There was a book Alexis wanted to read to her children, but it did not yet exist. Inspired by her experiences of motherhood and the gap in the market, Alexis Lumbard picked up her pen (or laptop) and began to write!
She has created an interesting range of spiritual and beautiful Islamic books for children including: The Conference of the Birds (Sept. 2012), Angels (Oct. 2013), and a digital app: The Story of Muhammad, based on the life and of Prophet Muhammad.
I talk to Alexis about the principles of good storytelling, how she overcomes challenges with her projects, and how we can tackle misconceptions surounding the Prophet Muhammad.
What inspired you to become a Children’s book author?
“When we were expecting our 2nd daughter and our eldest was ready for storybooks, I couldn’t find any that were Islamic-themed and well done. So I picked up my pen (or laptop) and began to write. It was a messy beginning and my first stories were terrible, but a few thoughtful individuals held my hand along the way.”
What are the principles of good storytelling and what advice would you give to aspiring writers?
“Please do not write for children because you think it is easy. It is not easy and it should not be. Children’s literature has all the same meat as good books for adults—i.e. a tempting beginning, a middle that builds and an end that satisfies. And I’d have to agree with Jane Yolen, children’s books need not rhyme but they must be lyrical.
As far as basic principles go: 1) Less is more. 2) Do not talk down to children when writing. 3) Talk up—children need books that elevate, more now then ever before. I created a little list on www.childforallseasons.com, perhaps some of your viewers will find it helpful.”