This week the Writers-World Series visits with Amy Henrickson, known simply as Ms. Hen to her fans.
A mother and grandmother, Ms. Hen started writing children's books in 2011 after attending the Iowa Writers Summer Festival. She wanted to write books that featured a smart, spunky, principled, and interesting protagonist.
"Girls are so much more than glittery princesses; they are self-reliant problem-solvers," Ms. Hen said. "Girls can be anything: scientists, mathematicians, astronauts."
Add successful author to that list.
|Ms. Hen perches on Mark Twain's desk in Hannibal, Mo.|
Name: Amy Henrickson aka Ms.Hen
Hometeam: I live in Grandville, MI, between Lake Michigan and beer city Grand Rapids
Position: Writer, painter, community gad-about
John Ball (biography);
When working as a library supervisor in elementary schools, I was discouraged by the many thin stories of goofballs, fairies, and princesses, so I wrote the Lottie Gunderson, Girl Scientist books to inspire young readers to be curious, brave, and resourceful.
John Ball was the Forest Gump of early settlement days of West Michigan – an explorer, adventurer, land speculator, and philanthropist. He gave the property for Grand Rapids’ zoo and park.
Let’s Explore Mackinac Island is a guidebook with history, Q&A, walking tour, scavenger hunt, travel tips, and resources.
Considering the positions on a baseball team -- such as catcher, shortstop, left field, etc. -- which best describes the way you write and why? I would say Catcher. I’m always on the look-out for ideas. I catch ‘em, chew on ‘em, and then write about ‘em, and sometimes illustrate ‘em, too!
Tell us about scoring a home run:
My most recent book, Let’s Explore Mackinac Island, has been a pretty big hit on the mainland as well as on the Island.
No one wins a game alone. Who’s on your team? Although I do the writing and photography/illustrations of all of the books, my daughter, Abby Elizabeth, a graphic designer, does the lay-out and file uploading for me. She’s a whiz and a half.
My writing group of five people (FLAG—Four Ladies And a Gent) has been meeting faithfully for about six years. We’ve celebrated publishing successes and continue to help and challenge each other with kindness, good humor, expertise… and snacks.
Librarians have been a source of inspiration and encouragement.
My friends and family -- I wish everybody had people like mine. They’re so great.
So what’s your game plan?
I’ll be selling books at Rockford,Michigan’s “Reading Rocks” event on Saturday. June 2 from 10 a.m. -1 p.m.
I am also attending Princeton Seminary’s Frederick Buechner Writing Conference and Peninsula Writers' Writing Retreat at Glen Lake. And singing in the Grandville Community Choir at events in Grandville all summer.