Author and Illustrator, JD Holiday's Blog
~ BOOKS for Kids: Janoose The Goose, its sequel- Janoose And The Fall Feather Fair, The Spy Game & The Great Snowball Escapade, a chapter book for 6 to 9 years old. For Adult: Stories & Imaginings For The Reading Spot.
Connie Arnold is the author of four inspirational poetry books and four children's picture books: Animal Sound Mix-up, Count 1,2,3 With Me, Olive and the Great Flood and Mokey's New Friends. She enjoys writing poetry that is uplifting and encouraging, and since becoming a grandmother; likes to write for children. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and among her interests are reading, music, travel, quilting and needlework.
Hi Connie! Thank you for coming on my blog. I appreciate it so much!
What role does faith play in your life?
Faith influences almost every aspect of my life. I pray each day and read the Bible to help me make the best choices and feel God’s presence and strength with me. I also believe in Jesus, which brings me great joy, peace and hope no matter what happens in my life.
My writing is an extension of my faith as I only write when I feel the inspiration. My desire is to write words that are uplifting, encouraging and give glory to God.
When and why did you decide to write your first book?
The positive feedback and encouragement from others helped me decide to look into putting the poems together in a collection for possible publication. Knowing that the words I was inspired to write were meaningful and could make a difference to someone was a powerful incentive.
Tell us about your inspirational poetry books?
My first book isBeautiful Moments of Joy and Peace. These poems are overflowing with joy and express an inner peace that can be found in spite of difficulties and adversity.
Abiding Hope and Love includes six sections of poems about hope, love, children, music, the Bible and nature.
Abundant Comfort and Graceshares the comfort found through God's grace with poetic words of inspiration to uplift the soul and bring reassurance, accompanied by stunning color photographs revealing glimpses of God's grace and the beauty of creation.
A Symphony of Seasonscontains poetry for each month of the year and holidays. It is written with a musical theme, like a symphony flowing through each season of the year.
Peaceful Moments of Love and Lightis a 52-week daily devotional containing an entire year of short meditations, encouraging the reader to take a moment each day to experience God's presence with His love, light, peace, hope and more. Each week has a different theme.
Connie, you also write children’s books, tell us about them?
My children’s books are intended for preschool and early readers. In fact, my husband and I visit preschools and read to the children since he retired. He makes great animal sounds and shows the pictures. I don’t know who has more fun - us or the children!
Animal Sound Mix-up is a rhyming book that delights children with the mixed-up sounds and cute,
colorful illustrations. A reminder is also included that this doesn’t really happen because God has made animals to sound as they should.
Count 1,2,3 With Meis a lyrical book with vibrant illustrations that help make learning to count fun for children with mentions of things they can relate to.
Olive and the Great Floodis told from the perspective of the dove on Noah’s Ark, and the important jobs she has to do of helping the other animals stay calm during the flood as well as discovering when it is safe to leave the ark.
Mokey's New Friends is a story about a monkey who is looking for friends to play with him and discovers a donkey and a squirrel to share fun adventures. There is a subtle focus on diversity and accepting those who are different.
Besides writing Poetry and children’s books, you have written music. Can you tell us about your works includingLove is Forever?
“Love is Forever” was written for the wedding of my son and daughter-in-law, composed as a solo with organ and violin accompaniment. I have written several anthems for church choirs, including children’s choir that I directed for several years.
What were some of the pitfalls you ran into in your own writing career?
There is, of course, the dreaded “writer’s block” that many writers face at some time. A pitfall I sometimes ran into was thinking in terms of quantity of books sold rather than focusing on the people who were touched by the words and remain faithful readers of my books. My health is another pitfall because in dealing with lupus and other issues I face many challenges in my life , including my writing and especially promoting.
What was your ambition for your writing career to start with and what is it now?
To begin with, I was just delighted to have my writing published and hoping to share it with family and a few friends. Now my hope is to find more ways to share with those who find God’s blessings through my writing.
Are there any particular book or authors who influenced you?
Helen Steiner Rice had an influence in my early poetry writing because her poems spoke to my heart and my mother enjoyed them so much. Various children’s authors influenced me to want to write for young children when I was reading their books to my grandchildren.
I start most days with reading the Bible and some devotional readings. I enjoy a variety of novels, especially mysteries. I have delighted in the past few years in reading books written by other authors I have connected with online through Facebook, blogs and other ways.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be so shy! Have confidence in the person God has made you to be, and use your talents to the best of your ability.
My latest venture has been writing verses for greeting cards. I also write short poems to share on my inspirational poetry page on Facebook. Sharing my writing online has the potential to reach hundreds of people that I could not otherwise have touched with my writing.
Thank you, Connie, for doing this interview with me. I have always admired you! ~ JD