A conversation with children’s author, Elaine Jenkins
I feel happy and excited, as it’s a new chapter in my life. It’s something I didn’t think would happen, but prayed it would. I just decided to trust God and leave it with him. It’s very exciting and humbling at the same time. I feel really privileged to be able to share my stories with children far and wide.
What do you love most about writing children’s fiction?
In writing fiction, you are free to travel in your imagination and run with it. There are no borders. It’s exciting and freeing and I really enjoy the adventure of where my characters take me. I always have a bare-bones idea and it starts from there.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
No! To be honest I didn’t think it would be possible as my dyslexia crippled my confidence, but I knew I had stories that I wanted to be heard and one day, when I was frustrated about my writing, I heard the Holy Spirit say “I’ll help you”. It broke me. I decided to listen to God and not to my dyslexia. God brought into my life a wonderful friend, Julie, who would listen to my stories and poems and she said that we needed to get these stories out there. She became my secretary. So, again, God provided the help, support and friendship which enabled me to write.
Do you ever experience writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Not really, but if I do get a bit stuck, I re-read what I have written and this helps loosen the block. If that doesn’t work, I pray that the Holy Spirit would give me the next part of the story and then I wait for something to drop into my mind.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to any budding children’s writers out there?
For me, I would say, if you feel that this is something you need to do and are serious about it, partner with God. He’s the one that gives you the inspiration and the gift, and just write.
What was your favourite book as a child?
I avoided reading as a child, unless a book had pictures. Pictures in a book were like islands of safety for me; they confirmed what I thought I had just read. But the stories I remember enjoying were: ‘Treasure in the Snow’ and ‘Heidi’. I also loved A.A. Milne’s ‘Whinnie the Pooh’ – both the poems and the stories.
What book are you currently reading?
I always have my favourite book on the go, which is my Bible. I read it through and then find another translation. At the moment I am reading the New Living Translation, which I received at Christmas. Not only does it build my faith and relationship with God, but it’s so inspirational and there is such a rich, varied, display of characters, plots and ideas. I have also just finished one of my dear friend’s, Kate Patterson’s second book, ‘The Gift of Blessing’. Both of her books are wonderful. Also, one of my oldest friends gave me a book of poetry her mother wrote, for my birthday, which I loved. I tend to read true life faith stories as I find them remarkable and am always amazed at how God brings good and mercy out of our broken, chaotic lives. There’s a raw truth in one’s personal experience that can be missing in fiction.
About the Book
A DELIGHTFUL CHILDREN’S NOVEL EXPLORING FAITH, FAMILY AND FORGIVENESS.
When three siblings discover a lone dolphin, they must work together to keep him safe from local fishermen. The children aren’t sure who to trust and Billy the school bully is out to stir up as much trouble as he possibly can.
Skimmer is a heart-warming children’s novel with charming illustrations.