An Important Message For Children

An image posted by the author.
Vikki Lynn Smith Author Interview

A Stranger in the Clearing follows a golden retriever that discovers a unique deer hiding in the woods and they both realize there is more to the deer than meets the eye. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My inspiration came while I was driving down the road one evening, I saw what I thought was a goat playing in the field with a group of deer. I almost ran off the road watching it. I quickly looked it up when I got home and found that it was a piebald deer. I wondered what it must be like to be a spotted white deer out in the woods, being so different and visible. I had started writing stories for my students to help them understand science terminology, and knew that writing about Pi, in terms of mutation and adaptation, would help them remember the vocabulary. The surprise was the natural moral lesson that came out in the writing process. The lesson that it’s not the color of your skin that makes you special, but your actions to do something for others that makes you the most prized animal in your community.

The art in the book is vivid and colorful. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Marcela Werkema?

Marcela is AMAZING. She lives in Brazil, and considering the language and environmental differences, it’s simply incredible what she has done with my illustration suggestions. The idea behind the book was to draw the reader in with 3-D like illustrations that popped off the page. As an animator she realized that my request was also important because books now compete with technology, and today’s children what fast moving literature.

She is so talented, learning what all the animals looked like from photos I sent and suggestions I made. Parents quickly buy the book once they turn the pages and see the stunning artwork.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There is not doubt that the main theme focuses on “loving yourself” and “doing something good for others.” I believe this is an important message for children to learn at an early age so that it gets embedded into their psyche. In this volatile world where parents are not able to guide their child throughout their day to make good choices, it helps the child to be reminded through good literature what to do. This book couldn’t have come out at a better time in this tumultuous world.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Thank you for asking! My next book is currently at the publisher and it’s called A New Home For Grayce. The story is about Grayce the Groundhog who keeps getting displaced by humans as they develop roads, homes and golf courses. Like so many children today, especially foster children and military children, they must move to new homes more than most. So I wanted to show these children that even though they may have to move a lot, they will always find friends if they put themselves out there. And one day, they just might find their forever home. What is so exciting about this new book is the illustrator. Chad Thompson worked as an animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios in the movies Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear. He graciously stepped in for Mercela Werkema when Covid hit Brazil so hard. It is amazing how he has captured Mercela’s style of illustrations while incorporating his own to make A New Home for Grayce just as special as the first two books in the In the Woods Series. The book will be out this holiday season.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Pi, a unique deer from the Great Forest, arrives in the Woods in search of friends and a new home. The animals of the Woods are surprised by Pi’s arrival, but quickly realize she needs all the love they can give her. Will she discover what it truly means to sacrifice all she loves to be accepted by others? Will she learn the importance of family and the love they give?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on August 31, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. My grandkids love these books! Highly recommend!

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