How to Get Into Writing Books for a Young Audience with Carmen Oliver, Episode 157

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Maybe you’ve been wanting to write a non-fiction book that’s meant to inspire the younger audience, but you’re struggling to find that spark. You feel like you’ve lost that childlike wonder inside of you. Well, you’re never too young or too old to live your dreams. You just have to figure out ways to bring back and nurture that sense of wonder and creativity waiting to be unearthed.

In today’s episode, Carmen Oliver talks about her book-writing journey in her goal to make a difference in the world – one kid, one reader at a time. Learn how she stays young at heart, how to shape a book so you can connect on a multitude of levels, how she stays plugged into that little girl inside of her, and how her grandkids help with that as well.

Carmen Oliver is the author of many award-winning picture books for children including A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard, Building an Orchestra of Hope: How Favio Chavez Taught Children to Make Music From Trash, a Junior Library Gold Standard (Oct 25, 2022), and The Twilight Library (Sept 6, 2022). She’s also the author of the Bears Make the Best Buddies series (Reading, Writing, Math, Science). 

In 2014, Carmen founded The Booking Biz, a boutique-style agency that brings award-winning children’s authors and illustrators to schools, libraries, and special events. She also teaches writing at The Writing Barn and The Highlights Foundation and loves speaking at schools, conferences, and festivals. Carmen lives with her family outside of Austin, Texas. 

In this conversation, you will also understand why it’s important to get out there. Carmen actually sold her manuscript after having a casual conversation at a conference she attended. If you want to share your work with the world, you have to start somewhere! 

In this episode, you will hear:

  • What if you want to write a nonfiction children’s book about someone you never met and who doesn’t speak the same language as you?
  • The story behind why she wrote Orchestra of Hope
  • How to ground a story for readers
  • How to find the right balance of word count vs. images in a picture book
  • How do you know that a person’s story will resonate with a kid?
  • Gathering input to shape your book and why it’s helpful for picture books
  • Using your intuition and being a child at heart – how do you do this?
  • Here’s one serendipitous way you can explore to sell your manuscript
  • Is finding the right illustrator the ultimate act of patience?
  • When a story finds its author vs. the other way around
  • The benefits of telling a story from another country to young readers
  • Passions can go from a hobby to the center of your life
  • Carmen’s career pivot and call to action: how her daughter reminded her about the kid’s book she was talking about writing
  • The first steps to begin a writing career that involves young kids from reading to artist dates and establishing a writing routine 
  • Carving time out of your day dedicated to your writing routine
  • Getting inspiration from the books you read and from the wisdom of other writers
  • Using the art of playing to uncover the kind of story that you want to eventually tell
  • Self-care as a creative and why it’s important
  • The hard part about being in the messy middle of the book writing journey is…

SHARE this episode with a mom who enjoys reading nonfiction and/or is writing her own. 

Similar Episodes:

Do You Feel Unmotivated and a Little Depressed or In A Rut? Try This in the Next Seven Days, Episode 156

Find Your Purpose Besides Being A Mom (This Is An Open Call For 50 Moms To Become Beta Readers Too), Episode 148

Supporting Resources:

Shop Orchestra of Hope: https://amzn.to/3V5A9pV

Website: www.carmenoliver.com 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carmenoliver9013/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carmenoliverjaq 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carmen.oliver.566 

 

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Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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