Interview with Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell, author of 'The Daffodils Still Grow'

The Daffodils Still Grow was inspired by diary entries of the author/illustrator, Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell, after the death of her mother when she was 14. “My mother committed suicide when I was 14, and after nearly a year of crying and hurting, I was surprised -- almost shocked -- to see the daffodils she planted right before her death still bloom again. It was a big wake-up call to me that, even though she was gone, I could still carry on without her FOR her. Somehow, our loved ones still find a way of communicating with us when we need it the most." Sherri Elizabeth now attends Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. She has a BA in both communications and studio arts from Austin Peay State University. She hopes that every parent will know how irreplaceable and loved they are to their children and that every child who has lost a parent will know they are not alone. Remember, the daffodils still grow!

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters
Author: Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell
Publisher: Mascot Books
Pages: 38
Genre: Children’s Picture Book 

The Daffodils Still Grow is a full-color illustrated book that portrays life after a loved one dies as seen from the observations of a motherless child. “Beautiful and inspiring.”

For More Information

  • The Daffodils Still Grow is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Watch a narrated video of the book at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

As a child and teen, I wrote about things I experienced. Dealing with tragedies as a child can sometimes leave a person feeling alone and misunderstood, but writing helps release those emotions, especially if you feel you can't talk about those things with other people. The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters was inspired by diary entries I wrote as a child while grieving for my mother. I wanted to provide a written and visual portrayal of what children go through when they lose their mothers to give those children something they could relate to and help them realize they’re not alone.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest part was being open and vulnerable and not judge myself as I wrote, and then to be brave enough to share what I wrote. My advice is to just be brave and don't let your insecurities stop you.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

After a frustrating experience with another publishing company, I called the CEO of Mascot Books, Naren Aryal, and spoke to him about The Daffodils Still Grow. I emailed him a link to a narration I did of the book on YouTube, which he watched while we were talking on the phone, and we decided to work together. Mascot Books is a hybrid of self-publishing and traditional publishing. I was very happy with the finished book.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I was surprised that so many people actually liked it! The positive feedback has been overwhelming.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I'm trying to branch out into fiction, specifically YA mysteries. It will probably be at least a year before anything else is published though, if not longer. I'm pretty busy these days!

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I'm curious about all of the new social networks for writers and readers, alike. I would like to get involved with some of those if time permits.

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

I enjoy journaling. It’s nice to get things off my mind.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters is a full-color illustrated book that portrays life after a loved one dies as seen from the observations of a motherless child. It gives a voice to children who experience that loss and also shares some hopeful insight about how a mother’s love and legacy continues on.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

A quote from Natalie Goldberg: “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”

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