There’s hardly anyone or any activity that has not been impacted by COVID-19, and that includes members of the Douglas County “26 Tiny Paintbrushes” Writer’s Guild. Yet despite circumstances beyond their control, writers will find a way to follow their passion and continue doing what they do…write!… and members of “26 Tiny Paintbrushes” are no exception. Douglasville resident and Writer’s Guild co-founder Terry Howard, Zoom interviewed one of the Guild’s writers, Allisa Green:
Howard: When did you know that you, as the saying goes, “had a book in you”?
Green: When I was young, I made up stories in my imagination. That was the spark. I started putting pen to paper in my early adult years but struggled with completing anything. I guess one could say that life got in the way but that would not be true; I got in my own way. However, I continued to see myself as a writer and started but never finished multiple stories for years. I believe my breakthrough came when I decided to just do it my way since I had so many stories in me. Now that the floodgates opened with my first three books, I know that there are no limits.
Howard: What author had the biggest influence on you?
Green: Piers Anthony. I drank his Xanth series. Having spent the larger part of my reading time in academia, I now take pleasure in reading fantasy.
Howard: As someone with a full-time day job, how do you find the time to write?
Green: I use to steal time from my social life. Well, that is no longer an issue since the realities of year 2020 and COVID-19 and all have afforded us with more free time than we know what to do with.
Howard: Why did you decide to write books geared for children?
Green: I started with a fantasy project, but the storyline was not flowing. However, observing the train tracks in downtown Douglasville rekindled memories trains in my childhood in Alabama. So the image of “rails” took hold. When I published my article, “Rail Song,” a light came on – write about what you know! Thus, my Rail-Song Stories book series was born. The stories and images poured into my head and I wrote 12 titles for school age readers that same day. Rail-Song Stories Book 1, The Great Pecan Caper, was written in a day. So, I guess my answer is, it was decided for me and I plan to continue along this path.
Howard: What did you find the most and least difficult in getting your books published?
Green: The least difficult was the actual writing. The stories were in my head so all I needed was a comfortable space to bring them to life. Now the most difficult was the self-publishing process. With my 3rd book, I had to contract out illustrating and formatting. Since both resources were in different time zones, we communicated only by email. You see, I needed to translate my vision to the illustrator descriptively. It was like writing a book of descriptions for the illustrator. It took two months, but it turned out perfectly.
Howard: Lisa, you mentioned COVID-19. How else did it have an impact, if it did, on your writing?
Green: The pandemic safety measures on sheltering in place taught me some valuable lessons about patience. Not only did I complete my Doctorate in Traditional Naturopathy during that time, I also started a new book series, “I Like to Read.” Book 1 in that series, APlay Date with Baby Tee, was published on October 3rd.
Howard: As one of the original members of the 26 Tiny Paintbrushes Writers Guild, did that membership influence you?
Green: Yes. 1000 times yes! The Writers Guild was the nutrition I needed to grow my confidence. We share ideas, resources, exposure, connections, and feedback; all an essential part of developing my craft and realizing this truth… I am a writer.
Howard: What will you be writing about next?
Green: Rail-Song Stories Book 3; Bees and Berries. I am really excited about that one.
Howard: If someone were to write your biography, what should the title be?
Green: (Laugh) Perhaps “A journey to laughter!”
Howard: Do you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?
Green: Join a writing community. Talk to other writers and support them. Then write. Find your words, your style, and the story that flows uninhibited.
Allisa’s Books (available on Amazom.com):
Rail-Song Stories (Book 1)
The Great Pecan Caper
Rail-Song Stories (Book 2)
The Best Mud Pies Ever
I like to Read (Book 1) A Play Date with Baby Tee