The Ruth Adventures: Life on the Farm
Mascot Books (2020)
The Ruth Adventures: Life on the Farm is Nancy Youngdahl’s third children’s book. Nancy and her husband, Skip, live in Mebane, North Carolina, and enjoy their “senior years” as parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Nancy enjoys reading, writing, golf, watercolor painting, travels, visiting with family and neighbors, church fellowship, and being lazy when time permits. Look for Nancy’s other children’s books, My Nana Was A Free-Range Kid; Remembering Joseph Chickadee and her upcoming book, The Ruth Adventures: Best Friends Forever. Nancy would enjoy hearing from you. Her email address is [email protected].
Hi Nancy, Welcome to Reader Views Kids, we’re delighted to talk with you today! Tell us a bit about your book, “The Ruth Adventures: Life on the Farm.”
A little girl’s love for her father is timeless and special. Ruth, raised on a rural farm in North Carolina, speaks the language of someone being reared in the South you can almost hear her accent as she expresses her thoughts with cute phrases, as only a true Southern child would speak. Ruth’s life on the farm is described in her own childlike way: being tucked into bed each night, playing with, and feeding some of the farm animals, and getting to ride on Daddy’s big tractor. Ruth loves her father for all the ways he shows his love, even with gentle discipline. See Ruth learn how to be honest to keep others from being wrongly punished, as well as discovering that she can be anything she wants to be when she grows up.
What was your inspiration behind the story?
I grew up in the South in a very dysfunctional family with very few smiles, confirmations, and laughter. I wrote this book because I want children to be able to relate to Ruth’s happy childhood, or to see how life can be if they know they are loved by their daddy and if not, at least by their Father in Heaven who loves them unconditionally.
What can you tell us about Ruth?
Ruth is a six-year-old southern girl who lets her readers know how happy her life is on a farm, being able to share responsibilities, and learning from her daddy that she can be anything when she grows up…even a farmer. She learns that telling the truth keeps others from being blamed or punished. Most of all, the time taken by her daddy to let her know how much she is loved.
What is the most important message you hope young readers take away from The Ruth Adventures: Life on the Farm?
As mentioned above, I hope the young readers realize that unconditional love is real. They can imagine how their life could be on a farm with days of fun as well as responsibilities.
When did you start writing and what made you decide to write for children?
I have always been an active individual and love to try new things such as joining pottery classes, painting watercolors, making jewelry, and now writing children’s books. An active life is a happy life.
What is the biggest challenge writing for a young audience?
Coming up with a story that will make a child laugh, learn, and fantasize.
How did you find your illustrator, Diana Delosh?
Diana is one of many illustrators that Mascot Books hires, and I was able to choose her because her style of drawings fit my needs.
What was it like working together with your illustrator to bring your story to life?
I worked with Diana through my publisher and was able to give her my likes and dislikes as well as suggestions which she always responded positive to. I had an exceptionally good relationship with her.
What do you like to read and what are some of your favorite children’s books authors and stories?
I enjoy mysteries, historical novels, and some fantasies. I remember reading The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. It was a single book when I was young, but now it is a series of over 150 titles. I think I loved it because of the children being homeless; adventurous; and caring for each other…especially the youngest. I liked putting myself in their place.
Which writers have inspired your own work as a children’s book author?
C. S. Lewis,(The Chronicles of Narnia); Box Car Children by Gertrude C. Warner, Robert Mursch (I’ll Love You Forever”)…makes me cry every time I read it!!
What do you enjoy outside of writing?
I enjoy reading, writing, golf, watercolor painting, travels, visiting with family and neighbors, church fellowship, and being lazy when time permits.
So, what’s next? Is Life on the Farm the first of a series? Do you have another story in the works?
Yes, Life on the Farm is the first book in a new series. My second is being finalized and should be published by Mascot Books in October 2020.
Where can readers purchase your book?
They can purchase it through Mascot Books.com; B&N; Books-a-Million; small brick & mortar bookstores; Amazon.com; Google.com. It’s available as a Kindle book for $6.99 and $14.95 as a hardback. Maybe even purchased through Christian Bookstores. Just search by using my name or the book title.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, about writing or about life in general?
It is good to use your own life as a writing tool. Read other children’s books to get an idea of what is being written about and the sale volumes.
Do you have any advice for aspiring/emerging picture book authors?
If you can’t get the Top Publishers interested in your book, try doing it yourself or paying an independent publisher like Mascot Books who started out publishing college mascot stories. If you’re interested in getting rich, your chances are one in a million.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I enjoy encouraging other to try writing books if it’s their “hearts desire”.
Nancy, thank you so much for joining us today on Reader Views Kids!