An Interview with Author Glenys Nellist

Author PhotoIs going to the mailbox a highlight of your day? (Maybe not if all you’re expecting is bills.) But what if you’re looking for a letter from someone special?

A love letter, perhaps!

Children especially love to receive and open mail. So a picture book filled with letters … love letters … love letters from God—what could be better?

That’s what Glenys Nellist decided, and her debut picture book Love Letters from God was published by Zonderkidz in 2014. (Read my review here.) Now there’s a lift-the-flap board book version too—Little Love Letters from God. It features rhyming text that toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy.

Glenys is a wife, mother of four sons, and grandmother to three little boys and one little girl. She also serves as children’s ministry coordinator for the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. I’m happy to welcome Glenys to my blog today!

Glenys, you grew up in England and have family there. Do you visit there often? What are your favorite things to do on visits home?

I was born and raised in a little village in northern England, where I lived until we came to the United States fifteen years ago. I am so blessed that I get to go back “home” every year, to visit my seven siblings and numerous nieces and nephews. Whenever we go back to England, we love to walk by the side of the canal where we lived (usually in the rain!), eat fish and chips—and Cadbury’s chocolate!

How did you come to live in the United States?

My husband is a pastor, and our denomination offers an international exchange program for pastors and their families who want to participate. Basically, this means that for six weeks, you swap pulpits, homes, and cars (that’s scary because you guys drive on the wrong side of the road!) with another pastor anywhere in the world. It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience life, culture, and ministry overseas.

In 1999 we asked our four young sons, where shall we go? Their immediate reply, in unison, was  “AMERICA!” (This was really because they wanted to visit Disney World.) So we came to Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the summer of 1999. We absolutely fell in love with the USA and the possibilities of ministry here, so much so that we came back one year later, and have been here ever since. But we still haven’t been to Disney World.

Did you read a lot to your children as they grew up? What were your favorite books?

I’m so glad you asked this question! Yes! As a primary school teacher in England, and an avid reader myself, our house was full of books. Our all-time favorite book was published in 1986, and I still have our battered copy. It was called The Jolly Postman, and told the wonderful story of a postman who delivered letters to nursery rhyme characters. Written in rhyme, its innovative feature was that the pages were actual envelopes that contained real letters.

I can still remember the joy of snuggling with my four young sons on the sofa as we poured over its pages, and the delight of my youngest son as he reached his chubby little hand inside the envelopes to take the letters out. It was this little book that would inspire me to write Love Letters from God.

Do you have more book projects underway?

Yes! I’m so happy to say that Christmas Love Letters from God and Girls’ Love Letters from God, along with their board book versions for toddlers, will soon be available. Beyond that, I have more Love Letter projects in the works and a new board book series, called Snuggle Time—Snuggle Time Prayers, and Snuggle Time Psalms—to be published later this year. God is good, and all the glory for the words I write goes to him.

What do you hope to be doing in five years?

I hope to be doing what God wants me to! But if it is part of his plan, then I’d love to have more adorable grandchildren (to add to the four I already have), be able to be writing more books, and perhaps live on a little lake, where we might have room for the wooden boats my husband builds in his spare time. (We are already up to boat number four, so living in the city is not very conducive to his hobby!)

Thank you for visiting, Glenys!

Zonderkidz is offering a free copy of Little Love Letters from God to readers of my blog! To be eligible to win, you must live in the US and have a street address (no PO boxes.) To enter, just post “I’d love to win” in a comment below. The giveaway will stay open through 11:59 pm EST on Friday, January 22.

Little Love Letters CoverWant to know more about Glenys and Little Love Letters from God? This post is part of a once-a-week blog hop. You’ll find the full blog hop schedule at Glenys’s website.

– Diane

18 Responses to “An Interview with Author Glenys Nellist”

    • Reply Diane Grimm

      It was wonderful to meet you and your husbsnd, David yesterday. I took the bookmarks & copies of books to church today & shared them with the congregation.

  1. Reply Deanna S

    I’d love to win!
    I’d love to share this with my Grandkids!
    And I do love going to the mailbox too 🙂

  2. Reply Sandra VandenBrink

    I’d love to win!!! I want to share this with the Native American children at the church that I Pastor. Glenys is an awesome writer and a lovely person!!

  3. Reply Joan Benner

    i’d love to win to share this book with the children at my church. Blessings on Glenys for sharing her talents and to Zondervan’s for recognizing them!

  4. Reply Penny Roerdink

    I’d love to win this wonderful, God-honoring book! I love to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and this would help in doing that. The pictures are delightful and your words are just perfect for children!

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