Bobbie Hinman loves many things about her life: the Florida sunshine where she lives, supporting other authors, her family and fairies. She loves the latter so much she’s written five multi-award-winning books about them.
A former elementary school teacher, Bobbie uses her experiences to capture the heart and soul of a young child’s unique voice and how this perspective translates into the world.
Now that I’ve introduced you to Bobbie let’s get to know her a little better.
Hello, Bobbie, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.
What inspired you to be a writer?
I grew up in a generation when kids spent Saturdays at the library. There were just a few TV stations back then and reading was what we did for enjoyment.
I have known since then that there were stories in me waiting to be told.
Is writing your full-time profession?
After writing most of my life, my full-time writing has gradually transitioned into full-time editing.
I still have a few stories left to tell, but it is even more fulfilling helping other writers see their dreams come true.
How long have you been writing?
My first books (7 cookbooks) were published in the early 1980s.
Having been an elementary teacher before that, I have taken a long, round-about route to writing children’s books.
I released my first fairy book in 2007. Wow! I just realized how long ago that was.
How has teaching influenced your writing?
Teaching taught me how children think. I don’t think you can write effectively until you know what children are interested in reading, how they think and how they process information.
There’s a chapter in my book called Think Like a Child – Write Like an Adult where I offer insight into a child’s thinking process.
How many books have you written?
I have written 7 cookbooks that were traditionally published, 5 children’s picture books that I self-published and my recent book, How to Create a Successful Children’s Picture Book, also self-published.
Have you won any awards?
My children’s books have received 28 children’s book awards, including the Moonbeam Award for Best Picture Book Series for 2017.
My “how-to” book just received a silver Benjamin Franklin Book Award.
Holy Cow! Congratulations and Well Done!
Which genre do you write?
I write mainly Children’s Picture Books.
What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?
It’s very challenging to come up with ideas that will both appeal to the youngest readers and teach them something.
I always advise new authors to spend time with children in the age group they are targeting. Read your stories to them. Ask them what they like. Listen carefully to what they have to say. Their opinions are crystal clear.
What are you working on now?
After cookbooks and children’s books, I’m now working on a ghost story. It’s the true story of a ghost that shared our house in the 1980s.
Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
Mostly from my grandchildren. They have helped me keep my creativity at a high functioning level. They are so clever in ways that my generation was not.
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
My school visits, and I have done hundreds, are where the rewards are found. There is nothing like sitting in front of a group of children and watching their eyes light up as they lose themselves in a story.
Then there are the group hugs as I leave their classroom, often followed by the fairy drawings they often send me.
What advice would you give to authors just starting out?
First, know your target audience—who they are what they like.
Second, form a focus group of children in this age group and read your stories to them. LISTEN to what they have to say. Their opinions matter more than those of your best friend.
And please, please have your book professionally edited. Don’t do all the work and run the risk of producing an inferior product.
And one more thing: Read! I firmly believe that you can’t write if you don’t read.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
I have 13 grandchildren, the best hubby in the world and 2 kitties. Someday I hope to write a book featuring photos of “Twinkle” and “BooBoo.”
What message are you sharing in your books?
In How to Create a Children’s Picture Book, I share everything I have learned on my journey.
My message is twofold: If I can do it you can, too. And, if you are going to do it, do it right. My goal in writing the book is to help others become successful.
What are your favorite books/authors?
Dr Suess. He taught me to love reading at an early age; he also taught me to rhyme.
What are your favorite movies, TV shows?
I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I love movies. My all-time favorite is When Harry Met Sally.
When you’re not writing where can we find you?
Riding my bike while enjoying the Florida sunshine.
Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?
www.bestfairybooks.com, Bobbie Hinman( Facebook) Best Fairy Books (Facebook) Think Like a Child – Write Like an Adult (Facebook Group)
Information about my editing services can be found on my website: https://www.bestfairybooks.com/bobbie-hinman-editor-consultant.html
Where can we find your books?
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, my website, many libraries and gift shops and the trunk of my car.
Thank you, Bobbie, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!