Kimberley Payne is a versatile author and speaker who first visited this blog in 2011 to talk about her book, Fit for Faith. Kimberley has written for adults on such topics as fitness, faith, dreams and child abuse. Her newest project is a children’s activity book, Trees of the Book—Learning from God’s Creation.
Janet: Welcome back, Kimberley, and congratulations on Trees of the Book. I’ve been seeing some very good reviews. For those who haven’t met you, how about a quick introduction?
Kimberley: I am a wife and a mother of two teenagers, two cats, and lots of fish. I consider myself an amateur photographer who loves to take tons of pictures of nature.
Janet: Tell us a bit about Trees of the Book.
Kimberley: As an avid walker, I have a love and appreciation for nature, especially walking through the woods. I also like to read the Bible and found myself curious about the trees mentioned in scripture. At the time I started my research I was actively involved in children’s ministry in my church so wanted to share what I learned in an entertaining format for the children. I produced one-sheets to fit into the weekly bulletins and featured one tree a week for seven weeks. I collected these together and added facts about each tree with fun activities. And voila, I had the beginnings of this book!
Janet: It’s designed for children of what age?
Kimberley: Trees of the Book was written for children ages 7 to 9. It can also be used as a supplemental book to the Growth and Changes in Plants Curriculum for Canadian teachers in grades two/three.
Janet: Trees of the Book is more than a story or a book of facts. What led you to include educational activities?
Kimberley: I wanted the book to be entertaining – something children could not only learn from but have fun with.
Janet: Do you see yourself turning this into a series? Animals of the Book, Plants of the Book etc?
Kimberley: A series called Science and Faith Matters. Other books in the series will be about the Life Sciences, including animals of the Bible and the five senses.
Janet: I vote for Sea Creatures of the Bible! Trees of the Book sounds like a great resource for homeschoolers and Sunday School teachers. But it’s something that anyone could share with the child in their life, right?
Kimberley: Absolutely! Caregivers and grandparents could also share this with their little ones.
Janet: What is the primary benefit, above all others, that your potential reader will gain from reading this book?
Kimberley: It’s an easy and fun way to learn about the trees in popular Bible stories.
Janet: How is writing for children different than writing for adults?
Kimberley: To put all children in one group doesn’t work. There are many different levels, age groups and types of books you can write – from boardbooks to early readers to young adult. Although I really enjoy writing for children, I do find it much more difficult.
Janet: Tell us a bit about the process of working with an illustrator.
Kimberley: I wanted to give the illustrator, Esther, free rein with the book. I shared my ideas of what I wanted, but in the end I gave her artistic control. I wanted her to enjoy the process too. We’ve posted videos showing Esther drawing the illustrations on YouTube at AndFaithMatters channel.
Janet: In Trees of the Book, which tree is your favourite? And did you pick up any interesting or unusual tree-related trivia?
Kimberley: I love the palm tree. I have fond memories of vacations in the south with palm trees and I love the illustration that Esther provided. Originally when I started the book I thought there may be about 6 trees mentioned in the Bible. I was surprised that there are over 15 trees!
Janet: Fifteen trees… I can think of fig, cedar, palm (because you just said it), and Zaccheus’ sycamore tree. Now I’m stumped for the rest. Ooh, unintentional pun that I decided to leave in place! What do you like best about the writing life?
Kimberley: I love seeing my manuscript change into an actual book! To take an idea and work with it over the years to go from a MS Word document to a hardcopy sold on Amazon.com (and Amazon.ca) is way cool.
Janet: What do you like least?
Kimberley: Learning the ropes of social media and the amount of time that is needed to spend on marketing.
Janet: What are you reading these days?
Kimberley: I tend to rotate between fiction and nonfiction. Right now, I’m reading fiction books by local authors. I just finished reading After the Snow Falls by Carey Jane Clark.
Janet: What are you listening to?
Kimberley: I listen to my local Christian radio station 100.3. I usually stream it through my computer or listen to it on my car radio.
Janet: What do you like to do to get away from it all?
Kimberley: I love to hike in the woods, and take pictures of plants, animals and trees.
Janet: Okay, I always think this is a weird question, but it fits this interview so here goes: What kind of tree would you be?
Kimberley: That’s a great question! When I worked as a career counsellor I asked this of my clients to prepare them for weird interview questions. I suppose if I had to pick a tree I’d be a willow. As a child, I loved to grab hold of the long branches and swing around the trunk. It provided oodles of fun for me. 🙂
Janet: I’ve always had a special fondness for willows, too! Their trailing branches make little rooms. Thanks so much for taking time to let us get to know you a bit, Kimberley. May the Lord continue to bless you and make you a blessing to others—in every area of your life.
Readers can learn more about author/speaker Kimberley Payne at her website (Kimberley J. Payne), her Facebook page (Kimberley Payne, Author), and the AndFaithMatters YouTube channel. Kimberley also blogs at Science and Faith Matters.
Children’s Activity Book
Explore the Bible and learn from God’s creation. This entertaining and educational book offers children loads of fun. At the same time they’ll be learning about the Bible.
Inside its pages you’ll find:
- Bible stories told from the viewpoint of the tree
- Fast facts to help identify the specific tree
- An activity to help reinforce the truth in the lesson
- Challenging questions to support each story
- Glossary and “People of the Bible” sections to define words which are highlighted in bold
- Project suggestions to enhance your learning
This engaging and instructive book is a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories. It’s ideal for 7 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 2/3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Plant Life.