Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Heather Avis & Different – A Great Thing to Be!

Posted September 14, 2021 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, children, Christian, giveaway / 12 Comments


Please join me in welcoming author Heather Avis to the blog today to chat about her children’s book, Different – A Great Way to Be!

Heather Avis is founder and chief visionary officer at The Lucky Few, a social awareness brand on a mission to make a more inclusive and loving world with an emphasis on shifting the Down syndrome narrative. The author of the New York Times best-selling children’s book “Different—A Great Thing to Be!” (WaterBrook/Penguin Random House) she runs The Lucky Few’s hit Instagram account and is the author of a book and co-host of the podcast by the same name. A former education specialist teaching high school students, Heather is a mother to three adopted children and has been interviewed on numerous media outlets including The Today Show, Hallmark’s Home & Family, and written for TIME. She lives in Southern California with her husband, Josh, and their three kids Truly, August and Macy, the inspiration for “Different—A Great Thing to Be.” For more information,  visit www.HeatherAvis.com & @TheLuckyFewOfficial


DIFFERENT – A GREAT WAY TO BE!
GENRE: Children’s Picture Book
PUBLISHER: WaterBrook
RELEASE DATE: June 29, 2021
PAGES: 40

This joyful rhyming book encourages children to value the “different” in all people, leading the way to a kinder world in which the differences in all of us are celebrated and embraced.

Macy is a girl who’s a lot like you and me, but she’s also quite different, which is a great thing to be. With kindness, grace, and bravery, Macy finds her place in the world, bringing beauty and laughter wherever she goes and leading others to find delight in the unique design of every person.

Children are naturally aware of the differences they encounter at school, in their neighborhood, and in other everyday relationships. They just need to be given tools to understand and appreciate what makes us “different,” permission to ask questions about it, and eyes to see and celebrate it in themselves as well as in those around them.

 

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Hi Heather! Welcome to the blog!

Heather: Summer, always summer. I hate being cold!

Carrie: haha i hate being hot 😛

Heather: Music. We have music playing in our house all throughout the day. I can multitask with music on. When I’m listening to a book I need to really pay attention, plus I’d rather hold it in my hand and read it.

Carrie: Yes! I’m the same way – music is almost always on during the day here.

Heather: I love both and actually grew up in the mountains, but I knew even then the ocean has my heart!

Carrie: best of both worlds!

Heather: I feel as though I spend a good amount of time figuring out how to look at screens less. Print please!

Carrie: a very valid point!

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

Heather: I always joke about what I call my “spiritual gifts” which include but are not limited [to], parallel parking, untangling knots, making cocktails, creating a delicious meal from a seemingly empty fridge and being able to rally so I don’t miss out on the fun. But as far as a super power goes, I would say I have a keen ability to read a room and notice what others need in a variety of situations.

Carrie: noticing what others need is an important – but rare – superpower to have! So is untangling knots 🙂

Q: Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?

Heather:

  1. Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon
  2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbra Kingsolver
  3. The Testament by Barbra Kingsolver
  4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  5. Night by Eli Wiesel 

Carrie: sadly the only one of the 5 that I’ve read is The Giver but I definitely enjoyed that one!

Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?

Heather: I don’t have ONE favorite writing space. It has changed for each book. However, when I wrote my second book, “Scoot Over and Make Some Room!” I wrote the whole thing in a 1994 Jamboree Searcher, which is an RV. My husband and I went in on The Searcher with two other families. It was parked in our friends backyard and at the time my family of five was living in a 950 sqft back house so I had to get out if I wanted to get words on paper. The Searcher became the perfect office space and a place I looked forward going to everyday.

Carrie: that’s awesome! And appropriate, considering the title of that book 🙂

Q: How did your daughter Macy inspire you to write Different?

Heather: Macy has Down syndrome, and 13 years ago when she entered my life I could not find a children’s book in a Barnes and Noble with a character who had Down syndrome. I believe that is when the seed for this book was planted. As I had the honor to raise Macy and grow along side her it was obvious to me how incredible Macy is because she had Down syndrome. Equally obvious was how people continued to see [her] Down syndrome diagnosis as something to fix and change. Her differences made others uncomfortable. Her differences also ushered our family into more and more spaces with more and more “different” kinds of people, each one being an image bearer of God and giving us an opportunity to [begin] to clearly see how much richer and complete our lives are because we have the honor of learning from and along side people who are different than us and seeing God in them…in their differences. Macy has truly taught me that our differences are good and we should notice, embrace and celebrate them and help others to do the same.

Carrie: I’m so glad you wrote this book! Learning & living alongside people who are different from me is one of my core values. To start that perspective as a child is key!

Q: I love this quote from you – “…life is better when we make room in our lives for those who have been missing.” How has this been true in your own life, and how is this message conveyed in Different?

Heather: I believe God is bigger, more creative and more faceted than we could ever even begin to wrap our minds around. I also think humans, who are made in the image of God, are the closest we’ll come to beginning to get a taste of God ’s bigness, creativity and facets. But I only think we can begin [to] see and understand who God is by being around all different kinds of people. We can’t be around all different kinds of people if we first don’t notice who is missing in our lives. Once we take the time to notice who is missing, whether that be disabled people, people who are a different ethnicity than we are, or people who have a different lived experience than we do, it is only then we can pursue those relationships and in so doing pursue the heart of God! 

Carrie: i love this so much!! Yes!

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from {YOUR BOOK}?

Heather: I want this book to begin to shift our cultural ideas around what it means to be different. When readers put down the book I hope they can truly begin to notice, celebrate and embrace the differences in themselves and others rather than shy away from, ignore and avoid the different around them. I want them to truly see just how great our differences are.

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.

Heather: I am currently working on the final touches for my second children’s book which will be coming out in 2022 and I can hardly wait for readers to get this book in their hands! I am also excited about a new project called This Is Down syndrome in which through stunning photography and bite sized stories capture and share with the world what it means to have Down syndrome and love someone with Down syndrome. (More at thisisdownsyndrome.com)


WaterBrook is offering a print copy of Different by Heather Avis to TWO of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Different by Heather Avis with a child in your life?

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12 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Heather Avis & Different – A Great Thing to Be!

  1. Jessica G

    This cover makes me want to read this book to my nieces and nephews. They are school age right now (ranging from 1st grade to 10th grade) and there can be some hard moments with making and keeping friends, bodies changing, etc.

  2. Julie Waldron

    I love the cover, it’s so colorful! This would be wonderful to share with children to teach about differences in others.

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