I want to welcome Ellen Leventhal to the blog today. Ellen is the author of A Flood of Kindness published by Worthy Kids.
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When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Although I always loved to write stories, poems, etc. when I was a little girl, I don’t think that I ever really thought about being an author growing up. I just knew I liked to write. I took creative writing classes in high school and college, but still I wasn’t thinking about writing for children. I was a teacher for many years, and it wasn’t until about thirty years into that profession (which I love) that I thought maybe I could also write children’s books. I tried it; it took a long time to get published, but I was hooked.
When you are not writing, what other hats do you wear? What do you do for fun?
It’s funny that you asked this question. When I do school visits, I talk about the fact that we are all many things. My other hats are those of a teacher (retired but still doing a little), mom, grandma, wife, and friend. I wish I were crafty so I could say that I knit or build things, but I don’t have that talent. I do love to read, walk (especially when I have writer’s block…it helps clear my head), and hang out with family and friends. I am optimistic that those last two will be happening again soon.
I know the social distancing of the past year has been difficult for many. Have you been separated from loved ones?
I am incredibly lucky that my children and grandchildren live in the same city as I do. Of course, we obeyed Covid protocols, but we were able to stay in each other’s bubble for the most part.
What can you tell us about your reason for writing this book?
The reason for writing A Flood of Kindness is twofold. After my house flooded the first time, I thought about Mr. Rogers, and how he told children to “look for the helpers.” I didn’t have to look far. I was immediately surrounded by people who wanted to help, and I was immensely grateful. I wanted to make people aware of and stress the kindness of both friends and strangers. I felt it was important to show children that although things can be difficult, there are people who will be there to help. Secondly, I wanted to empower children with the idea that they too can help, if only in a small way. Through my discussions with children, I learned that they, like I, felt better when they could make someone smile.
Who did you hope to encourage with this book?
I hope to encourage both children and adults. My hope is that this book will remind readers to look for ways they can make the world better in some small way. I want children, especially, to realize that they have the power to do this. I also hope to encourage more kind acts in the world, in general. I am launching a Kindness Challenge for children to show them that they have the power to help change the world through kindness.
As a former K-12 school librarian, I have to ask – what is your favorite children’s book?
Oh my. I can’t choose! There are too many. Sorry. 😊
What advice would you give to a child or teen who wants to be a writer?
Read, read, read. Reading will open your mind to new things and spark your imagination.
Write what you want (aside from school assignments…do them!). But writing what you want to write will free you and flex your writing muscles.
Study your craft. As you get older, you’ll be moving from just getting words on paper (important first step!) to looking at the structure and what is the best way to get your ideas across.
And of course, if it is something you want, go after it with passion and persistence. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it.
Thank you for joining us today, Ellen. My readers and I always enjoy getting to know the authors behind the books we enjoy.
Make sure you check out Ellen’s web site – https://www.ellenleventhal.com/
You can purchase books at: (affiliate links)
I55 Fundraising – If you are looking to purchase books for your library (or for personal use) or a company to use for Book Fairs – I recommend I55 Fundraising.
If you are an avid reader, you need to check out Totally Booked: A Book Lover’s Companion. Totally Booked, a companion reading journal from The Mosaic Collection, is perfect for book lovers. As a paperback, Totally Booked travels easily and is a charming gift for mothers, sisters, girlfriends, book lovers, avid readers, book club members, influencers, bloggers, and book reviewers (description from Amazon).