Crystal Bowman is the best-selling author of over 100 Christian books for children. After graduating from Calvin College with a degree in elementary education, she took a teaching position, tweaked her career focus, and took graduate courses in early childhood development from the University of Michigan.
Zondervan asked Crystal to develop a beginning reader series, for which she wrote eight books, eventually signing on to write for Baker, Eerdmans, Cook, Tyndale, Focus on the Family, Standard, Thomas Nelson, and Discovery House.
In June of 2011, she became a grandma and it wasn’t long before she began writing children’s books with her daughter, Teri McKinley. A Michigan native, Crystal now lives in Florida with her husband, Bob. They have three children and one grandchild.
Let’s talk about your new books from Discovery House, co- written with your daughter Teri. Please tell us about them.
A is for Ark and Adam and Eve’s 1-2-3s are the first two books in the Little Hearts line within the brand Our Daily Bread for Kids. These board books are written and designed for toddlers and preschoolers. A is for Ark takes little ones to Noah’s ark. As they follow the alphabet they meet lots of animals and learn a few kid-friendly parts to the story. Adam and Eve’s 1-2-3s is a counting book and the setting is the Garden of Eden before the fall. The illustrations by Luke Flowers are very colorful and simply adorable!
How do the two of you work together on a project? Do you work long distance or sitting face-to-face?
Teri lives in Texas and I spend most of my time in Florida, so we work long distance and send lots of emails. At the beginning of a project we divide it up and then exchange what we’ve written. We edit and critique each other’s work, and since we are mother and daughter, we hold nothing back! We push each other to do better and don’t turn in a manuscript until we are both satisfied. I have been writing for over twenty years and I have been writing with Teri for just a few years. Working with Teri has made me a much better writer. She is very creative and has great ideas.
When your children were growing up did you create original stories for them?
Sometimes I did—especially at bedtime after the lights were out and they were still awake. But my kids loved books and so we read a lot. I think reading all those kids’ books over the decades was one of the ways that God was preparing me to write for children.