Marcy Pusey won her first writing contest when she was a little girl — earning tickets to the circus! In 2017 she earned the #5 spot on The Gittle List for According to Corban. No circus is in town this time, but she earned lots of free promotion during the submission period. (Read Aviva’s review.)
How did it feel to win a spot on The Gittle List? I was so excited to learn I’d won a spot on the Gittle List! I’d felt personally confident that According to Corban is a fantastic book, but having The Gittle List affirm the quality of my book was a high honor and reward. It’s not just in my head that I’ve produced a great story!
Tell us about your latest project. “Speranza’s Sweater” is launching Feb 2018. I’m so excited to share her story with the world. Speranza is a foster child who both wishes to return home and find a safe, loving home. It’s the story of a little girl processing the many mixed emotions that come with being in foster care and, for some, adoption. Speranza introduces children to the inner world of a foster child, while simultaneously creating a camaraderie with children whose stories parallel hers.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Laurie Halse Anderson, a fantastic author, reminded me that as I pursue my dream of writing, I teach my children that growing up doesn’t mean we abandon dreams. Instead, we invite our loved ones into our aspirations, not at their expense, but in partnership. This freed me of so much “guilt” about having any outside interests. Both can coincide in a way that inspires them to be the healthiest grown-up person they can be.
Any advice for writers thinking about self-publishing a children’s picture book? Read every picture book you can get your hands on. Do research on writing quality picture books. I’m a picture book coach and editor for indie writers wanting feedback on their work and some hand-holding in getting it published. Find someone like me to make it the best possible book with an easy publishing experience. Make it your goal to prove that indie books are as good (if not better) than traditionally published books.
What was a defining moment in your life? As a child my family was on welfare. We had very little. At the Boys & Girls Club, I entered a persuasive writing contest to win tickets to a Circus. No one in my family had ever been to a Circus. And I WON! It was the first experience where my “pen” earned
something wonderful for my family. I realized I could contribute joy and hope, through my writing, for myself and others and was hooked.
What gives you hope? The hope I experience in God is far greater than any hope I’ve found on earth. It’s not wishful thinking, but an expectation that God will do great things, regardless of circumstances. This gives me strength in hard times, knowing that God is not limited by my trials but instead is able to do more than I can dream or imagine. It’s this kind of hope I want kids to know.
Marcy Pusey, CRC, is a picture book self publishing coach, clinical counselor, writer, wife, and mommy. Over the last twenty years, Marcy has worked with children, adolescents, adults, families, and couples through private practice, group homes, foster family agencies, community based services, and wrap-around programs. Marcy’s award-winning writing has appeared in newspapers, magazines, blog posts, children’s books, and books for adults. She’s a member of SCBWI and writes inspirationally from her blog at www.marcypusey.com. Marcy, Jeremy, and their children live in Germany. When she’s not writing, she’s planning her next adventure or reading about someone else’s.