Author and Artist Spotlight welcomes Rebecca Lyndsey
I am so pleased to welcome talented Rebeccca Lyndsey, children’s literature author and artist, to my spotlight interview! She has such amazing creativity and writing for weaving truly genuine, caring stories with vivid tales to engage a child’s imagination. Her lovely artistry and sweet characters highlight and showcase her adventurous tales. I am thrilled to present a little peek into her creative talent and get to know Rebecca’s wonderful world of children’s illustration and literature!
Hi! My name is Rebecca Lyndsey and I am a children’s book author and illustrator with Beau Coup Publishing. I am also a full time elementary school teacher. I live in the mountains of West Virginia with my wonderful husband and two adorable fur babies who play a huge part in my books.
Tell us about your books “World of Color,” “Imagination Destination,” and most recent “Bullies? No Worries!”
“World of Color” ~ I developed this book for a contest. I had always thought about writing and illustrating a book but that’s all I did…think about it. Until I saw this contest and thought I would give it a shot. I just needed an idea, and being a elementary school teacher, I had read a lot of children’s books. I needed something different. I started looking around me and what the world would be like if our world had no color in it and bam! I had my idea.
Come on a journey with me and discover how important color can be.
What if black and white were the only colors our eyes could see?
Our world is colored in brilliant hues, dazzling tints and intriguing shades. The animals, plants, the earth itself – even people are enhanced by color. How different would your life be would if all of that beauty disappeared?
This e-book is interactive. Just double click on the images and a surprise might pop up.
“Imagination Destination” ~ Our imaginations have the power to take us on wondrous destinations.
Join Kali the cat and her friends as they sail the ocean blue in search of hidden treasure and battle pirates on the high seas. Shiver me timbers! Kali and her friends teach children the wonder of using their imaginations to create whole new worlds while learning the value of staying active and playing outside.
“Bullies? No Worries!” ~ Bullies are a part of growing up, sometimes there are reasons for the behavior and sometimes they just like to be mean but we need to learn how to deal with either situation.
In this book, we once again join Kali and her brother Tuxedo, with their friends Sadie and Roscoe as they learn to deal with schoolyard bullies–and make new friends along the way!
“Fluffy’s Thanksgiving” ~ It’s Thankgiving, and Fluffy is trying to wait patiently for momma to join him at the table. But the turkey’s awfully tempting, and Fluffy’s tummy is growling…
I was lucky enough to collaborate with fellow Beau Coup Author Lyn Croft on this book. Lyn wrote a very adorable short Thanksgiving themed book and I got to bring it to life through illustrations.
Tell us how you have developed “Bullies? No Worries!” from concept idea to book?
Bullies are a part of life unfortunately as is learning how to deal with them. Sometimes the person is having a rough time and they act out, other times the person thinks they are better than somebody just because they may be different. I created this book to hopefully help children understand that it is okay to be different, to have your own uniqueness, your own style, your own likes and dislikes. That taking the higher road is always the way to go and each situation is different and may surprise you.
When I came up with my idea, I sat down and wrote the first draft. I always go back and change words, scenes etc as inspiration hits. This usually comes when I am creating the illustrations.
Next comes the hard part, creating the illustrations. I created all the illustrations for this book digitally. This has its advantages and disadvantages. I love working digitally because of all the different mediums that are available and you can erase, change colors, backgrounds etc without having to restart from the beginning like you do if you were drawing them out traditionally. However, drawing on a tablet is not as fluent as it is with a pencil so sometimes I will draw the image out on paper, scan and add color digitally. I love painting though. I adore mixed media: oil pastels, chalk, marker, paints (I use this technique digitally as well) and I miss working with them and a lot of times will take a break from illustrating to paint a painting. My main reason for not creating all of my illustrations traditionally is because I do not have a powerful scanner and the scans just do not give the paintings justice.
Finally comes the hardest part, formatting the book for e-book and paperback. I think this is the longest process. I still have not figured out a way to do this easily and I don’t think there is one. If anyone out there knows some tricks, please feel free to share hahaha.
What part of your work process captivates you when developing and creating for children’s literature?
I do not like complete silence and I always have to either have music playing or the tv on in the background. When I have music on I tend to get distracted because I have to stop and sing along haha.
My friends and family are definitely an inspiration to me in many ways. I even subtly put them into my illustrations. I do this by adding their favorite animal in the background, maybe add a specific clothing item or a nickname.
Some authors experience writer’s block, I experience illustrators block. When this happens I often will walk away from it for a while. A lot of times, talking on the phone or internet with a friend and just being silly is all I need.
You are a school teacher, author and artist of kid literature and also work as an author and illustrator for Beau Coup Publishing. I like that you have such a wide range particularly from child lit author and artist to Beau Coup Publishing which is a publisher of adult romance novels. How did you become involved in these very different writing and artistry worlds?
I have always loved to draw, paint, and create. I wanted a way to earn an income while doing something I love but my options were limited. While in high school, my art teacher inspired me to go into teaching. I went to college thinking I could get my art teaching degree only to find out it was no longer an option. Apparently art just wasn’t important in schools anymore. I did complete my teaching degree though and used me art skills to create games, worksheets, anything that I could to make things fun in the classroom. This year I am lucky enough to be able to teach art and I have so many projects I want to do with my students.
I still felt like something was missing, that there was something else out there meant for me. A few years ago I read about a children’s book contest and decided to enter. I didn’t win but I found out I had it in me to write a book, something I never really thought I could do. About a year later, I was talking to an author friend of mine about some of my drawings after I had one a design contest for her. She asked me if I had ever thought about going into illustrations, so I showed her the book I wrote for the contest and she loved it. Turns out, she was in the process of opening her own publishing company and before I knew it I had a contract with Beau Coup Publishing. I was excited and nervous at the same time, I loved to paint and draw but was not sure if I could pull off actually creating illustrations that were good enough to bring a book to life. I really surprised myself but I couldn’t have done it without the support and input from some of my amazing friends and family.
Through Beau Coup, I have met so many wonderful people who have impacted my life so much. I met Lyn Croft, who writes in the paranormal genre, but came to me with her children’s book and asked me to take a look at it and get my opinion. My opinion! Wow! I was dumbfounded that someone appreciated my work enough to come to me and get my opinion. I loved her book, she loved my art style and asked me if I would illustrate her book and bring Fluffy to life. This was my first job illustrating a book I didn’t write myself. It was a new, fantastic experience and Fluffy’s Thanksgiving was just released.
If it wasn’t for meeting Curtiss Robinson, a terrific fantasy adventure author with Beau Coup, I would have never met Charles Urbach who is an astonishing fantasy adventure artist. His work is unbelievable, and if you haven’t seen his work, you should really check out his webpage. We have became very good friends in the past year and he is always encouraging and praising my artwork which is quite unbelievable to me because it is nowhere near the level he as achieved. So I want to give a shout out to him because his opinion and praise means so much to me and is truly appreciated.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given that continues to motivate you and inspire you to keep going even during the creative slumps or when you feel you just hit a road block?
That no matter how advanced you are in your career, everyone has struggles and mountains to climb. Always remember how much you have already achieved and be proud of that. If it’s important to you, and you’re proud of what you created, that’s all that matters.
When have you been the most satisfied with your work and what illustration or writing piece in your portfolio feels connected the most to “you?”
I was most satisfied with my work when I created my very first book and all of the illustrations. I was not sure if I even had it in me to do something like that but I proved to myself that I could. All of my books are a part of me and a part of my life; I connect with them all in different ways.
How important is group support and collaboration among children’s authors and artists? How do you personally value and participate?
It is wonderful to be able to talk and connect with other children book authors and illustrators.. I think it is not only about discussing the writing and illustrating world but to connect with people who are dealing with the same struggles: balancing a full time job, family ,friends etc. I personally love seeing everyone’s work because there are so many creative people in this world. We all seem to be supportive of each other which is a rare thing to find. I don’t have a whole lot of time but I try to get on a few hrs a week and comment on people’s work, share when I can and brag to people I know to help get their names out there.
What is your favorite part of creating a new children’s book? What is your most challenging? Did you find self publishing difficult and what tips do you have for an author who is self publishing their own book for the first time?
My favorite part of a new book is creating the illustrations for it. To me, the illustrations help bring that story to life and even though it can be tedious at times, it is my favorite part. What is the most challenging part? Finding time.
How do you find balance in being a school teacher, author / artist for self published kid literature, and author/ artist for Beau Coup Publishing?
Balance? What is that? Ha ha ha. I teach full time in an elementary school and my day does not end when the school bell rings at the end of the day. A lot of my evenings are spent working on things for school. Plus I’m trying to balance that with house demands, reading books, spending time with my husband and of course my cats demand attention, haha. Through all of that I try to spend 30 minutes to 1 hr on my author sites; checking in on messages, sharing and posting, updating my sites, writing on my blog, participating on children sites and making connections and friendships.
So when do I write or work on illustrations? Unfortunately there is not a whole lot of time and my job is so mentally as well as physically exhausting, I find my creativity is zero. On the weekends, I try to relax. My husband and I go out, visit family and friends, spend the day at home relaxing, reading a good book or catching up on never ending housework. Being a teacher, I do get off for holidays, which are a plus and is when the majority of my books get completed. My summer vacation is when I hustle and get as many illustrations done as possible.
I work with a very small indie publishing company, which means the majority of promoting is up to me. I’ve even begun doing my own formatting for my books which is great because it gives me control but is also a tedious process. If you go this route, just be patient with your publisher, don’t be afraid to ask questions and pester them if needed because life gets hectic and they are human too and will often forget things.
Stay in touch with Rebecca on these social media platforms to see her new work!
My Website www.authorrebeccalyndsey.weebly.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/AuthorRLyndsey @AuthorRLyndsey,
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