Interview and GIVEAWAY with Debut Author Katie Munday Williams about her Picture Book Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Published Poet, illustrated by Tania Rex

Hi Math is Everywhere Readers,

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend, and I’m so excited to have a special feature blog post today with one of my very first critique partners, Katie Munday Williams. She’s here to discuss her wonderful and empowering debut book Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Published Poet!

Book description:

The inspiring story of a Puritan woman whose passion for writing poetry broke barriers.

Late at night, with her children tucked into bed and her husband away on business, Anne Dudley Bradstreet composed poems by candlelight. She let her thoughts from the day tumble out, memorizing each poem line by line before daring to shape the words onto scraps of scarce parchment. Puritan women in the 1600s weren’t allowed to be writers. But when the world learned about Anne’s poetry, even she was astonished by what happened next.

This charmingly illustrated picture book tells the inspiring story of how a Puritan woman overcame the obstacles facing women of her era to become one of the most famous poets in history. A gifted writer of deep faith, Anne Bradstreet blazed a trail for the rights of women to study, write, and achieve.


Kaitlyn: Hi, Katie, thanks so much for joining us today!

Katie: Thank you so much for having me, I’m honored to be on your blog!

Kaitlyn: I’m so happy to have one of my talented critique partners and friends. Let’s dive in! First of all, what inspired you to write this story?

Katie: My mom told me years back that Anne Bradstreet was my Great-Grandmother x 14 or something like that–at the time I thought it was cool, but didn’t give it a lot more thought. But as I started writing more, I began looking for a good non-fiction subject and Anne seemed like the perfect person! I felt a personal connection to her and loved how beautiful her poetry was. As I learned more about her journey as a writer, I couldn’t believe all the obstacles she’d had to overcome and I felt she would be a great person to introduce to young readers.

Kaitlyn: That’s amazing that you have a personal connection with her, and now you get to share her story with other little ones to inspire them. Can you share why Anne’s story is so important to be shared with children?

Katie: Anne grew up during a time when girls and women were discouraged from having their own opinions, and becoming a writer would certainly have been frowned upon. But Anne never gave up–she not only persevered with her dreams of writing, but she found a way to do so while maintaining her role within a very strict Puritan society. I love her wit and the way she made fun of her poetry in an attempt to keep men from disapproving of it and I feel that her message of persistence is a great one for all kids to hear.

Kaitlyn: She sounds like such an amazing person, and with the persistence I’ve seen from you, I bet she’d be proud you’re her greatx14 granddaughter! The art in this book created by Tania Rex has such a cool feel to it! Can you share a bit about the art and your favorite spread?

Katie: I think that Tania Rex did such an amazing job with this book! She really managed to capture the emotion of the story and she and the editing team worked hard to keep it historically accurate. It’s hard to pick just one spread as my favorite, but if I had to choose I think I’d pick the one where Anne is asleep at her table, surrounded by her papers–it really captures the way Anne had to find stolen moments to pursue her dream. 

Tania Rex

Kaitlyn: Yes! Finding stolen moments to pursue your dream is what I bet you’re doing all the time, too! Can you share how this book progressed? How you knew where to start the book and what to include (and take out)?

Katie: Ah, this is one of the hardest parts of writing non-fiction–knowing where to start, where to end, and what to include! I had SO many drafts and versions of this story, but luckily I had a really wonderful critique group (which includes the marvelous Kaitlyn Sanchez!) who helped steer me along the way. Anne had quite a few memorable moments throughout her life, events that definitely helped shape her as a writer…but I couldn’t include them all and keep the book under 1000 words. I used mentor texts, played with various settings, and ultimately cut a lot during revisions before deciding that the story was ‘done’.

Kaitlyn: I’m so proud that you were able to find the most important parts of her life to share (those mentor texts rock!), and aw, I’m so happy to have had a small part in this wonderful book, too. It’s just amazing to see it out in the world now! Do you mind sharing who your editor is for this story, and what you enjoy about working with this editor?

Katie: I had two great editors from Beaming Books who helped with this story, Andrew DeYoung and Jill Braithwaite (now a freelance editor). Both offered great insight during revisions and helped shape Anne’s story into the beautiful book it became.

Tania Rex

Kaitlyn: I know from the experiences I’ve had with Jill and Andrew that they are both so kind and insightful; I’m so glad you had such wonderful people to help bring your book into the world. If you have a literary agent, can you share who it is, how you landed this agent, and why you enjoy working with this agent?

Katie: I’m still in shock about this, but I actually just signed with Suzy Evans from the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel was picked up by Beaming Books after they liked my pitch on #pbpitch, so I’ve never worked with an agent before, though it was definitely a goal of mine. After reading that Suzy likes lyrical picture books, I queried her with a new story I’d been working on and she responded about 5 minutes later saying she wanted to see additional work! I was beyond excited and after speaking with her, felt she’d be a great fit. I love the way she is super responsive and gets right down to business. 

Kaitlyn: Suzy sounds amazing, and the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency has such a wonderful reputation with amazing agents, so it sounds like a dream come true! Can you share a bit about what’s coming next?

Katie: Hard to say, but Suzy is subbing one of my new stories now, so I’m crossing my fingers tightly that I might have another book out there sometime in the future!

Kaitlyn: Crossing fingers with you! Finally, if you could spend a day with your favorite author or illustrator, would you sit by a fireside and chat or go out on an adventure together?

Katie: Jane Austen is one of my all-time favorite authors, so I think if I had a chance to meet her, I’d go on a long, countryside walk with her and then end the day with a fireside chat. I have SO many questions for her!

Kaitlyn: That sounds delightful; count me in! Thanks so much again for joining us and sharing such wonderful insight today!

Katie: Thank you so much for having me!

Kaitlyn: It was my pleasure!

Bio:

Katie Munday Williams is a Public Health Nurse, Lactation Consultant, and author who has long been drawn to the magic of picture books. Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Published Poet is her debut book. She is also a contributing writer for The Whole Pregnancy: A Complete Nutrition Plan for Gluten-Free Moms to Be and Almost Keto. Katie lives in Santa Cruz, California with her husband and two children. She is the great-granddaughter x 14 of Anne Bradstreet. 

To find out more about Katie’s books and writing adventures, please go to www.katiemundaywilliams.com

Website:  www.katiemundaywilliams.com 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatieWills79 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ktwills79/  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiemunday/ 

Book Info and Links:

The inspiring story of a Puritan woman whose passion for writing poetry broke barriers.

Late at night, with her children tucked into bed and her husband away on business, Anne Dudley Bradstreet composed poems by candlelight. She let her thoughts from the day tumble out, memorizing each poem line by line before daring to shape the words onto scraps of scarce parchment. Puritan women in the 1600s weren’t allowed to be writers. But when the world learned about Anne’s poetry, even she was astonished by what happened next.

This charmingly illustrated picture book tells the inspiring story of how a Puritan woman overcame the obstacles facing women of her era to become one of the most famous poets in history. A gifted writer of deep faith, Anne Bradstreet blazed a trail for the rights of women to study, write, and achieve.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1506463061/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_DYHY14H2N3M6KRG89AFD

Bookshop.org

https://bookshop.org/books/poet-pilgrim-rebel-the-story-of-anne-bradstreet-america-s-first-published-poet/9781506463063

Barnes and Noble: 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poet-pilgrim-rebel-katie-munday-williams/1138670182?ean=9781506463063

Beaming Books: https://www.beamingbooks.com/store/product/9781506463063/Poet-Pilgrim-Rebel 

Kaitlyn’s review of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Published Poet

Coupled with stunning art that underscores the Puritanical times. Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel is a wonderfully inspiring book about a woman who found a way to follow her heart no matter what others thought. A lovely book to share with all the little ones in your life to help them discover history while encouraging them to do what makes them happy.

Giveaway: Katie is generously giving away a copy of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel (US only) AND a picture book critique (international)

To enter the random drawing, do any/all of the following options, then come back and write all of the things you did in ONE blog comment. (If you forget something, feel free to reply to your first comment ;))

  1. Share that you added Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Published Poet to your Goodreads “Want to Read” list and/or your Amazon Wishlist 
  2. Share that you ordered a copy of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Published Poet
  3. Share that you did a purchase request for Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Published Poet at your library
  4. Share that you left a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble
  5. Share that you retweeted or quote retweeted my tweet about this blog post on Twitter and tagged some friends.

Thank you all for supporting such amazing creators, and make sure to check back soon because we have lots of exciting things coming up! We’ll be having our second Team Sanchez cover reveal very very soon, AND the Fall Writing Frenzy announcement is about to come out with the images and dates for this October’s contest for all kidlit writers!

Sincerely,

Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez

20 thoughts on “Interview and GIVEAWAY with Debut Author Katie Munday Williams about her Picture Book Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Published Poet, illustrated by Tania Rex

  1. I already have a copy, so don’t add me to the drawing, but thank you for sharing this behind-the-scenes interview! This is such a fantastic and inspiring story and the author’s note is wonderful ❤️ Congratulations on finding your dream agent and can’t wait to see what comes next. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, my…I’m amazed she had any energy to write with seven children! It must feel so good to honor this fascinating relative with a book that will inspire other young writers!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations Katie! Your family connection to Anne is exciting. I look forward to reading her story. Thank you for sharing your journey into an exploration of family history.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.