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An Author Interview with Raven Howell

If you haven't already been introduced to the wonderful Raven Howell, then today is your lucky day! Raven is the author and poet of more than 20 traditionally published children's books. Her books have received several awards including Creative Child magazine's Best Book of the Year, The Royal Dragonfly, The Big Book award, NABE's Pinnacle for Best in Children's Poetry, The Wishing Shelf, The Moonbeam Children's Book award, Mom's Choice, and won the Little Peeps Finalist.  



Raven Howell


We've taken some time to ask her some questions about her upcoming title, Blink an Glow.


What inspired you to write this book, and/or how did you come up with the idea?


I love watching firefly flickers during the first warm nights of early summer. It always reminds me of my youth, chasing fireflies, catching, and jarring them. They glisten the night like sparkling stars! My parents grew up in the eastern European countryside and always demonstrated respect, kindness, and gentleness with nature. I learned at a young age to catch and release bugs such as fireflies. In recent years, I’ve wondered if less children were connecting with that understanding of nature and how wonderful it is and how important it is for us to respect life in all forms. That, and my childhood love of salamander hunting in streams and deep in the woods inspired the storyline to Blink and

Glow.


What were some challenges you faced during the development process, and how did you

overcome them?


No big challenges, but I worked hard at revising and deleting any unnecessary words in my

manuscript. I wanted the story line to be simple and the wonderment of nature to lead the plot instead of implementing an overbearing, obvious author “teaching” lesson. In the story, the kids figure out on their own how they want to proceed, then make their own decisions. I wanted to make sure to write them as empowered and not have the adult figure, Grandma, take over. Additionally, illustrator Ann Pilicer worked over many months to create artistic vibrancy and a magical summer night vibe during those hours in the evening in which the story takes place. That’s no easy feat.


How do you hope your book impacts its readers? Is there a particular message or feeling you want to convey?


My hope is that Blink and Glow may stimulate conversation between parents and children or motivate a child to think about nature as a living, breathing thing, and something to admire, cherish and care for.


What is one scene or moment in the book that you found particularly memorable or

rewarding to write, and why?


I loved sharing the idea of using other creative options and thinking outside of the box for the children’s school show and tell. You’ll have to read the book to find out just what that is!


Looking forward, are there any projects or new directions you are currently exploring? What can your readers expect from you next?  


I’m exploring new graphic-oriented artwork for some of my work. I also have a fractured fairytale summer release and several picture books with inspirational themes scheduled to be published over the coming year. Recent good news – I’ll be presenting a steadier Story Hour schedule at a popular Hudson Valley, NY bookstore. Presently, the most fun is my 2024 summer book tour for Blink and Glow! I’ll be showing up at book events, sharing the story, signing copies, writing fun features, and we’re including several book giveaway events.


What advice would you give to aspiring writers or other artists who are starting their own

creative journey?


If you want to write, you need to read. Reading will make you a better writer. I usually have at least 2-3 books in rotation that I’m reading simultaneously. Stay in the loop. Even if you’ve studied writing or literature in school, the world is ever changing and new ideas, innovative formats are popping up. There are a lot of opportunities for young writers. Just go for it!



 

You can find out more about Raven on her website:


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