Local Author's Lifelong Passion Comes to Life with What About Moose?
From the very young age of five, Rebecca Gomez has been writing. Her earliest, elementary school aged poems were about climbing trees and horses. Her teenage years brought about writings that focused on love and heartbreak. Now as an adult, Rebecca writes books about the world through a child's eyes drawing from experiences with her own children. But whatever the age, genre or subject the constant theme for Rebecca is her love of writing.
Rebecca has had success over the years being published in a variety of children's publications such as Highlights and Fun for Kids Magazine and is a Member of Society of Children's Book Authors and Illustrators. Rebecca's main focus was writing for children; from toddler to teens. She was able to capture the imagination of a child that comes complete with monsters, silly stuff and at times heartache. "I didn't want to forget the beauty of being a child," she says. "I will keep writing poetry and books for them, for as long as I can."
Rebecca says that she has always enjoyed the writing process and after getting favorable reviews began to really believe that she could write successfully for a living. She joined a writers group and met fellow author Corey Rosen Schwartz and the two began to collaborate on a new book series. The first book that the two authors wrote has yet to be published, but their second book was. What About Moose? is a charming and silly rhyming picture book for 4 to 8 year olds and was published in the summer of 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Q&A with Rebecca Gomez
Omaha Family: How does it feel to be a first time book author with such a successful book?
Rebecca Gomez: It is such a delight to not only have reached this dream of being a published author, but to hear from people who are enjoying the book! I hope that the enthusiasm surrounding the book will continue to grow so that Moose and his friends will find many more readers.
Omaha Family: How has being a parent helped you relate to children?
Rebecca Gomez: As a parent, you can't help but learn a few things about what makes kids tick. For me, dealing with all their ups and downs and everything in between on such a personal level helps me to connect with them and reminds me what it was like for me at various stages of my pre-adult life. This connection to my childhood self, and kids in general, is an essential element in writing for children.
Omaha Family: What lessons from your childhood help in your writing?
Rebecca Gomez: I don't know about lessons, specifically, but there are a few experiences that stand out as having influenced my writing. Like growing up in a large family (I am the third of seven kids), being the new kid a lot because my father was in the Air Force, and a period of time in sixth grade when I was the target of some mean-spirited teasing by girls I once considered friends. All of these things have helped to shape me into the person, and writer, that I am today.
Omaha Family: What do your children think of What About Moose?
Rebecca Gomez: They love it. At least, they say they do! When the story was originally written, my kids were much younger and more open to having me read my manuscripts aloud to them. Now they are older and more critical, which is actually a good thing. But their opinion of What about Moose? hasn't changed.
Omaha Family: What is the hardest part of writing a book?
Rebecca Gomez: I'm always eager to dive right into revisions when I finish a manuscript, but I know that it's best to let it sit for a while. That's probably the hardest thing about the process. It helps to have another project to focus on.
Omaha Family: What encouragement do you have for the novice writer who wants to try to grow and express their inner talents?
Rebecca Gomez: When I was first setting out as a writer, with my goal to have a published book, I read an article somewhere that basically said, "If you have talent, and you keep at it, you will eventually succeed." Over the years, when it seemed like my dream of being traditionally published would never come true, I remembered those words. So, if you believe in your art, there is no reason stop pursuing it. Keep writing, keep reading a lot, connect with other authors, get feedback when you can, polish your craft. And keep going.
Omaha Family: If you were not writing, what would you be doing?
Rebecca Gomez: I would either be working in a library or pursuing a career as an artist.
Omaha Family: If you could meet one person, living or not, who would that be and why?
Rebecca Gomez: King David, because he led an interesting life, he failed a lot but never gave up, and he was a talented poet.
Omaha Family: If you could travel to one place on earth where would you go?
Rebecca Gomez: It would be fun to travel to New Zealand. I've wanted to go there ever since seeing the Lord of the Rings movies.
Omaha Family: If you could have one super power what would that be?
Rebecca Gomez: Flying, for sure. Maybe I would fly to New Zealand!