The Children’s Book Review | October 12, 2010
Steve Lessman grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and currently lives in Yukon, OK, where he is a family pastor. He and his lovely wife, Stacy, are the proud parents of Garrett, Grace, and Anna. Steve loves to laugh and tell stories, while encouraging families to live life to the full. He hopes to spur on the next generation of heroes, as we learn from heroes of the past. D-Day is Steve’s first published work, but he has endless stories, ideas, & dreams on his computer and in his mind.
TCBR: D-Day: American Character is your first published book. Can you please tell us where the inspiration came from to write this novel?
Steve Lessmen: Although I’ve never been in the armed forces, I have always had a great respect for those who serve our country. My dad instilled that respect in me as he told me stories of his 3 uncles who served during WWII. The more I learned about that war and the efforts of our entire country, I knew I wanted to help pass that great history to the next generation.
TCBR: Your book focuses on 12 different character traits that have been demonstrated by United States soldiers. Which of these particular traits do you think readers of your book will most relate to?
SL: Perseverance. This is a “big” word for children, but a trait that is beneficial to learn early. We all face obstacles as we pursue our dreams and our responsibilities. Seeing the perseverance of the men on Omaha Beach should inspire all of us to keep going, in spite of difficulties.
TCBR: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?
SL: I was continually amazed how young many of these men were. There were many teenagers (18 & 19) and most were early 20’s as the risked their lives. Freedom was preserved by the courage and sacrifice of these very young men.
TCBR: You are a family pastor. At what point did you also consider yourself a writer?
SL: I always loved sharing personal stories, humor, and inspiring stories while teaching. About 10 years ago, I began writing more with the thought of being an author, so that these lessons and stories could be published for others.
TCBR: Can you tell us your earliest memories of writing? Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came naturally?
SL: Creativity has always come natural for me, but not writing. My creativity was usually fulfilled by telling funny stories, performing skits, and coming up with crazy ideas. I wasn’t a great student as a child and always saw writing as a boring school assignment. It wasn’t until college that I realized how fulfilling writing could be. I wrote a story about my grandfather for a college assignment and I learned that writing gave me an opportunity to share stories that were hidden within me.
I want to children to discover this at an early age. Whether writing for fun or because they have a homework assignment, I encourage them to write from their heart.
TCBR: D-Day: American Character may be your first published work, but I read that you have endless stories, ideas, & dreams on your computer and in your mind. Can you give us any hints as to what you’re working on next?
SL: I hope to continue to encourage children to live with character, by following the example of great Americans. Rather than tell a child to be honest or brave, I want to show them examples of those traits. So… I have a lot of writings of great Americans from all facets of life . Some continue with a military theme, yet there are many others about great Americans in different areas of life.
On a completely different note, I have many fun and entertaining fiction stories that I hope to see published someday. I’ve yet to finalize these manuscripts, but writing them is a great creative outlet for me.
TCBR: What’s the biggest obstacle you face when writing?
SL: 3 obstacles are time, time, and time. My job is very fulfilling, yet consuming. My children are 10,12, and 15 and my greatest priority. Late nights are about all I have for writing. However, whenever I make the time to write, I can’t begin to type as fast as my mind is flowing with ideas.
TCBR: Conversely, what brings you the most joy?
SL: My joy comes from the Lord when I consider all He has done for me and His incredible gifts – beginning with my wife and children. In the midst of daily life, I find great joy in encouraging others.
TCBR: If you could have a chat with any author, who would it be, and what would you ask?
SL: Okay this is a real “churchy” answer – the Apostle Paul. He wrote most of the New Testament, with God’s inspiration, and I’d love to hear his thoughts on the church today.
TCBR: Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
SL: You are unique and special. There is only one person who can do what you do. Do what only you can in a way that helps others.
For more information, visit: http://www.americancharacterclub.com/
Author Showcase: A place for authors and illustrators to gain visibility for their works. Titles featured in the Author Showcase have not been reviewed by The Children’s Book Review, and reflect the thoughts of the author, illustrator, or publishing company. Read more …