Saturday, August 22, 2015

Who Rules the World?--Rebecca Greenwood's "Scripture Princesses"

 Hey, friends.  I'm back for another blog tour because I enjoy them so much!  Rebecca and I go back a ways, since we were in the same ward before she got married and she was in Sing 4 Something the year that I got to choreograph and direct part of the show.  (The poor girl played a pirate, beautiful maiden, sailor AND Japanese bride in the course of a few songs.)  She's also been my unofficial spy at Cedar Fort, telling me in February that one editor had read my book and it was going to the next person, letting me know that my editor hadn't gotten back to me because of vacation and telling me that she'd just gotten the e-mail at work announcing my book.  When I had to set up my author site, they referred me to her.  So she's a very cool person and an author/illustrator as well.  

What is Scripture Princesses?  

Back in the '80's, I grew up with a Children's Bible, which put the Bible into comic form.  I loved that little red tome, with its amazing pictures of the Red Sea and leprosy.  I also loved how memorable it made the unfamiliar.  'm fond of Rebecca's book in a similar way.  She has chosen over a dozen women from the scriptures, told their stories in an engaging and accessible way and illustrated each one beautifully.  (The above graphic is an example of this style.  Each one has a slogan/exhortation to remind us in one sentence what the take-away could be.)

Rebecca was nice enough to let me do a Q&A with this one, so here we go!  Afterwards, I hope you'll stop by for more information.  They have coloring pages (I'm printing out my tiara later today!) and links to where you can buy the book.  Enjoy this look into the book for now and thanks for reading!

1)  You have great examples of Scripture Princesses and each chapter starts with an exhortation.  Who are some of your Scripture Princes and could you give us an example of the exhortations you’d give for them? 

A few: 
Go and do, like Nephi
Be an instrument in the hands of God, like Gideon
Be wise but harmless, like Ammon (who was actually a prince!) 
Be like Jesus. (The Prince of Peace) 

2)  I plan to share these stories with my extended family and I only have one niece so far. How do you think I can use these stories to teach my nephews to respect women?

 I believe that women and girls deserve to have books and media–stories–that are created solely for them. When I wrote Scripture Princesses, I made all decisions based on “Is it accurate to the scriptures? Could it appeal to girls? Does it appeal to me?” I did not consider whether it would appeal to boys. 

That said, they are welcome to read it! I hope it could help them realize there is another side to every story, one with a different mind-set and world view, but just as alive and vital as their own. We were created as two sexes for a reason, and God wants us to love each other, work together, and try to understand each other. Reading stories that are in the point of view and written for the opposite sex is a great way to learn empathy. 

3)  Did you ever consider doing a version of this that only focused on the Bible or on all of the standard works? 

I considered breaking it up, but I wanted each woman in my book to have a name. For the Bible, New Testament and Old Testament, that was easy. But there are only three named women in Book of Mormon: Sariah, Abish, and the harlot Isabelle. (Eve and Mary are also named, but their stories aren’t there). I decided I did need to cram them all into one book. 

4) Did you pick all of the Princesses yourself or did you have input from others?

I chose them.

5)  Are there any Princesses that were cut from the list for one reason or another?

The story that really inspired me to start writing this book was the maid servant of Morianton from Alma 50:30-31. I turned to her story while sitting in the chapel of the Provo temple. Reading it, I felt that, yes, I should pursue creating a book of stories of women from the scriptures for girls, both to tell the women’s stories, and show girls the difference they can make. Before, I had just been toying with the idea.

The name of Morianton’s maid isn’t given, and her story is a little harsh, so I didn’t include her in the book. Her story would probably be better told with a full fictional treatment, where she can be given a name and a happy ending to go with her bravery.

 6)  If you were to write a similar book based solely on historical figures, who would you include? 

Joan of Arc 
The real Pocahontas
Laura Ingalls Wilder…

I think I would enjoy more doing one of women’s stories from early church history.  I would need to deal with polygamy, however, so it would probably be better to have an older target audience for that project.