Every writer must answer the question: why do I want to write?
I want to write books that show kids that God is present in their lives. Some kids don’t go to church, or a church school, or get opportunities to learn about Jesus. Could I make a difference in a child’s faith life?
Learning about faith can be exciting—really! Once I heard about a boy who checked out a book on the saints at his local library. He was so excited to learn about the fascinating lives of the saints that he read every book he could find on them. He talked about them with his family, he made scrapbooks of his favorite saints, and his whole family got so interested they became Catholic! That’s pretty exciting.
Stories start with an idea. I was eating breakfast at my kitchen table and admiring a shiny red apple in our fruit bowl. What would happen if an apple went on a journey, I wondered? And one of my favorite sayings, “wonder is the beginning of wonderful,” popped into my head.
So, using my “wonderful” idea, I let my mind imagine an apple journey, highlighted by God’s presence. I wrote my story over and over until it was just right. I made sure I had a problem to solve, along with an adventure. My readers needed to wonder what would happen next? Authors call that “a page-turner.” All stories have a theme: the main character travels somewhere new or meets a new person.
Then I researched and found a writer’s conference. Hundreds of writers gather together to listen to people who know about writing books. Editors work for book publishing companies, and agents help sell your story. I was given the opportunity to read my story out loud to a children’s editor.
She liked it! The publisher bought “A Shiny Red Apple.” I made changes that the editor wanted and I was ready to sign the contract, when the editor said she wanted three stories instead of one! Could I do that? YES, I could!
I wrote fast and furiously, and sent her “A Child’s Song” and “A Sprig of Parsley.” The publisher said YES, she would publish my stories! She chose the artwork to match each book.
In my twelve years as a writer, I have published seven picture books. My three middle grade novels are waiting to be chosen!
Remember . . . “wonder is the beginning of wonderful.”
In my latest book, Alphonso’s Little Reward, a baby boy found on the steps of a monastery becomes a kitchen boy for the fearsome Friar Pieter. Beggar boys, a monster oven, and a mystery bread lead us to a new understanding of Lent.
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Copyright 2017 Patricia Karwatowicz
About the author: Patricia Karwatowicz is a retired pediatric nurse and grandmother of five. She has taught religion classes at her church for twenty years. Her passion is passing faith on to the next generation. The “child in her” still loves to read, write, draw, and talk with kids. Her seventh faith-based picture book, Alphonso’s Little Reward, complements her previous book, Real Mysterious Easter Eggs.