Indie Saturday – Author Mandi Tillotson Williams on her Children’s Series ‘Mortimer Crump’ and ‘Henrietta Hexagon’
Today, we have author Mandi Tillotson Williams featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her children’s series of books Mortimer Crump (Mortimer’s Book of What-Ifs and Mortimer’s Sweet Retreat) plus Henrietta Hexagon and the Triangles.
Mandi Tillotson Williams writes :
First of all I’d like to share with you all why I finally decided to pursue my life long dream of writing for children.
In 2005 I experienced a personal tragedy turned miracle that changed my entire outlook on life.
My youngest son was born at only 28 weeks and weighed less than 3 pounds. He spent 73 days in Neonatal ICU and we were told he may not walk or talk due to a severe bleed on both sides of his brain. I was currently working as a realtor (which I didn’t really enjoy) at the time and after the birth I quit my job and spent all my time with my three children. It seemed that my youngest would have a long tough road and I wanted to try and be there for him and my other two kids as well. I wasn’t sure how tight money would get with hospital bills coming in and my not working but at the time all that mattered was taking care of him. He was sent home on a heart monitor and would stop breathing and turn blue several times a day so of course I didn’t trust anyone else to care for him.
I want to share a poem that I wrote just a year or so ago about my experience and my little miracle that lead me to do what I truly love, writing and illustrating for children.
MY ANSWER AS TO WHY?
I woke up this morning with a really clear view.
My answer as to “Why?” I hope you see it too.
Several years ago, I had a two pound baby boy
12 weeks premature… I felt anything but joy.
He wasn’t doing well, his life was hanging by a thread
Not knowing why this happened, my heart was filled with dread.
The doctors said he may not walk, his brain was full of blood
He wouldn’t learn, he may not talk, none of this was good.
I sat and wrote that very day, an email to my friends
Asking all of them to pray and then to please hit send.
Within a week, to my surprise, I had an inbox full of letters
Strangers sending hope our way, praying he’d get better.
They sent him home after 73 days but again, with not much hope
We had no clue of what may happen on this scary uphill slope.
On this day, he’s five years old and no one would never know.
He’s doing great, he’s really smart. He’s anything but slow.
As I said before, I woke today with an answer as to “why?”
I came to my desk to try and type and then began to cry.
My child was saved so I’d spread the word of what Jesus did for me.
I feel that’s why I rhyme so well. I want all the world to see.
Something big will come of this, I can feel it in my heart.
For now I’ll spread to my home town, but I know it’s just a start.
So now you know why I feel so strongly about getting my work out there.
I want to share with you another funny coincidence about my character from my first book, Mortimer. I created Mortimer several years before my youngest was born but my son actually looks like Mortimer, without the red hair, but he is long and lean, very active and wears glasses. My little one has blue glasses though so I told him I’d have to give Mortimer blue glasses in the second book. ;0)
My first book in the Mortimer Crump series has just won a Mom’s Choice Award which I was extremely happy about! Mortimer’s Sweet Retreat is about a little boy that is scooped up by a ferocious looking beast and is whisked away to an undiscovered CANDY coated planet! Everything there is made with candy! Just a few of those things include marshmallow bees, lollipop trees and a lake full of jelly bean stew! Mortimer becomes friends with the beast and has to try and save him when he is kidnapped. This is a sweet story of friendship that shows you that you can’t judge someone by looks alone. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
The second book in the series is already completely written and I will be starting the illustrations this summer. It will be a crafty surprise!
I also have two other books published thus far. One being Mortimer’s Book of What-if’s. This is a funny collection of answers to many ‘what if’ questions children often ask. This book has been great for teachers in elementary school to use as writing prompts with their kids. They ask the kids to write their story after only hearing the question. (Ex. What if you don’t clean behind your ears?) After writing their story, they get to hear Mortimer’s answer which is guaranteed to have them laughing.
Henrietta Hexagon & the Triangles is the title of my third book and it has been a great tool for teachers as well. It is a story of acceptance and fitting in but it touches on adoption and has a slight lesson in shapes as well. You will fall in love with Henrietta. Keep in mind, this is a story (not a lesson in shapes) so it is for elementary kids that know their shapes as well as young children.
I’d like to personally thank all of you that have taken the time to read my story as I really appreciate my fans. Without you I wouldn’t be able to do what I love. I know I still have a long way to go but I am determined to get my work out there to a wider audience. If you happen to read any of my books and enjoy them I’d be so thankful if you’d take a moment to leave a review on amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes & Noble.
“With God, all things are possible”
Mandi Tillotson Williams is an Award winning author/Illustrator (Presented by Mom’s Choice Awards). She is currently pursuing a lifelong dream of writing for children on top of having her own photography business (Snapshotz ‘n’ More Photography) and juggling her three kids and their activities.
Mortimer’s Sweet Retreat (The Many Adventures of Mortimer Crump, Book 1) is available at Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. Mortimer’s Book of What-Ifs (A Children’s Rhyming Picture Book of Poetry) is available at Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. Henrietta Hexagon and the Triangles: Fun Shape series (Volume 1) is available at Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. Check out Mandi’s Amazon author’s page for more info! Mandi Tillotson Williams’s books are also available at Barnes & Noble.
To learn more about Mandi Tillotson Williams, follow Mandi on her website/blog: blogwithmandi.wordpress.com. You may also follow her on facebook via her Facebook book page: http://www.facebook.com/MortimerCrump and on Twitter: @mortimercrump. Drop by and say hi to her!