Lubbock author Billie Holliman makes writing children’s books look easy. But it’s not easy. The reading and comprehension level of children varies wildly and then, there’s the story itself.
Not every writer has the ability to write children’s literature, because it requires a unique insight into the inner world of a child. Using characters that are not everyday people, such as animals or fantasy characters with special powers, makes the story more relatable to children. If a child relates to your story and sees himself or herself in it, they will read it over and over again.
As a mother of three and grandmother of five natural and five borrowed grandchildren, Holliman possesses a special intuition that is required of a children’s fiction writer. The Drifter Series was inspired by her grandson with a speech disability. As a result of his speaking difficulties, he was bullied in school and this was Holliman’s way of teaching her grandson how to cope with those difficulties.
Although Billie is a Lubbock native, she left the South Plains in 1982. Her adult career life reads like a novel about a restless heroine seeking adventure. She began as a young print journalist for the Daily News in Mountain Home, Arkansas, then moved on to real estate sales. The predictable vagaries of life intervened in her career choices; relationships ended and children were born, and she moved on to the funeral industry and as the executive assistant for a small-town mayor. In between each was a series of a transitional employment in a myriad of business sectors. Her career adventures were an education in character and resilience.
Finally, like so many other Lubbockites, in the end, she returned home and resumed her first love, writing. The children’s stories came in quick succession. It began with the “Snowdrift Fairies” who used icicles, rather than wands, to create magic. A 7-foot tall ice bully, Bert, is their enemy. Her second book, the “Driftwood Fairies,” features tiny seaside sprites with colorful parrot friends; all of them joining together to protect each other. Next comes the “Driftleaf Fairies” who help children celebrate autumn through dancing and singing, along with the Bee Express Service and the naughty Dumpster Fairies who are thought to be their adversaries.
Most of Holliman’s stories have a happy twist at the end. Her books appeal to children of all ages, but especially young readers who enjoy solving problems. You may purchase and read more about Billie Holliman’s books on Amazon and Goodreads.
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By Carol Morgan