Monday, May 9, 2011

First Book Stories: One Pelican at a Time by Nancy Stewart

A new week of first book stories begins today with this First Book Story from Nancy Stewart. Nancy and I share the same publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing. It has been wonderful to watch the success of her first children's picture book. It is an Amazon bestseller, and has spent time on their Hot New Releases and Most Wished for lists in children's books.

From Aspiring to Author: A Surprise all the Way

by Nancy Stewart

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 20, 2010 changed everything. Two children’s picture books were “in the can” with Guardian Angel Publishing. Samantha Bell, an amazing artist, was working on the first Bella and Britt book, Bella Saves the Beach, when it happened.

Lynda Burch, my publisher and I agreed a book had to be written. So I wrote One Pelican at a Time: A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill. It was a complete reversal of expectations. The book quickly took on a life of its own, morphing from a nugget into a full-blown entity. Much as the spill presented itself, in fact.

Another unintended consequence of the spill was in the book’s timing. Lynda, Samantha and I knew the importance of being first in the US with such a book. And we went for it. I wrote feverishly (no exaggeration here) for six weeks, praying we’d make the self-imposed deadline. Samantha worked tirelessly on the art, and it is magnificent. Much to our delight, we did it! And that meant everything in terms of interest, reviews and marketing.

The other two books? Oh, yes, they will be published in due time. Any regrets? Absolutely none. This was a ride worth taking. A chance of chances to make a real change. In my heart, I know it did. And that makes all the difference.

After having been both an elementary school teacher and a university professor of education, Nancy Stewart now writes full time. She, her husband and three sons, lived in London for eight years, where she was a consultant to several universities, including Cambridge.

After teaching elementary school, Nancy became a professor of education, specializing in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. She was fortunate to have lived in London for eight years with her husband and three sons. In the UK, she was a consultant to several universities, including Cambridge. Her travels take her extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa. Nancy is US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education.

She and her family live in St. Louis and Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Web site:



Nancy Stewart said...

Many thanks for allowing me to visit your great blog today.

All best wishes on its continuing success. This is such a terrific idea!

Pat McDermott said...

Timing is everything, Nancy. Congrats on making your deadline and riding the wave to success. I suspect you'll be watching current events closely from now on :-) Best of luck with all your writing!

Cheryl said...

Thanks for being with us today, Nancy. I'm thrilled the book is doing so well.