Popular author to sign latest books

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Popular  author to sign latest books After nearly a decade-long hiatus, popular local children’s author Terry Pierce will sign her two latest books on Saturday, April 1, from 2-4:30 p.m. at Red Rock Books.

Children and families are invited to meet Pierce and purchase copies of “My Busy Green Garden” and “Mama Loves You So.”

Pierce began writing for children after spending 22 years as a Montessori teacher. “I loved reading pictures books to my students and always thought it would be fun to write one.”

She joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, an international organization, and quickly realized that authoring picture books was no easy task. But after investing years in research, classes, conferences and “the hard knocks of the submission process,” Pierce published several books that were picked up by major publishing houses.

She said she had her first “I made it!” moment in 2007 when her easy reader, “Tae Kwon Do,” was named as one of the top 100 books of the year by the Bank Street College Best Books in Children’s Literature. “It was a huge moment of validation for my writing,” she said.

That book went on to sell more than 100,000 copies. “I think of it as ‘the little easy reader that could,’” she said.

But even after 10 years of writing — which saw the publishing of 18 books, “I still craved to learn more, at a deeper level,” so she returned to school to pursue a master of fine arts in children’s writing.

The two latest releases bring that total to 20, and she has another picture book and easy reader slated for release in 2018.

“I’ve always said I don’t have a personal favorite, but I might be changing my mind on that,” said Pierce, referring to “Mama Loves You So,” published by Simon & Schuster and illustrated by Simone Shin.

“This book holds a special place in my heart because I got the story idea when my son was a baby. He’s now 32!”

This was long before she had considered writing children’s books, she said. “After hearing the song ‘Longer’ by Dan Fogelberg, I thought that someone should write a children’s book that equates a mother’s love for her baby to the power of nature.”

That idea lingered, but struck more forcefully two years ago while she was hiking in Mammoth Lakes. “I sat down and wrote it right then and there — I always carry a small notepad and pencil with me when I hike,” she said.

“When I first held the book in my hands, just a few days ago, it struck an emotional chord like no other book I’ve written. It speaks to the power of love. I just adore it, and outdoorsy moms everywhere will love reading it to their little ones.”

Nature has played an important role in her self-discovery as a writer, she said. “I’ve found that nature appears often in my books, in some form or other. I love the outdoors and find comfort, joy and peace when I’m in nature, so I think this spills over into my writing.”

She also loves tinkering with language and “coming up with a text that I think young readers will find absolutely delicious and want to hear again and again.

“My writing axiom is to get young children excited about books so they’ll develop a lifelong love of reading and literature. What better way to accomplish this than writing books young children will want to hear again and again?”

Pictured: Red Rock Books owner Ann Rizzardini holds up “Mama Loves You?So” and “My Busy Green Garden,” the latest by children’s author Terry Pierce. -- Photo by Rebecca Neipp

Story First Published: 2017-03-24