June 2014 Posts

Kid Talk Tuesday: Get to know Amie Carlson

This week’s post is a Q&A with product manager Amie Carlson.



Where are you from originally and what brought you to Tyndale?

While I was born in Oregon, I lived my formative years in the Bay Area of California. When I was 13, my dad was transferred to Brookfield, Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to the Chicago area and have been here ever since. Although the majority of my life has been spent in the Midwest, I still feel like a California girl at heart. It is in my bones.
I have always been fascinated by the process of making books – from writing to binding. Two years ago, I was looking for a way to learn more about being a part of this process and was lucky enough to obtain a position as a Product Manager. I have been loving every minute of seeing how all of the pieces come together to create a variety of products that touch people’s lives.

When you were a young child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was younger, I wanted to be Amy Grant. Not a Christian singer – but actually Amy Grant. I have no idea how I thought that was possible. I also loved to write stories and dreamed of being a writer someday once I realized that the job of Amy Grant was already taken. I have scores of half written children’s books from when I was younger that all seemed to revolve around orphan girls living on their own and facing peril. Luckily, I have branched out to different themes since then.

What was your first paid job?

My first paid job (outside of babysitting) was working the register at the local Burger King. I remember hating the smell of French fries soaked into my polyester uniform that never seemed to go away. I only worked there for 6 months, just long enough to gain experience and turn sixteen so I could find another job – which ended up being a linen store with a bunch of my friends which I enjoyed much more (and ended up smelling like potpourri which was much more preferable).

What do you like most about your job at Tyndale?

I absolutely love the collaborative effort and how every little contribution adds up to become a book. I get to work with the acquisitions editors who acquire the authors, the editors and copyeditors who help craft the book and make sure there are no errors, the designers who create the covers and the typesetters who make the words flow on the page. I also get the privilege of working directly with the printers and watching the various pieces become the finished book. My favorite day ever at Tyndale was the first time I was able to visit a printer and see how all of the machines spit out a finished book. It was like magic and I was like a kid in a candy store.

What is your favorite Tyndale Kids product and why?

My current favorite books are the two new My Princess stories that are coming out this fall. These books were birthed during a kids group meeting (which we have every week). We were admiring the art on a book called The One Year My Princess Devotions. We talked about how fun it would be to make stories about princesses that would help little girls learn about the Bible. Katara allowed Stephanie Rische and I to try our hand at writing them. The next thing we knew, My Princesses Learn to Share and My Princesses Learn to be Brave were born. I absolutely love how they turned out and hope they will become the favorite bedtime stories of hundreds of little girls.


E-Book Deal Alert: Mark of Distinction

Mark of Distinction
For a limited time, you can download Jessica Dotta’s novel, Mark of Distinction, for just $2.99! This offer ends on 6/28/2014.

London is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.

Now under the watchful eye of Lord Roy Pierson, one of most influential men in England, Julia begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well, and he is eager to assert his claim over her.

Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.


Click here to see all our current ebook deals!

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E-Book Extra is now on Facebook! We’re offering exclusive deals on Facebook that we won’t talk about anywhere else.

E-Book Deal Alert: Just 18 Summers

Just 18 Summers
For a limited time, you can download Michelle Cox and Rene Gutteridge’s novel, Just 18 Summers, for just $2.99! This offer ends on 6/27/2014.

Winner of the 2014 CLASS Reunion Kudos Book Award, fiction category.
After the tragic death of Butch Browning’s wife, Jenny, four families begin to realize how precious—and fleeting—their time together is. Each is at a different stage in life: Butch is facing single parenthood. The O’Reillys are expecting their first child. The Andersons are approaching an empty nest, and the Buckleys are so focused on providing their children with everything that they’ve forgotten what they truly need. With just eighteen summers before their children are grown, how do they make the most of that time when life so often gets in the way?

As summer flies by, each of these parents must learn about guilt and grace . . . and when to hold on to their kids and when to let go.


Click here to see all our current ebook deals!

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E-Book Extra is now on Facebook! We’re offering exclusive deals on Facebook that we won’t talk about anywhere else.

Q&A with Rhinestone Jesus author Kristen Welch

We’re excited to bring you another author interview this month. Read on as Kristen Welch talks about writing, ministry, and saying yes to God…


I think the beauty of my yes to God to start a maternity home in Kenya is that I am just a mom. It’s obvious to everyone who has witnessed this story that God is the author. It’s proof that He can use anyone to do anything. When I initially said yes in the small daily stuff, I didn’t know it would lead to Mercy House. But I was called to obedience and that’s really what Rhinestone Jesus is about: saying yes to God right where you are and not waiting to have all the answers or a perfect life before you obey.


Rhinestone Jesus might seem an unusual book title. Can you talk about how it relates to your childhood and family background?


Rhinestone Jesus is a very personal title. As a teenager, I wore a rhinestone pin that spelled J-e-s-u-s. I was introverted, so this was a way for me to “wear” my faith without having to say much about it. I was involved in theatre arts and each year they gave made-up awards. I won “The Rhinestone Jesus” award from my peers.


How would you characterize your faith before you traveled to Africa? How did it change after your trip? (Kristen, I’d like to make the point that you had an authentic faith before you went to Kenya, but it was at a different stage)


I can’t remember not being a Christian. I was raised in church, went to Bible college, and married a youth pastor. Faith has always been a huge part of my life. I guess I would characterize my life before Africa as full of faith but lacking in obedience. I believed everything Jesus said; I just didn’t always do what He told me.


Looking back on your faith journey, can you give us any insights into how God prepared you for the ministry you now have in Kenya?


It’s crazy how I can look back on my first thirty-seven years and realize that most of the hardships and challenges I faced were preparing me for the ministry in Kenya. From ministry experience, to brokenness, to a deep passion to encourage mothers, I draw daily from all of these chapters in my life.


What are some of the things you think are essential for the average Christian to be able to live out his or her own authentic Christian faith?


Sometimes people call me brave. If they only knew . . . Not only am I not courageous, I live with the same fear and inadequacies as other God-sized dreamers. Without a doubt, I think the Church (with a capital C) lacks obedience. I did, for so much of my Christian life. I think if we have faith to believe in Jesus, we also have to believe that when we do what He tells us, He won’t leave us alone. It’s been the hardest journey of my life, stretched me further than I thought possible, but I’ve never been alone, not for a second.


How has your blog, We Are That Family, helped you to do your ministry? Are there ways in which it has helped you to be authentic? Are there helpful principles that might be applied to the Christian desiring to live out his or her unique God-calling?


I’ve been blogging for nearly seven years now. I would have never gone to Kenya as a blogger for Compassion International without it. And then when I returned in 2010 and began processing my “wrecking” online, my community journeyed with me. So it made sense when we birthed this God-sized dream, to ask readers to dream with us. In 2013, this community raised more than half a million dollars to help girls in Kenya. I’ve always tried to write authentically. They have been with me in the highs and lows because I’ve invited them in and God has used that to change all of us.


Do you have a favorite quote or verse?


God seared Micah 6:8  on my heart several years ago. It reads, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good, And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” I had these words from that verse—Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly—tattooed on my foot.


Kristen Welch is author of Rhinestone Jesus. You can find her over at her blog, WeAreThatFamily.com or on Facebook and Twitter to hear more of her story.

Kid Talk Tuesday: Interview with Little Blessings Illustrator Elena Kucharik

For just about 20 years, Tyndale has published multiple books featuring four adorable kids. The line is called Little Blessings and has been featured on greeting cards, novelty items and of course books. We sat down to talk with Kucharik about this line that still brings joy to countless kids, parents and caretakers.

Tyndale Kids: How did you get started illustrating Little Blessings?

Elena Kucharik: Tyndale’s children’s art director at the time saw a Christmas card I had done from American Greeting and she loved the little children. …I was interested in working for a publisher illustrating children’s books [so the rest is history!]

Tyndale Kids: What has been one of your favorite Little Blessings illustrations? Why?

Elena Kucharik: I have a lot I really like….One I really enjoyed doing was based on Norman Rockwell’s famous Triple Self-Portrait. It is in God Loves You and shows all four characters with easels. I really enjoyed interpreting it. I’ve loved doing every illustration in the Little Blessings series. Doing this kind of illustration is what makes me the happiest—these sweet drawings, this type of art.



Tyndale Kids: What has been one of your favorite Little Blessings books? Why?

Elena Kucharik: I always liked Are Angels Real? It is very challenging to illustrate…there are so many interpretations of what an angel is.

Tyndale Kids: Do you see yourself or any others in the characters? Did you model them after anyone?

Elena Kucharik: Zoe reminds me of my youngest daughter, who was a swimmer. There are several illustrations of Zoe in the water. Kaitlyn is more of an older sister and she reminds me of my oldest daughter.

Tyndale Kids: How have you shared the books and your art work with your grandkids? How have they responded?

Elena Kucharik: I gave all 4 of my grandchildren full sets of my books. Our granddaughters, especially, loved them. My oldest granddaughter is an avid reader and she is only in kindergarten. Her little sister gets the books out too. They have really enjoyed them. It is great for me to see them [with the books].

Tyndale Kids: As an illustrator, what other types of work have you done? What has been your favorite/most memorable project to work on?

Elena Kucharik: Obviously Care Bears and Little Blessings. I also did some illustration work for Pepsi years ago and I enjoyed that. [Kucharik was lead artist and developer for the Care Bears line]

Tyndale Kids: Anything else that might interest moms who purchase Little Blessings books/or are considering purchasing them?

Elena Kuchark: [These books are perfect for] preschool through first grade. Our granddaughters really love them. Their mother says Little Blessings are their favorite books. I think it is because they can relate to some of the situations and the characters.

To see all of the great Little Blessings products, visit Tyndale.com.