of great energy.
Just like picture books, I believe dance bridges generations. This means that people of all ages can share their love of dance (and picture books) together.
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’m an avid baker and if you stop by my home, chances are you’ll be treated to something just out of the oven. I receive the most requests for my Uglie Muffins (which prove looks can be deceiving). Recently, I challenged myself by preparing geode cookiesfor a holiday cookie swap. It took three whole days and a few tips from a renowned baker, but my hard work paid off. They were a huge hit!
No matter what you do in life, think big, be creative and give it your all.
Rock’n Geode Cookies
*Check out www.Water.org to learn about their worldwide water efforts. A portion of the proceeds from OBI’S MUD BATH will be donated to this great charity.