Tell us something about yourself
Art has always been a big part of my life and being a portrait painter defined me for a long time. Since writing came much later in my life, I still consider myself an artist who writes. My confidence has grown in recent years and I have to say I now enjoy writing just as much as art.
As a portrait artist, I have always loved the challenge of bringing the image or likeness of the subject to life. Pulling out the emotion and personality of the person is essential for a good portrait. In the same way, defining and developing a character’s personality and emotions to the reader is very similar. In both cases, one needs to “feel” and identify with the person or character. When I was able to merge my artistry with writing, it opened up a whole new creative dimension and potential that has both challenged and excited me.
How and when did your journey start as a writer?
When I was 8 years old I was given my first diary. Since then, journaling has been something I have done. I’d consider myself an observer of life as well as having a need to express my feelings. Putting those things down on paper always felt right.
When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
I wrote my first story over 25 years ago. It was called, The tale of the rabbit with short ears. It later was edited and changed to The Secret of Gumper the rabbit. It was published last year in 2022.
Tell us something more about your books
The main character, Gumper the rabbit, was created to make a difference in children and families lives by touching hearts when hearts were open to receive his message of love.
Gumper was born with short, little ears. Being different from other bunnies, Gumper views his difference as a special gift because it allows him to do things other rabbits can’t. Oink, a frazzled little guinea pig, is Gumper’s best friend. Together they teach children they too can make a difference in other people’s lives and are encouraged to “hop it forward”.
How did these characters come to mind?
When I was living out west, I visited a pet store and brought home a dwarf bunny as a pet. One little guinea pig was in the pet store and shared the pen with all the bunnies. I imagined what their life together might be like. Gumper and Oink were then brought to life for children everywhere.
Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
Gumper has three books out now.
The Secret of Gumper the Rabbit and the Spanish translation, El Secreto Del Conejo Gumper. Proceeds from both of these books go to support children and families at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Gumper’s next book in the series is due to be released November 28, 2023 and is called, Gumper’s Circle of Love
May Gumper’s “secret” touch your life in a very special way.