Bobbie Hinman: Author Interview
On June 25, 2008, Bobbie Hinman – dressed in her beautiful, sparkling fairy wings – flew her way gracefully around the DC area to various Tree Top Kids Stores, where she read her books, The Knot Fairy and The Sock Fairy. With her calming presence, Bobbie Hinman had her young fans easily enchanted with her stories of two very mischievous fairies. Generously, she agreed to be the subject of my first author interview – for which I am very excited, and of course – most importantly – thankful!
Bianca: Did you always aspire to be a writer?
Bobbie: I have always been an avid reader and I believe that somewhere, deep down, I knew that I would someday be a writer. Growing up in an era before computers, I spent most of my childhood “free time” with a pencil and notepad, drawing pictures and writing stories and letters. My love of writing blossomed in college. I majored in Elementary Education and I was blessed with an imaginative, enthusiastic teacher in my first Children’s Literature course. It’s amazing how that one special person helped change the course of my life.
Bianca: When did you first begin writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
Bobbie: After graduating from college, I put my writing on the back burner while I taught elementary school and raised my family, always encouraging my children and my students to read and to be creative. An interesting turn of events occurred when my children were teenagers. After learning that we had a genetic cholesterol challenge in our family, I decided to direct my creativity toward trying to create meals that were healthful, yet tasty. To make a long story short enough to fit on this page, I authored seven cookbooks and became a cooking teacher and a lecturer on the benefits of healthy eating. Interestingly, even while writing the cookbooks, I didn’t think of myself as a writer.
Bianca: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Bobbie: My life changed dramatically when my own children had children. My love of children’s literature came flooding back to me. I love my role as the grandmother who always has time for one more bedtime story. One day, several years ago, I was trying to comb the knots and tangles from the hair of a crying five-year old granddaughter when an inspiration hit me. On the spot, I created a story about the happy little tiny fairy who visits children while they sleep and delights in tangling their hair. I watched my granddaughter’s tears turn into smiles. Later that day I assembled several of my other grandchildren and told them all the fairy story. I delighted in their smiles as they listened and then told each other stories of their own encounters with the knot fairy. Without thinking, I said to them, “Let’s turn this story into a book!” A story idea was born. That day I realized I was a writer.
Bianca: How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
Bianca: Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Bobbie: I guess it’s a quirk that I never purposely sit down to write. I write whenever an idea pops into my head, which can be riding in a car, eating dinner in a restaurant, or even waking up in the middle of the night. My husband thinks I have “an affliction”. I always carry a pen and paper with me and have been known to shout out during a serious conversation with someone, “Aha, I’ve got an idea!”
Bianca: What does your family think of your writing?
Bobbie: My books have become a family project, so I tossed this question out to three of my grandchildren. They answered with the words “amazing”, “awesome” and “fantastic”. My promise to my grandchildren to turn the knot fairy story into a book was the beginning of a major learning process for them, teaching them that you can accomplish whatever you desire, if you set goals and work hard.
Bianca: Are there any authors or books that you feel have influenced your life?
Bobbie: It’s really hard to single out an individual book or author that has influenced my life. I have always taken what I consider to be the best from each one. I try to take the lessons learned by others and apply them to my life. It seems that there is always more to learn from others.
Bianca: Who or what was the influence for your books, The Knot Fairy and The Sock Fairy?
Bobbie: I mentioned earlier that my granddaughter’s tangled tresses provided the inspiration for The Knot Fairy. I decided that a series of fairy books would add to the fairy fun. So, I decided that I would attempt to explain some of the other big mysteries of life. Missing socks seemed like the perfect dilemma to solve.
Bianca: How long did it take you to complete writing both books?
Bobbie: It took two years, from idea to finished book, to complete The Knot Fairy. It only took one year to complete The Sock Fairy. However, in reality, I realize as I look back, that I have been setting the wheels in motion throughout my entire life.
Bianca: Are you working on any new projects?
Bobbie: Yes, I am hard at work on my third book, The Belly Button Fairy. What does she do? You’ll have to wait until early Spring to find out!
Bianca: Are you reading any books now?
Bobbie: Yes, I’m actually reading Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series with one of my granddaughters. The 500-page books were quite an undertaking for a twelve-year old and “having me along” has really added to her enjoyment. I have found that my grandchildren love for me to read what they are reading. It’s fun to discuss the characters with them and try to guess what will happen next.
Bianca: Do you have any last words to share with your readers?
Bobbie: At the risk of sounding corny – here goes: “If you think you can do it, you can!!”