1. Renne, please tell us a bit about yourself.
On the professional side, I’ve owned a writing company since 1997
when my first son was born. I wanted to be able to do something
from home so I could be with him. It was geared to businesses and
also to individuals whom I helped with their resumes. Then, I
went through the Institute of Children’s Literature course as well
as the Christian Writer’s Guild. I decided to start writing for
publication in 2005, and ever since I’ve been writing for children,
adults, and the inspirational market. Additionally, I provide
editing, critiquing, and teaching for business and creative writers.
On the personal side, I am married (16 years this year!) with
three children, ages 13, 9, and 5. We moved from Silicon Valley a
few years ago and now live in Colorado Springs where I have an
awesome view of Pikes Peak from my front window! My oldest is
determined to attend the Air Force Academy, so it has become my
(nearly) full-time job to provide him the support, contacts,
opportunities, etc. to help guide him through this process.
2. What is your favourite book?
This may sound cheesy to some, but my all-time favorite book is
the Bible. It is beautifully written and is timeless in its relevance
and pertinence, not only to individuals but to societies and
nations. There’s a reason it’s still the best-selling book of all time!
Aside from the Bible, I really don’t have one particular favorite. I
read mostly nonfiction, so anything that helps me learn and grow
either in the craft of writing or as a person is high on my list.
3. Who is your favourite author?
Since I read mostly nonfiction, I really enjoy authors that know
how to make nonfiction come alive and read like a story. Probably
one of my favorites for this is Max Lucado. He is a master
storyteller who really knows how to pull you in to his books. He
writes for kids and adults, and my kids like his books as well.
4. Did you try to emulate any author’s style of writing as an
inspiration when you started out?
I really didn’t. I just focussed on the areas I wanted to write about
and then bumbled my way through it. With the gracious help of
some magazine editors early on, I was able to shore up some
weaknesses and learn to strengthen my own voice. I never
thought it would be a good idea for me to try to copy someone
else, although I do pick up nuggets from authors all the time when
I read their work.
5. Tell us a bit about your current writing projects.
Right now, I am all over the place! I’m just finishing up a tech
writing/editing job for an inventor. I’m also in the middle of
developing early elementary curriculum for two different
publishers as well as creating a small-group curriculum for adults.
For yet another publisher I am editing kindergarten and 1st grade
teacher and student text books. I am also beginning to edit a
nonfiction book for an author, and, as an ongoing project, I am
helping to co-develop several workshops for a series of writers
boot camps. Oh, and I just got a job to help design a resume!
6. Are you currently working on a new book? If so, please tell us a
bit about it.
I currently have a nonfiction book proposal that is being reviewed
by several publishers. It’s a compilation book that will contain true
stories from grandparents on issues they face in their relationships
with their grandkids. I am also working on two different
children’s picture books that are in various stages of completion.
7. Any tips for aspiring writers?
I have four tips:
1. Learn as much as possible for others, whether it be
through classes, conferences, mentoring, etc., then make it
your own. Work to develop your own voice and style and
don’t try too hard to be like someone else, because you
never will be. Each of us has a unique gifting and style as
writers–we just need to find out what it is.
2. Write every day, no matter what. Even if it’s only
fifteen minutes. My kids’ piano teacher always told them,
“I’d rather you practice ten minutes a day for five days than
fifty minutes for one day.” The same holds true with
writing. It’s the discipline of sitting down to do it every day
that will make you a writer.
3. Develop daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals for
yourself. This could be a certain amount you want to write.
It could be particular places you want to get published. Or,
it could be short and long-term goals for a book you want
to write. But come up with goals, write them down where
you can see them every day, and use them to keep you
motivated when you want to quit (because at some point,
4. Before you start writing, define what success means to
you. If you don’t, you’ll end up chasing after someone else’s
definition of success, and you’ll set yourself up for
frustration. Not everyone is meant to write a book. Or, if
you do write a book, there’s nothing saying it has to be a
bestseller. Decide why you are writing and base your
definition of success on that. Some people would say that a
writer is not successful if he doesn’t have X amount of book
sales every year. But what about the writer who writes for
magazines with a subscription base of 100,000 people?
That’s way more eyes looking at his work than if he sold a
book. Or, what if your writing is used to encourage people
in nursing homes, or in prisons, or in the military? Your
work may not make the NY Times Bestseller List, but for
those people whose lives you have touched, it was hugely
successful! So think about what you want your writing to
accomplish, and base your goals and success on that. If you
do, you will end up happy!
8. Any last words?
Thank you so much Renee for a wonderful interview. I actually learned a lot from it.