Monday, February 1, 2016

Interview with Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell, author of 'The Daffodils Grow' & Win T-shirt!

The Daffodils Still Grow was inspired by diary entries of the author/illustrator, Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell, after the death of her mother when she was 14. “My mother committed suicide when I was 14, and after nearly a year of crying and hurting, I was surprised -- almost shocked -- to see the daffodils she planted right before her death still bloom again. It was a big wake-up call to me that, even though she was gone, I could still carry on without her FOR her. Somehow, our loved ones still find a way of communicating with us when we need it the most." Sherri Elizabeth now attends Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. She has a BA in both communications and studio arts from Austin Peay State University. She hopes that every parent will know how irreplaceable and loved they are to their children and that every child who has lost a parent will know they are not alone. Remember, the daffodils still grow!
For More Information
About the Book:

Title: The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughter
Author: Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell
Publisher: Mascot Books
Pages: 38
Genre: Children’s Picture Book 

The Daffodils Still Grow is a full-color illustrated book that portrays life after a loved one dies as seen from the observations of a motherless child. “Beautiful and inspiring.”

For More Information

  • The Daffodils Still Grow is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Watch a narrated video of the book at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thanks for this interview, Sherri.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

As a child and teen, I wrote about things I experienced. Dealing with tragedies as a child can sometimes leave a person feeling alone and misunderstood, but writing helps release those emotions, especially if you feel you can't talk about those things with other people. The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters was inspired by diary entries I wrote as a child while grieving for my mother. It gives a voice to children who experience that loss and also shares some hopeful insight about how a mother’s love and legacy continues on.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I like to read, create artwork and photographs, and I absolutely love spending time with my pets. 

Do you have a day job? Or a night one?

Yes, I do have a regular day job. I transcribe and edit business documents for a B2B marketing company, as well as do a little bit of marketing research for them.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

I went through Mascot Books, which is a hybrid between self-publishing and traditional publishing. I was very happy with the result. It allowed me to have control over the finished product but I also was able to seek out advice and support when I needed it. The quality of the book turned out beautiful, as well.

What is it about the children’s genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?

My childhood was traumatizing, and I still carry a lot of those wounds with me. It is healing for me to write about those things through the experiences of other characters, and it makes me feel better to help others who are experiencing the same thing. When I receive letters from people telling me that my writing gave them a voice and helped them know that they aren't alone, it makes me feel like there’s nothing more valuable in this world than I can do other than to write for them.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters is a full-color illustrated book that portrays life after a loved one dies as seen from the observations of a motherless child.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

I think that the illustrations I created enhance the emotions that are portrayed in the words. While the writing is talking about missing a mother at Christmastime, it shows a little girl remembering her mother holding her in front of the Christmas tree when the mother wore a Santa hat. Then, there is an image next to that of the little girl sitting in the snow, staring down at the Santa hat her mother used to wear. The Santa hat is still there, but her mother is gone. It illustrates the emptiness and loss that the little girl feels. Also, when the writing is talking about the little girl missing her mother who would braid her hair, the illustration shows a little girl crying in front of a bathroom mirror as she tries to brush out her hair after a shower. Readers can just imagine the daily struggles a motherless child goes through on a regular basis. The illustrations help make the text more powerful and real.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Mother’s Day – This day can be very painful for children who have lost a mother. It’s important that they know their mother’s love still lives on.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

I would consider writing books for sons who are grieving their mothers or children who are grieving their fathers, yes.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I just take the old advice of, “Write what you know.”

What’s next for you?

I would like to be a more prolific writer and branch out into other genres while still writing/illustrating picture books. I only wish I had more time. We shall see!

Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell is giving away a The Daffodils Still Grow T-shirt!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one The Daffodils Still Grow t-shirt
  • This giveaway begins February 1 and ends April 29.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on April 30.
  • Winners have 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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