I found out about Ms. Wendy Ann Mattox through her Instagram page and was intrigued to hear that she writes Christian chapter books for kids! After reading the first book, I was very impressed and persuaded to share her book series with my followers. I love how she creates fun story-lines full of adventure while weaving in Christian themes in kid-friendly ways. I believe kids will not only be entertained but will grow in their faith from reading her chapter books. Let’s find out more about Wendy and her books!
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Wendy, tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the small town of Boise, Idaho (although it is no longer considered small and has gone through a huge population growth). I loved school and always had my nose in a book. I used to race my bike each week to the Book Mobile (a portable library that made stops at all the local schools) and would check out new exciting adventures of my favorite series.
My love of reading opened up so many exciting worlds and also helped me do well in school. I was hired at Hewlett Packard as a PCO (Production Change Order) Coordinator directly out of high school. My job was to document engineering changes made on the production line. I had to use as few words as possible to describe these changes. (Little did I know that God would use this training in my future writing career!)
I married and had four amazing daughters and became a stay-at-home mom. During this time, since I loved writing, I pursued writing freelance articles for different family magazines, ran a monthly column, Parenting with Passion, and authored two babysitting books with Capstone Press.
When my children went to school, I ventured back into the work force as an education assistant, then a teacher, and eventually a director. I loved children and early education and spent 16 years in this field.
I share this history to show how God is always using every detail and experience in our lives for whatever His plans are for us! I love writing for children and am very comfortable in the classroom doing Author Visits as a result of my years working at a Christian School.
I enjoyed reading Magic Magnifying Glass: Lost Locket and believe it to be such a fun Christian chapter book series for young readers, full of adventure AND faith! Tell us a little about the book and what inspired you to write it?
As our daughters grew, my husband and I spent a lot of time reading books to them. And although there are SO MANY great books out there, I always wanted Christian chapter books where the main character exemplified the qualities that we were always trying to instill in our children. I wanted the humor to be situational and for the Christian values to be organic and not preachy. So, when I became a grandmother and had more time, I decided to write down my Magic Magnifying Glass (MMG) story for my grandchildren. I figured I’d just read a chapter a day to them whenever they were over. But as God would have it, I was a virtual assistant to a romance author and saw her writing and publishing her stories and after praying about it, decided God was nudging me toward publishing, as well.
We spend a great deal of time in the mountains and own a cabin named Bearfoot Getaway which is the inspiration for my Magic Magnifying Glass series. Whenever I am there, I picture Fin (my main character) shrinking and solving cases with all the silly animals on our property. Detective cases, silly talking animals, and God’s Word…what else could you want in a story, right?
I also, recently released my time travel series (Cherry-Berry Time Chasers (CBTC)) in July 2022 upon the request of my readers. Every time I do author visits the students give me ideas for future Fin adventures and time travel is in the top five requests. So, I wrote that series and book three in that series, will come out summer 2023.
Share with us a little about the process of writing this book series and your illustrations. How many are in the series?
Both my series are aimed for children ages, 7yr – 13yr.
The Magic Magnifying Glass Series (8 books) is based in Donnelly, Idaho and is about Fin (now 10yrs old) who shrinks to be an inch tall and solves mysteries with all his animal friends.
The Cherry-Berry Time Chasers Series (2 books) is based in Boise, Idaho and is about Max & Maddie (twins) who go on a scavenger hunt back through time that their grandfather set up for them.
It takes me about a month to write each story and then Cynthia Pearson (my illustrator) draws my stories and brings each adventure to life.
I pay a bit more to have extra illustrations in each book. For this reason, my stories are great for readers transitioning from graphic novels.
(*MMG: Lost Locket – Allison Phythian illustrated this book.)
What do you want children to come away with from these Christian chapter book series?
My goal in writing both series was that children would learn that God is with us everywhere we go. That He loves us and that He is just a prayer away. He wants to be involved with every aspect of our daily lives. Each chapter book has a Bible Verse on the cover that reveals the over-arching theme of each book. At the end of each story, the Good News of the gospel, is also explained.
You can read them in any order since I include prologues in each book.
How have you seen your books impact children and families thus far?
Yes, during my Author Visits and book signings I am seeing that children love book characters that are kind, loving, and always working for good. They love fast-paced, exciting adventures where they try and solve the mystery (MMG) or scavenger hunt (CBTC)!
Parents and teachers have commented to me that they love the family-friendly values and Biblical truths weaved into each story.
Do you have any other book series you are working on or planning to write?
Yes! I recently wrote a big-girl, clean, romance/drama titled, Raging Water Rescue (summer 2023).
Annnnnnd as far as future children’s series…my grandchildren have inspired me to write a new crazy SPACE series. It will be a graphic novel, and I will do my own illustrations.
Where can our readers find the Magic Magnifying Glass and Cherry-Berry Time Chasers series?
The are both available on Amazon and on my website, WendyAnnMattox.com where you can drop me a note and say hello or sign up for Wendy’s Fun Fans for giveaways.
Or you can follow all my crazy writing adventures at wendyannmattoxauthor on Instagram and facebook.