Northwest Arkansas author Hannah C. Hall releases ‘Penguin and Moose’

Hannah C. Hall is the mama of 5 and the author of 32 children’s books. WOW. She’s local (she lives on a farm in Prairie Grove in Northwest Arkansas) and is delightful, so we wanted to ask her a few questions about being an author, the writing process and her family.

Hannah’s latest book, Penguin and Moose, drops tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019). We think it would make a fabulous Christmas gift for your kids, grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

Penguin and Moose centers around the Bible scripture “A friend loves at all times.” Hannah’s other books include the bestsellers God Bless You and Good NightGod Bless Our Fall, and Sunrise, Easter Surprise.

Hannah, when did you realize you wanted to write children’s books?

I wasn’t planning on becoming a writer, actually. But almost eight years ago, while I was a stay-at-home mom with two little ones and another on the way, we went on a walk with some friends one morning. One of the kids said something cute, and I started playing with the phrase in my head. That one line turned into many lines and, at some point, I realized I was writing a children’s book.

After weeks of internet research on what to do next, I decided to take my book to a writer’s conference. While there, I was able to pitch it to an editor to see if she’d want to publish it. She didn’t. But she did notice that I could rhyme, and that conversation turned into an opportunity to write God Bless You and Good Night which is my first published book.

How many have you written?

I have 32 books currently published or in process and, Lord willing, more on the way. {Click here to visit Hannah’s website.}

Did you self publish or have you always had a publisher?

I have always worked with a traditional publisher.

What inspired you to write about Penguin and Moose?

Years ago, I wrote a book about a penguin. I sent it to my agent who sent it back and said it wasn’t ready to go out to editors yet. It needed more work. This happened over and over. I would rewrite it, she would reject it, and I would take a break from it, usually for months at a time. I very nearly gave up on it completely.

Finally, though, something clicked and we sent it out. An editor liked Penguin, but she suggested he needed a friend. Why not the little moose that I had mentioned almost in passing in the book?

I wrote Moose in and that book became Penguin and Moose, which I’m so much more pleased with than that first penguin book. But it took years, many revisions, and a lot of rejection to get there.

What’s the best thing about the writing process?

I love that I get to do it from home (or from a coffee shop!) It’s been such a blessing to have a job that allows me to stay home with my kids and to work. It’s certainly not a way to get-rich-quick, but it really has been kind of God to provide us with a little additional income these last few years.

And (usually) it’s a ton of fun. When a story idea hits or you finally find the perfect rhyme that you’ve been looking for, it can be such a joy. And, since I write for kids, my stories get to be silly and short. An excellent combo. 😉

The worst?

So. Much. Waiting. It’s just slow, and there’s no way around it. You write the story, then you revise. You wait on agents and editors and illustrators and then you wait for the book to come out. (With children’s books, it’s usually at least a two-year process.) So that initial excitement you felt over that fresh, new story is long gone before you finally see your book in print. It’s just true: if God calls you to be a writer, you must be needing some lessons in patience.

Tell us about your family and where you live:

My husband is a worship pastor and piano tuner and we have five children, ages 11 to two. We live on a small farm in Prairie Grove with cows, chickens, dogs, cats, and (dreams of) a large and flourishing garden. 😉

Click here to read more about Penguin and Moose or to order it from Amazon.

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