From the publisher:
This empowering picture book features a diverse cast of little girls dreaming of all the things they can be when they grow up and exploring how they can serve God in all kinds of careers.
I’ll keep trusting God, and then I will see
exactly who He wants me to be.
An artist, a teacher, a doctor, a stay-at-home mom—there are so many things a girl might want to be when she grows up. And even if she changes her mind as she cultivates new passions and skills, that’s okay! The important thing to remember is that she will discover the talents and desires given to her by God as she grows and learns. Whether she becomes a protector, healer, builder, or creator, she can use her gifts to share God’s love with others!
Join Haley, Isabela, Lexi, and Ashley as they explore different careers and encourage all girls to trust God and who he created them to be!
From a reader:
I received Who God Wants Me to Be today. I am so impressed by it! It is truly needed information and will help girls realize they can do anything if God is in it! - Sharon Deur
Brock: What was your inspiration for writing this book?
Michelle: I had written a book in 2014 called Daddy, Am I Beautiful? That was about empowering little girls to know their beauty comes from within, not from what they look like. Women empowerment is a passion of mine, and when I felt God gave me a vision for this book, it went right along with everything else I write. At one point, I got stuck. So, I asked Crystal for help as I knew what a great writer she is. As we worked, I asked if she wanted to collaborate, and she said yes.
Brock: As a dad of three girls, this book is something I am grateful for! Tell us about the main characters. Who are they, and what makes them unique?
Crystal: The book features four energetic girls of different ethnicities: Asian, Hispanic, Black, and Caucasian. They each imagine 3 different careers, so we highlight twelve careers.
Brock: That's wonderful! Each of my girls are so uniquely made and each have very different goals for their future, from a felinetologist, to an actress, to a ballerina. In three sentences what is this book about?
Michelle: This book is about little girls dreaming about what they want to be when they grow up. But the book is also about understanding God has a plan for our lives. The book encourages girls to choose their careers as they discover the larger calling or plan God has for them.
Brock: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Crystal: Today, girls can pursue any career they want to. Barriers no longer limit females like they did in the past.
Brock: ABSOLUTELY! Do you outline the entire book before starting, or do you write as you go and let the characters take control of the story?
Crystal: We did not work from an outline, but the story went through multiple revisions as we received helpful feedback from editors.
Brock: What is your favorite genre to write for?
Michelle: Not only do I write for children but also women in Christian living books that is my favorite genre.
Crystal: I love writing for the Christian children’s market. I want kids to know how much God loves them and how special each child is.
Brock: How do you strike the right balance in your book?
Michelle: We had to strike a balance between the careers we featured. Books that feature STEM careers (more focused on math or science) are popular right now, so we both made sure the book featured both artistic and STEM based careers, as well as careers that paid a little (i.e. Stay at home mom, homeless shelter owner) with larger income jobs—dentist, doctor, etc. We want girls to know they don’t need to have a high paying job to have worth and value, and also value those who are in important roles that get little income (or credit.)
Brock: If your book changed as you wrote it, how is it different than how you originally planned?
Crystal: Originally, we had more characters that only imagined one career. We decided that children (and adults) may change their minds on what they want to be, so we presented that scenario in the story.
Brock: Were any scenes or characters cut from the book? Can you give an example?
Crystal: We dropped some of the characters because there were too many to really develop the story in a way that flowed from one character to the other.
Brock: How do you hope parents will use this book with their kids?
Crystal: We hope this book will generate meaningful discussions and that parents will guide their children to discover the gifts and talents God has given them.
Brock: What do you hope kids take away from this book?
Crystal: We hope it inspires them to dream big and take steps to follow God’s plan for their lives.
Brock: Indeed, I believe this story will inspire! Expound on the spiritual themes in the book.
Crystal: I want children to know that God created them for a purpose, and when they discover who He created them to be, they will find joy and fulfillment.
Brock: Where do you like to write?
Michelle: I like to write at home on my couch. I actually can write while the TV is on, and it helps me focus. So I’ll put some mindless show on and write away. I set hours and deadlines if I have projects due.
Crystal: I write at the kitchen counter and sit on a gel cushion. If I am writing for a long time, I alternate between sitting and standing. I also have a hot beverage close by.
Brock: Are you a full-time or part-time writer?
Crystal: I consider myself a full-time writer.
Brock: How long does it usually take you to write a single book?
Crystal: It depends on the book. I have written one in three days and have spent close to a year on others.
Brock: When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
Michelle: I received a calling to become a writer in 2008 at a women’s retreat. I hadn’t written anything previous to that—just a couple of poems in high school. I didn’t know where to begin! I studied Scripture and noticed in John how many items he referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” That was the basis for my first book in 2011.
Brock: Okay now for the lighting round and bonus questions! Coke or Pepsi?
Michelle: Either one as long as its diet
Brock: Soft shell or Hard Shell tacos?
Crystal: Soft shell
Brock: Favorite place to vacation?
Michelle: Anywhere. I don’t like heat, so preferably not in a place too hot!
Crystal: Anyplace where it’s warm.
Brock: Favorite season?
Michelle: Fall!!! Love sweaters, football, chilly weather, hot lattes.
Crystal: Summer—long daylight hours and warm temps.
Brock: Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write?
Brock: Favorite color?
Crystal: I have two--blue and yellow
Brock: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Michelle: 1 Peter 1:3-9: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Brock: Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are some examples?
Michelle: I’m a big 80s fan, so if I’m listening to music, more than likely it’s the 80s station on my satellite radio. Either that or worship music.
Crystal: I can’t listen to music when I write, it keeps me from focusing, but when I am not writing I love Christian music, country music and 0s music.
Brock: Where do you get ideas for your stories?
Crystal: Ideas are everywhere, you just have to be observant. But now that I have 8 grandkids, there is no end to ideas!
Brock: Is writing a lonely career?
Crystal: When I am home writing, it can get too quiet sometimes—and a bit lonely. But part of being an author is going to conferences, doing book signings and school and church programs, so I get plenty of interaction with other people. I think it’s a healthy balance.
Brock: Thank you Crystal and Michelle for all your awesome answers!
Book & Author Details
Book Title: Who God Wants Me to Be
Audience: Girls ages 4-8
Genre: Fiction picture book
Release Date: Sept 20, 2022
Author Name: Crystal Bowman and Michelle Lazurek
Author Twitter: @mslazurek
Author Instagram: @crystalbowmanauthor @michellelspeaks
Author Other Social Media: www.christianchildrensauthors.com