LOS ANGELES, March 8, 2013 — Rebecca Crownover is the author of the children’s book, My Daddy Is In Heaven With Jesus. She took time out of her busy day in the farming business to discuss the book and the impact it has had on her life and on the lives of others.
Kevin Wells: What inspired you to turn the loss of your husband into a children’s book?
Rebecca Crownover: When my husband passed away, I had a two and a half year old girl named Acie. One of the things I was needing help with was how do I explain the loss of her dad to her, to this two and a half year old child, my daughter. I could not find a book that I felt was on her level of understanding, a book to really kind of help guide her through this and put it in simple terms that would help to explain the experience to her.
There were a few books out there, but they were just too high over her head for her to understand. There really wasn’t anything out there for her to read. As we went through our own healing processes and going through that path of getting over the tragedy that we went through—the loss of her dad—a lot of things came out of that time with Acie. As I put it all together, looking back over what we went through, it all inspired me to write my own book on this. That’s because what we went through were actual events and actual things that happened that a little child dealt with having to get through the loss of her dad.
By taking a look through all that, it inspired me to go ahead and write my own book in the hope that it might help other people, so they’re not in the situation I was in with my two and a half year old, wondering, “Is there a book out there that I can put in front of my child?” Being able to do something like that and feeling inspired to help other people was the reason I went forward with the book.
KW: Was writing the book cathartic for you as well?
RC: Yeah, it was also great therapy for me because, I’ll tell you, the night I began to write, I was in absolute tears pouring my heart out into it. So it was definitely not just for other people, but for myself and for my daughter and it’s been really good therapy for the two of us.
KW: How did your daughter respond to the book?
RC: She loved it. The first time I ever read it to her, she was a little bit emotional about it, and sad that she didn’t have her dad. The more we’ve read it, the more she loves it. We read it on a weekly basis, almost every other night. She’s not starting to learn how to read, so she loves “reading” it to herself in her own words. She’s had a real positive response to it, and it’s actually been a really good thing for her.
KW: This being your first book, did you encounter any trouble when you started writing?
RC: This was one of those books that just sort of poured out from my heart, so it pretty much freely came out on paper. I love to write, you know. I was journaling all through the time that I lost my husband. It’s just something I like to do, I like to write. So whenever I wrote parts of the book, it came out on paper very easily. But then, of course, I did work on it for a few months and edited it a little more and fine-tuned it before I took it to my publisher to see about getting it in print.
KW: Do you see yourself writing any other children’s stories in the future?
RC: I do. I actually have a couple that I am working on now. I have one that should be out sometime this summer. It’s different from this current book. I have a farming background. By profession, I’m a farmer. So my next book is going to be about a Texas farm girl and some of the experiences I actually had myself, growing up as a farmer working with my grandfather. And then I have another book that will end up as a sequel to this first one. That will come out later, towards the end of the year.
KW: Has your life changed as a result of writing your current book?
RC: My life hasn’t changed a whole lot except that the book added a lot more experience to my life. It’s made it a lot busier, for sure. It’s definitely put me in the spotlight a little bit more. I would say the biggest change and the biggest impact that it’s made on my life, though, is that I have truly seen it help other people. That really has changed my life in an emotional way because I didn’t think that it would impact the amount of people that it actually did once I published it. I thought a few people will like it; a few people will be touched by it. But honestly, on a weekly basis, I get emails through my website (www.rebeccacrownover.com), you know, people just giving me their stories about the tragedies that they’ve gone through and how my book had helped. That’s the biggest impact it’s made. What the book changed in my life was my ability to be able to help people through personal tragedy.
KW: How involved are you still with Lonestar Family Farms?
RC: I’m still full time. My primary career is being a partner in our family farm and owner in it. Writing is just a second career that I have launched that I really enjoy. I really like it. That’s something that I am really going to be pushing on hard in my life and pushing it further.
KW: Is there anything else you want people to know about you or the book?
RC: My book is not just a children’s book. I’ve even put a forward in there from me about life. One of the things that surprised me when I published this book was that it really resonates not just with kids but also with adults. It is a simple, true story about life. I think that when adults look at this book they’ll think it’s just a kid’s book, or a book out there that’s only for kids that lost their dad. But in reality it’s also a book that has really resonated with adults, too, and something adults that have lost a parent or even gone through a tragedy can, I think, find comfort in as well.
My Daddy Is In Heaven With Jesus, by Rebecca Crownover. Herndon, Virginia: Mascot Books, 2012. $14.95 retail hardcover. Also available as a Kindle e-book through Amazon.com.
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