n. a grandma that defies expectations and is amazing in so many ways
By Beth Navarro, www.bethnavarro.com
I was having lunch with a friend from college when she told me her cousins had started a cool children’s book company. They want to connect people through storytelling. You should submit your stories, she said.
My first (silent) response was Yeah right.
Little did I know then this would be the path to me holding my very own book that I had written in my hands. I had been writing children’s stories for a few years and I felt like a couple of my stories were ready to be seen by people other then my writing group, but it was still scary. I submitted my stories to Be There Bedtime Stories despite the nay saying voice in my head. And they ended up being a perfect fit! Be There Bedtime Stories is an amazing company. They see the real connection storytelling creates between people and how special it is. They also know that loved ones can’t always be there for story time at night. They provide a way to connect people via the web with video storytelling. Brilliant! They also partnered with Blue Star Families. You can donate stories to military families. A child can have their mom or dad read them a story at night even though they may be thousands of miles away. I love that.
They published two of my stories as web books a couple years ago. And now Grambo, my picture book about a boy who discovers his grandma is a secret agent, is becoming an actual printed book! It is BTBS’s first printed book. I am so honored.
That last paragraph makes it sound easy. Boom web book! Boom printed book! Not exactly. It’s taken time and work. Getting the message right, getting the words right, getting the illustrations right and now promoting this book. I have learned so much about marketing. I’ve learned to have fun with it. If I can’t have fun marketing granny girl power, what can I have fun with?? Finding people you trust to work with is the key. And I couldn’t have gotten better publishers or illustrators. One of the struggles that stands out for me is that fact the picture books are not easy to write. They may be short, but that does not make it easier. Every single word counts. Kids are no easy audience either. They see through stories that aren’t written from the heart. So when a kid listens to my story, really listens, ask questions and wants more, to me there is no higher compliment.
I wrote Grambo for my grandma Jean. And now it’s becoming bigger then that. It’s for all the grandmas out there and for all the grandchildren who love them. After reading Grambo I hope kids see that their grandma is a grambo too, even if she might not be a CIA spy. Their grandma is special. I hope they cultivate that relationship.
Many of my family members influence my storytelling. My tribe is full of storytellers in one way or another: singing, writing, teaching, nursing, poetry, dancing. I had a lucky upbringing. My grandfather in particular was an inspiration to me. His letters were works of art. My grambos taught me how to be a strong yet nurturing woman. Love rules all. And last but never least my daughters influence on my writing is infinite. I know I really had something with Grambo when they said, “Read it again! Read it again!” They are my litmus test. I write for them. I will always write for them and the kid inside me that plays with them everyday.
Grambo is available on amazon March 26th. Help make Grambo a bestseller on launch day!
Here are some prizes when you buy on launch day, March 26:
Buy four or more books: You get one more book free! Plus the prizes below.
Buy three books: You get an 8X10 Grambo illustration print autographed by the illustrator, plus the prizes below.
Buy two books: You get a gift certificate for one Be There Bedtime Stories online book, plus the prize below.
Buy one book: You get a discount! (It will already be shown on the amazon link.)