Today, I am talking with author Pamela Wight about her new picture book Molly Finds Her Purr. I previously introduced you to Pamela when her first picture book Birds of Paradise was released in 2017. You can read that interview here.
The importance of being true to yourself and the acknowledgment of the strength of friendship, even when differences exist, are strong themes in Pamela’s books.
Birds of Paradise is a delightful story of two sparrows Bert and Bessie who discover that friendship can unite even for two with very different attitudes to life.
In Molly Finds Her Purr, Molly the cat discovers that a purr comes from finding a circle of friends, and that friendship can be strong despite their outward differences.
Both books are beautifully illustrated by Shelley Steinle who has added a secret character for children to find on every page.
I am delighted that some of my words of praise for Birds of Paradise were used on the back cover of Molly Finds Her Purr. I wrote, “Shelly Steinle’s illustrations are gorgeous and perfectly complement Pamela Wight’s lovely story.” I could say exactly the same in praise of Molly Finds Her Purr.
A little about Pamela Wight
Pamela S. Wight writes fiction for children and adults. She is the published author of The Right Wrong Man and Twin Desires, and pens a popular weekly blog called Roughwighting (roughwighting.net). She teaches creative writing classes in the Boston and San Francisco areas. Her first picture book, Birds of Paradise, published in 2017, was a finalist in the 2018 International Book Awards.
About Molly Finds Her Purr
Molly the Cat can’t find any friends. And almost worse, she can’t find her purr. After looking for friendship in all the wrong places, Molly learns that making friends is as easy as looking up in the trees and on the ground, where other lonely creatures are hiding in plain sight. Friendship is found in surprising ways as Molly discovers that, whether hard-shelled or soft as a bunny, everyone needs friendships that help them find their purr.
How Pamela came to write Molly Finds Her Purr
Rather than interviewing Pamela with a series of questions for this post, I simply asked what had inspired her and how she had come to write about Molly. This is the story of Molly’s story.
“How did Molly and her purr arrive in my writer’s head?”
That’s the question many have asked, and I’m afraid I could talk/write for an hour about the creative process.
But for the sake of expediency, let me reply that my concussion brought Molly to me.
I had no intention of writing another children’s book. My first picture book, Birds of Paradise, was a surprising success (Birds was my first children’s book; I considered myself an author of women’s fiction). My illustrator, Shelley Steinle, and I made a great team; Shelley illuminated my story of birds Bert and Bessie and their path from fear and bullying into friendship.
I began to pen my next novel and had 100 pages written when my car was rear-ended. My life took a detour. I was diagnosed with a concussion. I figured, okay, I’ll be up and running/writing again in a week. But a brain does not heal that quickly. It doesn’t even heal as quickly as a broken bone, or a sprained ankle.
I found myself sitting on a rocking chair on my front porch, unable to read or watch TV or even listen to music for several weeks. Then, with months of physical and occupational therapy in front of me, I discovered that I didn’t have the stamina, nor the urge, to write my novel.
With that realization, I lost my purr. I suppose in human terms, we’d say I lost my inner joy. I felt rather lacklustre and at times downright depressed. My “oomph” was gone.
But while on that rocking chair, I began to listen to nature. To watch the squirrels scurry together and play with the chipmunks underneath my bird feeder. A slow hunk of rock began to move among them. Ah, a snapping turtle off to lay her eggs in the nearby stream. Even the doves sat softly among this scene, cooing in contentment.
And voila! Molly tiptoed into my writing heart. What if a cat had lost her purr because no one would play with her? Not the birds, not the squirrels, and in fact, no wildlife or human life would give her the time of day. How would Molly ever find her purr?
The words flowed quickly once Molly whispered her story in my ear. I wrote the words on a notepad with pen in two days. Then I tweaked them, as all authors tweak, and then I sent the story to illustrator Shelley.
In a week, Shelley sent me her first drawing of Molly with Petey, the squirrel. This was Shelley’s way of saying, “I’m all in.”
I didn’t write the book to tell a morality tale, yet I suppose that’s what it is. A tale of how opening our hearts to those who aren’t “like us” can lead to friendship and joy and finding a place of belonging.
Thank you for joining us and telling us about your new book Molly Finds her Purr, Pamela. It is a pleasure to speak with you again.
Molly Finds Her Purr is available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as from the publisher, Borgo Publishing. Discounted price for Pam’s blogging friends through Borgo. Just mention in the comments section that you follow Pam at Roughwighting.net.
Find out more about Pamela S. Wight:
on her blog: www.roughwighting.net
on her Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/12334429-pamela
or connect with her on social media:
Remember to check out the collection of
readilearn: teaching resources for teachers
of the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.
readilearn also has a collection of resources to support your teaching of friendship skills. Check them out here.
Friendship Skills teaching resources include:
I appreciate your feedback and comments. Please share your thoughts below.
Follow Blog By Email