Thursday, April 28, 2011

Friday Featured Writer: Author Donna Perugini

With so much information to share, where do I begin? I met Ms. Donna Perugini over at the SITS community. (A button for it is in the right sidebar of this blog.) And, she has been so faithful to me here leaving wonderful, encouraging comments. Not to mention, she can also be found at Twitter.

I did not realize this until I asked her to be a "Featured Writer", but her books were first published from 1983 to 1987 (by Harrison House, Tulsa, OK). A blessing for which she gives God the glory! When she received emails and letters from parents (who had grown up with her books) requesting them for their children, she decided to re-issue them. She said, "I really believe in the message (from the Word of God) of each book." As God would have it, on the day of her book launch (the second time around), surprisingly she was also the "Blog of Note" and had an unbelievable turn out...over 10,000 people. She blogged about it in parts One and Two. But enough from me. It is my pleasure to present to you author Donna Perugini:

Dream Big! Step Forward!

I Taught Children’s Church for 30 Years

During the early years I would search for stories, skits, puppets plays; anything that would help to get the teaching across to the children. Often I would be making bite-sized meals for hungry little minds so they could understand the simple truths of the gospel.

A Story is Birthed

One such time turned into a story that I could see impacted them. I went a little further with the story and shared it with friends. Upon encouragement the story was sent as a query to a publisher. It was a daring step that did not reap any results for a year. During that year I wrestled with thoughts of inadequacy due to no response from the publisher and the fact that I had no writing background. At the end of that year, I forced myself to call the publisher.

When they heard who I was, the excitement at the other end was astonishing to me. “We lost your contact number and couldn’t find you! We’ve just had a meeting and decided to start a children’s division and your book was brought up by a secretary who has kept it on her desk because she loved it so much. Let me put you through to the editor immediately.”

My Heart was in My Throat!

Someone had believed in me and even promoted me! I had one year to prepare for the best and all I could focus on was the worst….until that day I called. I had pushed forward in spite of how I really felt. The book was published and produced a series totaling three books. They had taken the story, worked on the wording, illustrated it beautifully with adorable characters.

(The fourth book, Don’t Hug a Grudge, was separate from the series.)

Like a Deer Caught in the Headlights

It was my first query, my first published book and I was stunned…a deer caught in the headlights. When something like this happens to such an unlikely person, you can’t help but see God all over it. I have to go back to the message in each book. It was always about teachings that would bring children into a closer relationship with the Father. I loved the children and wanted to equip them with every word on each page.

The Books Went Out of Print

The books went out of print and I waited for God to do something for years. It finally came through to me that I needed to do something, to step forward once again. In the first book, The Flight of Orville Wright Caterpillar, he dreamed big about flying one day with actions to back it up. He bought books on flying, maps, and goggles. Well, I dreamed big too and needed to put some action to my dream. The books are being re-issued the first part of 2010 for the next generation that will dream big in Jesus. The idea of ’stepping forward’ isn’t new, just risky. Like Orville Wright Caterpillar, I have a Voice deep inside me that ‘plays umpire and gives me peace’ even in the unknown. I’m stepping forward into 2010 and excited about continuing my dream…. ’publish the Word to all generations!’
Features That Can be Found in the Tabs at the Top of Her Blog:

-> The books have a ‘New Birth Day’ page where children can be born again and share the good news with their friends.

-> Don’t Hug a Grudge has the same plus a Sin Blaster page where a child can be taken through forgiving others and receiving forgiveness for their ‘missteps’. 
-> Songs for Each Book:

The Flight of Orville Wright Caterpillar
The Adventure of Amelia Airheart Butterfly in bye! bye! Dragonfly  
Do Angels Go Camping? (The last song is like a lullaby if it’s slowed down)

-> Book trailers (that have the story being read)
-> Sneak-a-Peek (where the story is able to be read while you flip the pages)
-> Coloring pages that go with each book
-> Curriculum for The Flight of Orville Wright Caterpillar (curriculum is being made for the other books too)
-> Reader’s Reviews (where letters, emails and reviews are posted for people to see how others feel about the books.)

For more about Ms. Donna and her books, please visit her at her site or on Twitter. You can also reach her at her author site (for purchases). Currently, she is working on putting the books into e-book format (with the songs embedded at the end of the e-book).

Thank you, Ms. Donna, for this opportunity!
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