Brittany Crawford has published her third book, Tilly and the Electrifying Thuderstorm.
Crawford published her first book in 2010 called I Sit in a Wheelchair … but I will be Okay. The book was written to help children feel better about being in a wheelchair, a subject close to Crawford’s heart.
Crawford has cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination. But that has never slowed her down.
She published her second book, Tilly and the Terrible Tornado, in 2020 and spends her free time volunteering with children. She understands exactly how to help children have a better understanding of scary things that happen in their lives. And, they love her.
Crawford took to Facebook during school shut downs to read to children and talk to them through live videos. She did her best to try to ease their fears and keep things as normal as possibly during 2020. And, she was still writing.
What have you been up to since we last spoke? Quite a bit, actually. The pandemic hasn’t slowed me down too much. I still volunteer three days a week. I’m still writing books (and reading anything I can get my hands on). I am still active in my church (Skiatook Christian). In addition, in April, 2020, I started a brand new venture. I now paint all kinds of chalk pictures. My booth is available in Collinsville at Farm Hippie.
Are you still volunteering with children? Yes, I am still volunteering three days a week. When HeadStart closed, I was devastated. The ladies there were not only friends, but family. And, I missed the kids terribly. Besides, HeadStart was where the idea for my Tilly books were born.
However, shortly after HeadStart closed, I reached out to Stephanie Spencer, and offered to volunteer at Lakeview Early Learning Academy in Skiatook. I have been there since July, and LOVE it. The ladies who work there have welcomed me with open arms, and Mr. Rick, is a pretty cool guy. The kids are adorable too, so Lakeview is my second home.
What is your third book about? My third book is entitled, Tilly and the Electrifying Thunderstorm. In this adventure, Tilly learns all about electrical safety while participating in Girl Scouts and playing softball with her friends. Little does Tilly know, she will have to use the skills she learned as a Girl Scout to save her new friend’s life, Here is a fun fact. One of my characters re occur in this book, that was introduced in Tilly and the Ferocious Flood.
What was the inspiration for Tilly and the Electrifying Thunderstorm? In order to get the inspiration for this book, I had to go back to my elementary school years. I loved learning about Louie the Lightening Bug as a child. He made learning about electrical safety fun. But, I had not heard anything about how kids can stay safe dealing with electricity in several years. And, since my books are community minded, I wanted to tie the Girl Scouts into it because they work on service projects. My 11 year old niece is a Girl Scout, and I dedicated the book to her, as well as several electrical linemen I knew.
How long does it take for you to write a book? I began work on Tilly and the Terrible Tornado in May of 2019. The printed book came out in December 19th, 2019. So that one was about 8 months, give or take for the entire process. I actually finished writing in October, 2019, so it took about 6 months to write.
I didn’t waste any time with the flood book, and began work on it in January, 2020. I set it to the publisher mid-March, and it hit the shelves in May, 2019.
I immediately started working Tilly and the Electrifying Thunderstorm in June of 2019. Finished this one in Mid-August, and it hit the shelves in November.
My fourth book, Percy and the Powerful Pandemic might take a little more time, as there is going to be a lot of ground to cover. As a matter of fact, I don’t expect it to even go to the publisher until May or June
What are you hoping to teach children in Percy and the Powerful Pandemic? Just like in all my books, I hope to teach children to the significance of the pandemic. It’s been a long hard road, especially for children. In and out of school for sometimes, an extended period of time. Not being able to see friends, family or teachers Having to learn how to navigate school virtually.
In a lot of cases, parents are deemed essential workers. Some, like doctors and nurses have to work around the clock. Therefore, children have to get used to new routines, even at home.
I also want to teach children it is okay to have big feelings. It’s okay to be sad, angry, etc. It is my hope that parents and children who read this book can navigate this new normal together.
Where can people purchase your books? People can purchase my books on Amazon or Lulu.com. Farm Hippie in Collinsville also has all three of my books. Boarding House Books in Claremore has the tornado and the flood book. The Book Exchange in Pryor also has the Tornado and the Flood book.
What is next for you? After writing the pandemic book, I think Tilly is going to play in the snow, then, she will learn all about the sunny weather.
My next book signing will be at Farm Hippie January 23rd from Noon-2:00. PM. I will have all three books available.
I am also encouraging teachers in the area to talk to me about hosting zoom or Google meets in their classrooms. I did a Google classroom session with 6 classes from Hoover Elementary in Bartlesville and had a lot of fun with it. I’m hoping for more.
What keeps you going? Family, very supportive friends, my church family, and most of all God. Plus, it helps if you love what you do.