What an amazing day to share an amazing human, National Authors Day! Please allow me to introduce to you one of God’s greatest blessings to this crazy world, Shana Othen Strole. Shana is a local author, residing in Waterville with her husband, 2 wonderful kiddos, and one sweet babe on the way! I have had the pleasure of knowing and loving this amazing individual since we planted our roots in Toledo. What an amazing gift Shana has been given to shed light on some of the challenges we face throughout life no matter your age! Shana creates a platform that is inviting, relatable, and full of magic. Living in grace, growing in love, and living to make the world “less bitter and more glitter”. Thank you Shana, for sharing your heart with so many! Please enjoy as I share with you all of her goodness!
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
“So funny! When I was in the first grade! I was a Girl Scout and we had a library lock-in. I wouldn’t sleep because and just wanted to read books! I was always reading books! Books made me happy!”
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
“I gave myself permission to just do it for fun right away. I considered myself a writer right away because I knew I was doing it for the Lord and not people. It was my ministry.”
What was your first book and how old were you?
“The Mean Beanies and the Sparkly Shinies, 26 years old!”
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
“2 books! The Mean Beanies and the Sparkly Shinies and Be Kind To Cupcakes. I like them both, but for different reasons! It is kind of like picking a favorite child!”
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
“It comes from times I have been hurt or others have been hurt and how I have observed how hurt people are actually the ones who then hurt people. There was also one time Anabelle (daughter) got her feelings hurt on the playground. She had a speech delay so no one would play with her on the playground and nothing hurts a mom more than seeing your child hurt. I think forgiveness is the catalyst for a lot of healing and light. I write them for my children. I want to be a light in the world.”
What do you think makes a good story?
“Something that is relatable for the underdog! Something that makes someone root for someone!”
What is one thing you learned about writing books?
“When your write a book from a place of joy and giving and don’t worry about how you are perceived because God has a plan for every book that is written and the results are up to Him. The best part of it has been the friendships that I have formed writing books!”
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
“It energizes me!”
How long does it take you to write a book?
“My first book came to me all at once and kept tapping me on the shoulder for years. I saw it play out in life. It took about 1 year. The second book took about the same amount of time.”
What is your schedule when producing your book?
“First I get the idea and write the story. My dad then edits my books. Then I go to Hobby Lobby and stare at all the colors and pull them together. Illustrations come last.”
What comes first, the plot or the characters?
“Always the plot!”
Where do you get your inspiration for your characters?
“Christmas ornaments at Hobby Lobby and snacks I love to eat!”
How do you make your pages?
“I cut everything by hand! My friend Leah then takes the pictures!”
What time of day do you write? Describe your typical writing session/day.
“I usually try to get up before my kids in the morning. Sometimes the most productive thing I do is just sit there and brainstorm. Sometimes I write a ton of pages, sometimes I write nothing….sometimes I just organize my sparkly pens!”
Describe your office/writing space.
“I use a “hoffice”. I wrote my first book in the hallway so my babies could see me from their beds. It is not glamorous. I also have a “boffice”, which is the space between the bed and the wall in my bedroom!”
What does your family think of your writing?
“They are my biggest fans! My dad is my writing coach. It is a passion we both share. He is one of my best friends and I look up to him so much!”
What is your target audience?
“0-120! I want parents to feel encouraged and loved as well as little ones!”
What do you hope people learn from your books? What is your mission?
“I am on a mission to make the world less bitter more glitter!”
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
“I love to do yoga, I love to read, and I like to do crafts! I can be found wandering aisles of Hobby Lobby losing track of time and trying to not break stuff with my children.”
Where can we find your books?
“Amazon…Prime those babies!”
What about social media?
Facebook: MikeandShana Strole
Some fun fast facts (because everyone needs a little more Shana!!!):
Dream job growing up? “Fashion Designer!”
Favorite food? “Smoothies!”
Hero? “My Dad!”
Favorite time of the day? “Bedtime, lol, because I love to read and to do yoga! BUT, I also love snuggling with my babies!”
3 people you would invite to a dinner party, dead or alive? “Mindy Kaling, Jessica Day, and Jesus…Jeezy’s gotta be there!”
Favorite Color? “Rainbow!”
If you could only have one season what would it be? “Winter! I do my most creative work in the Winter! I love snowy days and the fireplace! I don’t think there is such a think as too many marshmallows in hot chocolate!”
Describe yourself in 3 words: “Joyful, extra since day one, and sensitive!”
Do you feel like your mission is complete, or can we expect more from you?
“My third book may or may not be written and I am expecting it to come out in about a year! This one is about sharing and has a new setting!”
You can find Shana’s books “The Mean Beanies and the Sparkly Shines” and “Be Kind To Cupcakes” on Amazon!
If I can leave you with one mission, make it the same as Shana’s: “leave the world less bitter, more glitter!”