Author Interview "Callie Chapman"
Callie Chapman, a student at Crestline Elementary, was 6 years-old when she wrote a story for the Expression’s Art Contest. The Story, Glitter the Unicorn is about a unicorn named Glitter and her best friend Ellie. The dynamic duo go on a magical adventure to Cotton Candy Land were they meet a Queen. The Queen sends Glitter and Ellie on an adventure through the lollipop forest and to the mountain of chocolate where Glitter and Ellie find a magical candy bar.
A year later, with Callie’s book flying off the shelves (she sold more than 1,000 copies). Callie donates all her proceeds from the sells of her three books, Glitter the Unicorn, Glitter the Unicorn goes to the Beach and Glitter the Unicorn goes to the Moon. Callie made her first donation to Children’s of Alabama in the amount of $3,500 on February 13, 2017. She plans to donate $1,000 to Children’s Hospital of New Orleans (June 25) as well as $6,500 to Children’s Hospital for art supplies (July 17 10am). This donation will make a total of $11,000 given to Children’s Hospital.
Hello Callie! Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Callie Chapman and I am 8 years old. I live in Mountain Brook AL with my mother Bronwyne and Daddy John. I have two older brothers. We are all close. I like art, singing, writing, baking, gymnastics, dance, and soccer. I also do robotics and am on a fun math team. I love going to the beach with my family. I have a cat named Little Bit and a Hamster named Mr. Fluffy. I wrote my first book Glitter the Unicorn when I was 6 years old for an art contest at my school. I got an Honorable mention for the story. My mother thought it was way better than an Honorable Mention so we created it into a book. I like being asked to read my book at schools and to talk to kids about my books. It is a lot of fun.
What inspired you to write the “Glitter the Unicorn” series?
Well, Glitter the Unicorn is actually a stuffed animal I love that my brother won at a carnival for me. Ellie is actually my favorite blanket and a close friend that I have. I love chocolate, cotton candy and adventures….so I just came up with the story. I think about things like this a lot. I also have dreams about these things.
Do you have ideas for other series or are you going to stick to writing the “Glitter the Unicorn” series for now?
I have an idea of a Unicorn named Cupcake. It’s about him making friends and being nice to people. I know that I will continue with the Glitter the Unicorn. I have already written one more after Glitter the Unicorn goes to the Moon. My mom just hasn’t finished illustrating it.
Along with being an author, you're also what many would call a good samaritan!! Can you tell our readers a little about “Glitter for a Cause” and the amazing work you're doing to help buy art supplies for young patients at Children’s of Alabama?
When I wrote my first book my mother only was going to have it printed for family and for friends as gifts. When it came back from the printer and we saw the book Glitter the Unicorn my mother was like wow this is like a book I would buy for you Callie. So my mother asked me if we were to sell your book in stores what would you like to do with the money. I told my mother I would like to buy art supplies for Children’s Hospital. My mother and I had to see if Children’s Hospital even needed art supplies. As it turns out they do. We found out that they do offer art to the kids in the hospital. So that is how it got started. Our first donation we made to Children’s Hospital of Alabama was for $3,500. We plan to make a donation to Children’s Hospital of New Orleans for $1,000 and another donation to Children’s Hospital of Alabama for $6,000 by the end of Spring. I like giving the money to the hospital. I love to take art classes and to do art at home with my family. So I just thought that the kids there in the hospitals would like to do art too.
Not many adult authors can say that their books are award winning. However, your books have won titles such as:
Glitter the Unicorn - Purple Dragon Fly Award (1st place)
Purple Dragon Fly Award (1st place- Book Series)
Mom’s Choice Award Silver Medal (general book series)
Glitter the Unicorn goes to the Beach
Moonbeam CHildren’s Book Award Silver Medal - Best youth Author under 18
Royal Dragonfly Award - 1st place Best interior Illustration
Royal Dragonfly - HM - Best Children’s book
Purple Dragon Fly Award (1st place- Book Series)
How does it feel to be an award winning author at just 8 years old?
The first one I won I had just turned 7 years old. My parents told me at dinner one night. I was not sure what it meant but my mom showed me the stickers that I got to put on my books and well I thought that was really cool. I now understand that it’s a big deal that hundreds and sometimes thousands enter and they picked me, my story. It makes me feel so happy. It makes me want to write more stories.
Since you're only 8 now, where do you see yourself as a writer in 10 years (at age 18)?
I hope to have published more books in the Glitter the Unicorn series and possibly more. I have so many ideas and stories. I have the story written for the next Glitter the Unicorn book. But I would like to maybe write about friendship, being nice to others and no bullying. This is something I think about a lot.
Who are some of your favorite children’s book authors?
I love Corduroy, Goodnight Moon, Ladybug Girl series, Otis, No No David, Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious.
What advice would you give not only to aspiring kid authors but also to adult authors who hope to one day publish their own books?
Dream Big! Work hard! If I can do it you can do it. That is what I tell the kids that I speak to when going into schools for author day or at book signings. I always tell the kids that just because you are small does not mean you can not do big things!
How can we keep up with you online? Do you have twitter, Instagram or Facebook?
We have a website/blog www.glittertheunicorn.com, we also have an instgram account: glittertheunicornbook as well as Facebook page Glitter the Unicorn.
As a mom, I'm sure its an amazing feeling to be able to help your child achieve her dream of becoming a published author. How does it feel to be the illustrator behind an award wining children book series?
Well, Callie’s father and I could not be more proud of Callie for so many reasons. Her ability to be so imaginative and creative. The effort she pours into her stories and books. As well as, the fact that Callie wants to donate all her profits to help Children have art when in a hospital by donating all her proceeds to Children’s Hospital. Callie has a list of places that she would like to donate money for art supplies. I love that I have found a passion for illustrating Children’s books. Every story Callie comes up with I can picture the story in my mind so vividly. I could not be more honored to help her bring her stories alive.
Take us through the process of illustrating a book; how does it go from an idea in your head to finished work in a book?
Callie helps with he design process. We discuss the book, what she envisions and colors she would like for me to use. I then try to create images the best create an impact with the words she writes. Most of the time I can envision what to design just by reading her story. I will go over the design ideas with Callie. Once the illustrations are finished Callie usually tells me what she likes and does not like. I think having her and her brothers look over the book helps. They sometimes will ask why something was not included and or that I should add something. I think having kids review the book helps since they are the target audience.
Have you illustrated any other books besides the “Glitter the Unicorn” series?
No, Glitter the Unicorn Series are my first set of Children’s Books I have illustrated.
How can individuals seeking an illustrator find you?
My email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bronwyne Carr Chapman
PO Box 131346
Birmingham AL 35213
About the illustrator - Bronwyne Carr Chapman
Bronwyne Carr Chapman - Lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband and three children. I graduated from the University of Alabama. I have worked in the graphic design industry for more than 20 years. I have also enjoyed illustration. Two years ago I Illustrated an imaginative story my daughter wrote. My daughter and I have published three books. She writes the stories and I illustrate for her. We make a great team.