An Interview with Ohio Author Rebecca Elkins
First time author Rebecca Elkins is excited to announce the release of her new children’s book Max’s Great Big World! I first met Rebecca at my barn office in 2020. It was a super sunny day as Rebecca shared her story of Max, a boy who has a big imagination and loves playing outdoors! When Max moves to a new neighborhood, he doesn’t know why his next door neighbor, Ellie, is always playing on her digital devices. Trying to convince Ellie that playing outside is much more fun than the virtual world is a challenge for Max!
When Rebecca showed me her storyboard, I knew the story would intrigue both parents and children and keep them engaged. I met up with Rebecca and asked about her writing process and much more…
GM: What is the premise for your new children’s book Max’s Great Big World?
RE: Max’s Great Big World celebrates and encourages kids to use their imagination, amongst our very digital world.
GM: What would you like readers to take away from your book?
RE: Your imagination can be an important tool for you to use. No matter what age you are!
GM: Your book has endearing characters - Max and Ellie. What was your inspiration for the characters?
RE: My two young children were my inspirations! My son, three at the time, always wanted to play outside. I noticed that while he played, he could make the simplest of things fun, like a dirt pile! On the other hand, my daughter who was six just wanted to stay inside and play on her tablet or watch TV. I also was seeing this in my classroom as a third-grade teacher. During indoor recess, students would choose Chromebook games over board games or making a game up with friends. I began to realize that in the age we were living in, kids were choosing the “easier” choice of quick entertainment. For many years I had the thought of writing a book and when this idea popped in my head, writing the story came naturally!
GM: When you're writing, how do you maintain creative scenarios and ideas?
RE: I am constantly rereading what I write, and I take a lot of breaks. When you become stuck on a certain part of your story it can be extremely frustrating. So, I just put the writing away and continue on with life. Then, something that happens will create a spark and bring me back to that part of the story. I either jot the idea down right away or if possible, open up my story and continue on! My ideas come from things that happen around me. As a teacher and a mother, I know kids. I understand their worries and thoughts and use those to come up with stories that can help them understand!
GM: Do you have a favorite scene from the book?
RE: I love when Max becomes King of the Yard!
GM: Who is your favorite author?
RE: I loved Roald Dahl books growing up. Matilda is still one of my favorite books. His stories catch your attention right away and keep it until the very end!
GM: Do you have advice for novice writers?
RE: Never give up on yourself! For many years I only dreamed of writing a book. Even after I had my story written, to me it was still only a dream. I didn’t view myself as anyone special, how could I get published? But, with the support of my husband, I just went for it! You can not let a “no” scare you away! Believe in yourself and your story!
GM: List 10 things your readers may not know about you...
RE: 1) I love to bake! However, I have a hard time cooking anything else!
2) I played the saxophone when I was in middle school and high school.
3) My favorite part of high school was the drama club and the debate team!
4) I have five pets - a dog named Diesel, two cats named Izzy and Mittens, and two fish named Pizza and Sparkles. The cats and fish were named by my two children.
5) I lived in Las Vegas and taught third grade for one school year.
6) I went to Marietta College.
7) I drove cross-country with my mom, from Las Vegas to Ohio in a car that had no cruise control and a very hard time climbing the mountains.
8) My shining moment in elementary school was stealing the basketball from a very tall boy and then running down the court to make a basket.
9) I like to go hiking with my husband and two children.
10) My husband and I drove our Harley through the mountains of Tennessee on our honeymoon.
Connect with Rebecca…
Max’s Great Big World is available in beautiful hardcover edition from Barnes & Noble and Amazon. If you would like to receive an autographed copy, email Rebecca firstname.lastname@example.org !