Tips For Writers
INTERVIEW with CHILDREN’S AUTHOR
& ILLUSTRATOR, NIKKI SCHAEFER
Could you tell us about your schooling
and any formal training you had which
helped prepare you for becoming a children’s
I received a bachelor’s degree
in journalism and a minor in fine arts.
I went on the get a master’s degree
in art therapy and worked as a counselor
and art therapist for 7 years before
pursuing book writing and illustrating.
What drew you to writing and illustrating
Being inspired by my own children.
How do you find your ideas for stories?
Through my own experiences as a child,
my children’s experiences or there
might be a concept that I want to teach
them, and I just make up a story and
then think, “Now, that could be
a good book!” And the writing and
What is the hardest part of the creative
process for you?
Whittling through the final details of
a project and getting it to completion.
What is the most fun part? The
conceptualization – I love the
initial excitement of the idea, the first
drawing, the first words – the
initial blast of creativity.
What is your typical author/illustrator
I home school my children…so I
am with them most of the time. I watch
them, listen, and am always writing down
the ideas and themes that come. When
time allows it, I write and I draw and
the stories begin to unfold. It is a
slow process for me with young kids,
but I love every minute of it!
What tips would you offer to others
just beginning their career in children’s
At first, just have fun with the writing
and/or illustrating... let it flow. It
has to come from a deep love and innate
calling to do it. Then if the love is
there, begin to do more research about
style, publishers, and get connected
with a writers group.
Who are some of your favorite children’s
authors & illustrators?
I love Jennifer Plecas…she has
a fun whimsical style of illustration.
As far as authors, I love Tomie DePaulo
– he is one of my favorite illustrators
What project are you working on now?
Or what projects are pending?
I am working on a chapter book called
Medjugorje Miracles. I am hoping to get
my first picture book out this summer.
It’s called The Potty Train (a
fun adventure which helps preschoolers
learn about potty-training.) I have 3
other picture books that I am currently
seeking homes for.
Where can everyone go to view samples
of your work?