Today I’d like to welcome Rhonda Brown to the blog to chat about her first children’s book, Hello Rainbow.
What inspired Hello Rainbow?
An empty-nested road trip to Cooktown.
You have worked in a lot of different jobs. What was the lightbulb moment for you when you realized you wanted to write for children?
I was about to turn fifty and it was a now or never moment.
What sorts of art do you like doing?
I don’t paint and I can’t draw very well. I’m dreadful even with stick figures and for that reason, I am also terrible at Pictionary. My strong point is definitely my writing.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
I write wherever I am sitting and whenever inspiration takes hold. Hello Rainbow was written in the front seat of my husband’s ute and Pussilldoo was written on my verandah while enjoying a drink and watching the cows graze in the paddock.
Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
I’ve named all of the cows and calves on our farm. Every time a calf is born, it gets a special name. Some examples are:
Cola – she’s coloured black like Coca Cola and I have a good friend also called Cola.
Banana Pig – she just loves bananas and pushes all the other cows out of the way if bananas are on offer, and
Three Greyman cows all coloured various tints of grey who are called the Spice Girls – Pepper is the darkest one, Salt is the lightest in colour and Spice is a mixture.
What is next for you?
My second book, Pussilldoo is currently with the illustrator. I hope to release it later in 2017.
Three fun facts about yourself:
I’m a fun grandma. I have been known to get my groove on when watching ‘The Wiggles’ with my two-year-old grandson.
I’m partial to cattle fencing. There is something therapeutic about tying in barbed wire fences.
I muster our bull with a bunch of bananas. Have bananas, bull will follow!
Rhonda Brown grew up in Mackay, Queensland. She wrote her first book at the age of twelve for a school English assignment. Awarded an ‘A’ for her efforts, the story was about an eraser who rubbed out a town. The book is still in her possession forty-two years later.
After leaving school, Rhonda worked as a stenographer. During the next decade, Rhonda left Mackay, worked on an island, backpacked through Europe, worked on a remote construction camp then in the travel industry before returning to Mackay married with three children. Rhonda spent another ten years in administration roles while raising her family.
Fast forward to today and Rhonda has finally found her niche as a self-published children’s author. Her first book is Hello Rainbow. Her second book, Pussilldoo is currently with the illustrator.
Title: Hello Rainbow
Author: Rhonda Brown
Illustrator: Trevor Salter
Publisher: Oombee Woombee Books
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Age Group: 3 – 8 years
An Australian author, multi-award winning singer/songwriter and musician, a mother, a wife, and a grandmother.
‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.’ Mark Twain
‘Like the bobo doll is weighted to enable it to bounce back up, understanding my ‘why’ is what weighted me and enabled me to rise after every fall. I’m not saying it was easy, but it gave me strength to keep going.’ Daniel Flynn (Co-founder, Thankyou TM – from his book, You Have the Power to Change Stuff – Chapter One
‘When you discover your Why? it opens the doors to also discover your Who? What? and How? Who am I? What am I meant to do in this world? And How am I going to go about it?’ Merelyn Carter
We wander around in life searching for our place – how do we fit in, what are we supposed to do with our lives, what is the point of our existence – ultimately, we ask ourselves, ‘Why are we here?’
Even when we get some sense of the bigger picture — why we are here, what life is all about, how some things work in the universe, we can falter on the day to day purpose. Finding our why to all facets of life, both big and small, propels us forward to really living. Living with purpose, having the courage to face the difficulties, seeing the sense in the circumstances of our lives, finding meaning in the darkest times, rising above the hopelessness and greed that permeate so many of the decisions being made in the world. Knowing what’s your why, is a key to living life in abundance.
‘The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.” Marianne Williamson
We need to lose our victim mentality.
Being a victim gives us an excuse to procrastinate and avoid finding our purpose.
Being a victim allows us to blame others for our misery and not take responsibility for our own happiness.
Being a victim stops us from finding our Why?
I can honestly say I have found true, deep, and lasting peace, joy, and love.
That’s a pretty big call, but it is true.
My life experiences and situations have shown me that knowing true peace, joy and love is utterly a matter of perspective. It’s about how you view the situations that you are in, owning your own decisions to get you to that place and seeing the bigger picture. Does this mean I never feel sad? Does it mean I haven’t known loneliness or never feel alone now? Does it mean that I am happy, ‘together’, sailing through life with ease – all the time? No.
Do I ever get frustrated, agitated, angry? Yes. Do I have to face my fears? Yes. Do I get tired of the stupidity that is so inherent in human nature? Yes.
Do I have a firm belief to bring me back to moving forward? Yes. It is knowing ‘What’s My Why?’
It is about having an inner belief system that supports the peace, joy, and love. It’s about knowing strategies to help us live through and rise above the hard times, gaining perspective as to the bigger purpose of our lives.
Megan's two cents...
Knowing your why is so important to gaining focus in your life, no matter what you are doing. If you are feeling lost and want to find out more, please check out my blog post on, How to Know Your Why, over on Just Write For Kids.
More about Merelyn:
Her love for the creative, and her desire to connect with others has led her to tell her story through her autobiography ‘The Deepest Part of Me’, encourage and motivate through her book ‘Inspire’ and tell her stories in song with her husband David through their music as ‘Carter & Carter’ (www.carterandcarter.com.au).
Writing stories for her children and grandchildren has led to the teaming up with IPPY award winning Illustrator Ester de Boer to create her latest gloriously illustrated children’s book ‘To the Moon and Back. Grandma’s Rocket Ship Adventure’. Merelyn and David live in Kinglake, Victoria, Australia on a small farm with 60 animals. Faith, family, and friendship are her life priorities, bringing together people and communities to share the journey of life.
To the Moon and Back
Grandma's Rocket Ship Adventure.
A gloriously illustrated children's book celebrating the relationship between a grandparent and child that explores imaginative storytelling and celebrates the extended family relationship. Be transported on an adventure to the moon on Grandma's Rocket Ship. It's a wild ride. Collect rainbow moon dust and search for the elusive man on the moon.
We can empower ourselves to live to our full potential simply by knowing who we really are…
The Deepest Part of Me
Every now and then someone takes the chance to reveal the deepest part of their soul to the world. Taking away the masks, barriers, and filters, removing the fear of not being liked. Opening their heart and allowing themselves to be vulnerable. Giving of themselves without regret, all with the hope of reaching out to other hearts and souls and making a difference. Merelyn Carter is one such person with her book, The Deepest Part of Me.
For all book and music go to http://carterandcarter.com.au/books.html or call 0416 075 638
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