I first met Jean Matthew Hall at a writers’ conference in Memphis this past spring. I quickly learned that we share many common interests in writing, in perseverance, and in faith. I am honored to interview Jean about her newly released picture book with Little Lamb Books. God’s Blessings of Fall is the first in a series of four picture books highlighting the blessings God bestows upon us throughout the seasons.
Q: Welcome to my blog, Jean! I understand this is your first picture book. How long have you been a writer, and when did you start working on God’s Blessings of Fall?
A: I started writing for publication around 2007. I’ve been studying and having some success since then. God’s Blessings of Fall is my first picture book. So, that means 12 years. This manuscript was one of my first. I wrote the first draft in 2009.
Q: This is a beautiful book and the first in a series about the four seasons. What is your favorite season, and what inspired you to write this series?
A: I believe fall is my favorite time of year. The cool weather, the colors, the food and those cozy sweaters and blankets!
I am enamored with God’s created world. I enjoy observing the changes in the seasons. So, following the adage “write what you know,” I began a story about my four-year-old grandson running through the yard on a crisp autumn day.
The idea for a series came from my agent. And there you have it!
Q: Tell us about the illustrations in your book, and describe your favorite scene.
A: Olya Badulina did a wonderful job! The animals are realistic, yet cute. I think my favorite is the scene with the dirt road and the barn in the background. It just looks so fallish!
Q: What do you think children will like most about your book?
A: The sweet animal characters in the illustrations are sure to be a favorite, I think. But I hope they also love recognizing those same creatures in the world around them.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I had a hard time making up my mind! I wanted to be an artist. Then I decided to become an interior designer. By high school I wanted to be anything but a teacher—oh, my! My freshman year in college I decided to become a vocalist and music director for churches. God really fooled me after I got saved. I taught school for more than 20 years and loved it. After retiring, I started learning to write for publication.
Q: What do you like to do now when you’re not writing?
A: Hanging out with my eight grandkids is the best! The youngest is two years old. The oldest is twenty-three years old. When I’m alone, I read or watch old movies while I crochet. I study the Bible every day, too.
Q: What do you hope your readers and listeners will take away from engaging with this book?
A: That God is our loving Creator and Designer of this beautiful world and of us.
Q: Where is your book available, and how can readers purchase it?
A: They can order it online from LittleLambBooks.com, from Barnes & Noble.com, or from Amazon.com. Hopefully, it will also be available in local B&N stores. If not, please ask your local book dealer to order it for you.
Q: How can readers learn more about you and your future books?
A: They can visit my website/blog at jeanmatthewhall.com, and they can connect with me on social media: Jean Matthew Hall Author on Facebook, Jean_Hall on Twitter, and JeanMatthew_Hall on Pinterest.
Thank you, Joyce, for inviting me to chat.
Oh, one more thing: If you like the book, please leave a review on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, or Goodreads. Thanks!
Thank you, Jean! We look forward to the future books in this series.
God’s Blessings of Fall reminds our children and us to appreciate the awesomeness of God’s creation. Let this be a reminder to you, dear Reader, to reflect upon your own blessings during this season. How do you appreciate God’s masterpieces that surround your world? Have you said a prayer of thanks today for God’s blessings?
David tells us that God “made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.” —Psalm 104:19
Solomon states, “There is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” —Ecclesiastes 3:1
According to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “He prayeth best, who loveth best; All things great and small; For the dear God who loveth us; He made and loveth all.”
These lines from Coleridge’s poem possibly inspired Cecil Frances Alexander to write the hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” In this hymn Mrs. Alexander references God’s seasons. She says, “He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well.”
Take a moment to marvel at His sunrises, His sunsets, His mountains, and His meadows. From the tiny fallen acorns to the majestic oaks towering against the sky, we are surrounded by His wonderful works!
Take a moment to pray with a child today and thank God for His mighty acts.
The Literary Lyonesse
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” –L. M. Montgomery
“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” –John Donne