Wednesday, March 19, 2014

a little book about confession for children (an interview, a giveaway, and a link-up -- oh my!)

Hello friends!  If you are here for the first time ... a huge welcome to you!  I'm glad you made your way here.  I have a lot going on in today's post, so sit back, settle in, and do stick around until the end.  It'll be fun.  I promise.

I have a giveaway and a link-up, both in which YOU can participate, towards the end of this post.  But first, I have an interview with author Kendra Tierney of Catholic All Year.

Have you read Kendra's blog yet?  It's smart.  It's sassy.  It's sheenazing.  And she's got the award to prove it.  I am honored to have her here today answering a few questions about her new book A Little Book About Confession for Children.

Hi Kendra!  Would you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a wife and mother of seven children, ages three months to eleven years.  I grew up in San Diego, married a Marine, and then moved seven times in five years.  But we're now happily settled in the suburbs of Los Angeles with one fish, two tortoises, and nine chickens.

How did the opportunity or desire for writing A Little Book About Confession for Children come about?

As I helped my eldest son prepare for First Communion, I was disappointed by the lack of resources available.  I found the Baltimore Catechism, which is great, some pamphlets, and a picture book, but nothing was, as Goldilocks would say, "just right."  I complained to my Spiritual Director about it and he told me *I* should write one!  So I did.

What kind of research did you have to do to write this book?

I read the Baltimore Catechism, plus the relevant parts of the big Catechism, and did research online at the Vatican website, especially the writings of Blessed John Paul II.

But the most important research I did was talking with my son.  I wanted the book to answer questions he actually had and allay any of his real fears or concerns.

A few weeks ago, my eight-year-old had her First Confession, which, prior to, was fraught with nervousness and anxiety.  Unfortunately, your book was not available at the time.  What do you hope to achieve when a parent reads this book to their child?

That's exactly the reason I wrote this book.  Confession is so hard to understand for so many people, kids AND grownups.  But the more I learn about it, the more absolutely convinced I am of its beauty and gentleness.  The IDEA of confession might be scary, but once kids understand what it really is, I hope it will be a positive experience for them in every way.

There are also practical aspects of the book that I hope will help kids be less anxious.  My own kids weren't worried about going to confession, per se, but they were worried about forgetting what they wanted to say, or not knowing what was going to happen when, or not remembering the Act of Contrition.  The book is designed for kids to bring in to the confessional with them, so they can follow along and not have to be worried that they'll forget something.  That's been a huge help to my own kids.

What keeps you focused while you are writing?

Writing is a great joy for me.  I really feel like it's what I'm supposed to be doing.  (Along with caring for my husband and children, of course!)  I do have trouble getting much done during the day though.  My day is so reactionary.  I'm needed immediately all day long for spills, and snacks, and stories, and hugs, and schoolwork.  It's difficult for me to focus on writing during the day.  But once the kids are in bed and it's quiet, all the ideas that have been bouncing around in my head all day just flow out.

What are some of your favorite picture books to read to your children?

Oh, there are so many I love.  I still have the copy of Where the Wild Things Are that I had as a kid.  This post has some of my recent favorites.

What is your favorite beverage or snack of choice while writing?

I am a Dr. Pepper junkie.  Even late at night.  The caffeine doesn't seem to interfere with my sleeping, so I almost always have one at night if I'm up writing.  But not during Lent.  <sigh>  Right now I have a bottle of water on one side of me and a mug of herbal tea on the other.

Your Big Purse Dump link-up was a huge hit with your readers.  Now that we know what was in your purse before you cleaned it out, would you show us your workspace where you do most of your writing as it is right now?

So, I've got my fancy new touchscreen monitor (thanks to my Dad), the tea and water I mentioned before, plus a glass of water one of the kids left there in a birthday party goblet, my phone, my iPad, an old-timey alarm clock, an envelope of photos from the baby's three month photo shoot, kids' mouth guards, leftover Christmas cards, and my favorite, favorite footed tea set.

Plus a whole lot of other stuff.

It's probably the messiest spot in the house.  Except my oldest son's desk.

Thank you, Kendra for joining us today!  Please do keep us updated if you have any other projects in the works.

And now, for the GIVEAWAY!

Kendra is generously offering one copy of A Little Book About Confession for Children to one lucky reader.  Just leave a comment below if you are interested in the giveaway.  Please just one comment per household.

Comments for the giveaway will be accepted until 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, on March 26, 2014, and the winner will be announced in a post on March 27.  At the very bottom of this post you can choose your preference for staying updated on future posts.


At last, the LINK-UP!  Thank you for making it this far.  :o)

I think it would be fun to see where YOU do YOUR writing!

Just write a post about your writing space, include a photo or two, and give us a little tour.  Grab that pretty image above to include in your post and link back here to this post so that others can find us.

THEN come back here and use the Inlinkz tool below to link up your post.

( Psssst.  As a bonus, I'll count your link-up as an entry in the giveaway.  That means you can comment AND link up for a total of two entries. )


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