I always enjoy hearing from fellow authors and how things are going for them. I find it fascinating how things happened to come together for them, how they ended where they are, why they continue etc. We may be fellow children’s authors, but everyone has a unique story. One that is actually specific to them. I thought it would be fun to share one such story, that of my fellow author buds, Rosie Russell.
Rosie Russell is an author and illustrator of Books by Rose. She has six titles currently available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com She has studied Early Childhood Education and has taught students in elementary and middle school for fifteen years in the Midwest.
Rosie now writes and illustrates full-time and is looking forward to sharing her books with students, encouraging them to write and illustrate their own stories.
I invite you to look in on a conversation Rosie, and I recently had.
How, or why did you choose to become an author?
After raising two sons, I went to work as a substitute teacher in our school district. I worked with elementary and middle school students for fifteen years. I did everything from working as a Teacher, Special Ed., ESL, Reading, Art, and P.E. Teacher. I was a Librarian and worked in the offices. You name it; I did it! The one thing I loved the most, was spending time reading to the children. Diving into stories, and helping them write their own stories was a thrill to me.
Was it hard to create your stories?
When our grandson was born, it was the perfect time for me to start a new career. I was happy to be on hand to help out with him. Reading to him, like I did with our sons, was, and still is, a complete joy to me. I knew I always wanted to try writing my own children’s stories. When I set my mind to it, it was not hard at all to come up with my own tales. I love it when I can use real life situations, memories, people I know and love, and items in my stories. They all have a special meaning to me.
Did you mention having early readers? What are these?
My Early Readers, They are for reading levels Pre-School through 1st grade.
My first story that I wrote is about our sons growing up. “Avi and Jackson Best Friends.” In the story, it’s about two little boys that do many fun things throughout the year. Even though they are different in age, which is true to our sons, they are best friends. Our grown sons are best friends to this day. A dollar of each book sold donates to players in need of sports equipment.
My second story is “Beasley’s Journey.” Again, this one was easy for me as I based it on a sweet little beagle we had when I was around four years old. His name was Georgie. I will never forget the day our dad pulled up in the driveway. His darling little face was peeking from the backside window in our station wagon we had at the time. Unfortunately, he did not live long. A truck hit him right in front of our home and right in front of my families’ eyes. That memory never left. I then decided I would create a character after him and name him Beasley. In my first Beasley book, he finds himself left behind and meets many friends along the way. Beasley is a kind soul and has to be kind even when others are not so friendly. His story has made such a big hit with everyone that I knew that I would have to write a second story. I created my second book called “Beasley and Friends to the Rescue.” This story has all new characters, and oh are some of them “characters!” “Lola Duck” is the first one in the story to come and get Beasley. She needs help to find what all the racket is that’s going on at Farmer Bill’s barn. Let me just say…”Lola Duck is dramatic! “Beasley and Friends to the Rescue” is my newest story which I just finished a fun book launch for that title.
Beasley also was in a campaign called “Beasley Gives Back.” He was the feature in one of my book fairs, helping a young mother raise funds for her cancer. Another friend included items to sell and 100% of all the profits for those items, went to her fund. Beasley plans to do more of these in the future when needed.
The third story I wrote is, “A Search and Find of Every Kind with Jake and his dog named Cain.” This story is about our youngest son and a dog that he currently owns.
This “Search and Find” book has over a hundred things to find. Picture finds for non-readers, word finds for readers. There is a small story that follows along and fun extra activities at the end of the book.
All the above “pet” books, donate a dollar of each book sold to “The Rescue Project.” They are a wonderful group here in Kansas City that reach out to families with pets. If they are in need of food, medical supplies, and homes, this group is there! They are completely dedicated to educating the owners of the pets also.
I noticed you also illustrate your own books, could you tell us a little bit about that?
I illustrate my books using a Wacom Pen Tablet. I have around four different kinds of programs to help me get the right look for each story. I have learned so many techniques from different learning sites on how to arrive for the perfect picture I’m looking for. It’s been exciting to learn and draw from some of the great sites out there. I encourage everyone to give digital drawing a try.
Thank you so much, Rosie, for share with all of us your unique story! One last question for you, what is your favorite food to indulge in?
Humm Vanilla almond ice cream when we’re out! It’s different and something I would never buy myself here at home. Hamburgers and fries and Fried Chicken which I wish I could eat more of it, but I don’t too often. POPCORN is my favorite snack food!
Me too! Popcorn all the way! I knew we were friends for a reason!
If you want to learn more about Rosie and her books, then I encourage you to get social and follow her at the following links below!