Author Interview: Valerie Fentress & Beneath the Hood

Posted September 13, 2021 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, children, Christian, Valerie Fentress / 18 Comments


Please join me in welcoming Valerie Fentress to the blog today to chat about her new Little Red Riding Hood retelling with Biblical truth, Beneath the Hood!

Valerie Fentress writes children’s books hoping to communicate Biblical truths through simple stories. Beneath the Hood is Valerie’s debut children’s book. She lives in Texas with her husband and three boys, who challenge her daily to find joy between imagination and chaos. You can find more of her books and thoughts on her blog at www.valeriefentress.com.

You can also connect with Valerie on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.


BENEATH THE HOOD: a retelling woven with Biblical truth
GENRE: Inspirational Children’s Book
RELEASE DATE: July 22, 2021
PAGES: 40

A familiar tale woven with biblical truth that even adults struggle to remember.

Little Red stands safe with basket in hand, but the King has given her a task and a path to walk. She is afraid of what might be in the forest. Her sister reminds Little Red that she’s a child of the King, and she won’t be alone. Once inside the dark forest, Little Red meets some wolves with many questions. The wolves doubt she will finish the King’s errand. The wolves cause distraction and tempt Little Red to step off the path at every turn. Can she remember who she is to finish the King’s errand?

This is a reclaiming of a classic tale to solidify a biblical truth. Beneath the Hood is an allegorical tale of the Christian faith. We are given the task to be God’s hands and feet, but often forget that our identity rests in being a child of the King of Kings. We often get distracted by the world around us and are tempted to leave our faith behind or choose comfort over calling. May this book encourage both parents and children to hold with confidence our identity and purpose as children of God.

 

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Hi Valerie! Welcome to the blog!

Valerie: I’m a big animal lover, and for a time even planned to become a veterinarian. But I’d have to say I am a dog person. I’ve always had dogs for two reasons. One I’m allergic to cats, and two litter boxes. Big props to those who are cat owners, you love with a love that can’t smell.

Carrie: hahaha!

Valerie: Before I had my third boy I’d say tea, but to my husband’s dismay coffee has become a daily requirement to keep up with the boys. Or as we call them two tornados and a hurricane.

Carrie: lol! My 6 y/o nephew has a shirt that says ‘I come with a hurricane warning’ – yup. haha

Valerie: Dr. Pepper please 😊 While a DP is my first choice in soda. If I had to pick between Coke and Pepsi, I’d have to choose Coke. I really can’t say why other than my mouth feels more refreshed after a Coke than a Pepsi. Whether that’s actually the case or good marketing, I don’t know.

Carrie: I’m totally with you on Coke over Pepsi 🙂

Valerie: Print all the way! There is something rich and immersive when I have a book in my hand. A printed book is like welcoming a new friend into my life and going on an adventure. I joke with my husband that all my books are like little memory books, which are too precious to get rid of.

Carrie: love that!

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Valerie: I’d have to say super speed. I am a type B personality, who’d rather sit and observe my world or build Legos with my kids. This often leaves a lot of things undone around the house. So having superspeed would allow me to do all the ‘things’ so I can sit, be still, and maybe enjoy a few more books. 

Carrie: that would be fabulous, wouldn’t it?

Q: If you knew you were only going to be allowed FIVE books for the rest of your life, besides the Bible, which five would make the cut?

Valerie: After I come to from shock of such an outrageous requirement. I’d have to choose….

The Circle Series Collection by Ted Dekker, which is such a great allegory of salvation and faith

This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, which was my first Christian novel to read as a teen

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, this book is just magical and hits on so many heartstrings I’d hate to be without it

Me, Myself and Bob by Phil Vischer. I love VeggieTales, and to read through Phil’s rise and fall and how he points to God in all of it is such a great reminder for me as a writer.

The Prince Warriors by Pricilla Shirer. I think we are seeing a trend here. But The Prince Warriors is also a great example of using storytelling to communicate truths of the Gospel and the power of faith. 

Carrie: haha i know – it’s a terrible question for me to ask 😉 But i love each of your picks!

Q: If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?

Valerie: The insides of my purse would tell you I have fair skin (Sunscreen). My kids are boys (Collections of action figures, Legos and cars) I’m a little scatter brained (the random receipts) I love Trident Mango blast gum (gum wrappers- thankfully without gum in them) I love to read (there is always a book in my purse)

Carrie: Can you really claim to be a book lover if you DON’T have a book in your purse?!? lol

Q: Why did you want to do a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood? What drew you to that story as being perfect for a retelling with Biblical truths?

Valerie: I was inspired by a quote that was floating around social media that said, “on the darkest days when I feel inadequate, unloved, and unworthy, I remember whose daughter I am, and I straighten my crown”. Fear and insecurity are a big part of my life journey, and this quote really stuck with me. What has helped me to overcome these mental struggles is my identity in Christ. Knowing I’m a Child of the King, I am wanted and I am loved are truths that I wanted to communicate to children. If I would have held to those truths from the age of reading children’s books, there’s a lot in my life story that could have been different.

Fairy tales have stood the test of time, because of their simplicity and the morals at their core. Sometimes the hardest truths to understand are the ones that need to be told in a simple and familiar way. The story of Red Riding Hood is very similar to our spiritual walks as Christians. There is an enemy seeking to destroy us. There is a path we have to follow, and when we get off that path it leads to trouble. So, I felt Red Riding Hood would be a good conduit of communicating the truth that our value and power comes from the King of Kings.

Carrie: what a great truth to convey to kids – especially in this day & age. They need the reminder / knowledge more than ever!

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Beneath the Hood?

Valerie: This story is a story of identity and courage. With this book I desire to empower kids and parents to have a conversation about identity and how God’s definition is the best and the truth. The world and culture desire to put labels on us, but the one who made us is the one with the best definition. We are all children of God, wholly and dearly loved. And we don’t walk this path of life alone. Though there is an enemy wanting to distract us and pull us away from a life of serving God, God is faithful to give us the strength and courage to walk through hard things in our lives and encourage other in the process.

Carrie: Amen ♥

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Valerie: Coming up next is another picture book called The Easter Bunny’s Tale coming out February 2022. Join my newsletter and follow me on social media to be the first to hear all the news.



Make sure to like & comment on this post and enter my monthly giveaway for THREE books of your choice from my duplicates stash! After you’ve liked & commented, claim your entries HERE.


What about you? What makes you want to read Beneath the Hood by Valerie Fentress with a child in your life?

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18 responses to “Author Interview: Valerie Fentress & Beneath the Hood

  1. Suzanne Sellner

    I love the Biblical truth aspect of this fairy tale! Children (and adults) remember stories quite well, and this will be an effective way to teach children God’s truth.

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