Please welcome Maurice M. Hebert to my blog. Hello Moe!
Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
Good day all, first I want to thank you Mary for your efforts in promoting new authors and for this interview opportunity. I am Maurice M. Hebert; the M is for Martin, but close friends know me as Moe. Thank you for featuring me in this post.
Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
My journey towards writing began with reading. I grew up of course with picture books and comics but soon I was intrigued by the material my dad would read. I read every issue of Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Mechanics Illustrated etc. All these tech and DIY magazines were helpful in developing my love of learning about how things work and built. I also enjoyed authors Mark Twain, Jules Verne and Eric Von Daniken. I consumed many Science Fiction, Archaeology and Adventure books.
I began writing and storytelling in Vocational School and a bit more while in Community College. Soon after I married my wife in 1981, I was writing short plays and skits for Puppet Productions that we would both direct and perform for Sunday School. I wrote longer plays later for other church theatrical productions.
Inspiration for writing my first book came about while in a discussion with Megan Tennant, a friend at work. Megan recently graduated from Houghton College with her degrees English Lit and Studio Art. We agreed that the concept I had was a great idea and negotiated a contract for her to illustrate the book. She was encouraging, and helpful in teaching me the process of producing a picture book through Amazon Create Space now known as Kindle Direct Publishing.
How difficult was it writing your first book?
The first book “What Would I Do” was straightforward. Once I worked through the alphabet naming each character’s vocation A for Astronaut, B for Butler etc. the most difficult part was creating the situational rhyme associated with the character. Some rhymes came naturally others took a little more searching and imagination. Picture book illustrations carry much of the readers interest and Megan oversaw that aspect wonderfully.
Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
I never had a thought about giving up the project as it was so exciting a concept to let go. I was having fun producing the characters, the situations, and the rhyme.
Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
My wife, my three daughters, and my youngest son are all so encouraging and supportive of my efforts. They have similar creative gifts that we as parents encouraged in them while homeschooling.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I know you and your children will enjoy my books because I evaluate them out on eleven grandchildren who really enjoy them and are always asking me to write more.
What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
The best advice I have ever had was from a Pastor. He explained the meaning of the words in Zachariah 4:10 when the Lord was encouraging His people in rebuilding the Temple “Who shall despise the days of small beginnings”
He told encouraged me regarding what seems like little progress but be steadfast in your pursuits and your work. When you look back at the early days of your projects you will be amazed at how far you came because of your persistence and faith in God.
What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel
I am hoping to reach young readers aged four to twelve with my first two books. “What Would I Do?” helps young readers explore various occupations of the adult world and encourages them to imagine consequences of the actions the characters may choose in real life situations.
My second book “The Kingdom Without Rhyme” is more a fantasy story of a kingdom where the King has outlawed all rhyme. The reader takes part in the story by finding hidden words to complete the narrative verse. It is a fun story that involves a curse an inventor and a brave heroine. Megan Tennant skillfully illustrates this book.
Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
The cover for “What Would I Do?” is a wonderfully illustrated image of all the characters within the book relating to each other in the last characters venue of the local Zoo Park. Megan and I produced and agreed to go with the idea immediately!
What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
The next book to publish soon leans more toward the 10- to 14-year-old reader. The Pilgrim story comes from the genealogical perspective of a famous Pilgrim family.
Here is an excerpt from “Tell Us About The Pilgrims”
“It was a dark and terrible day! We were all cold and damp from the ocean waves pounding against the ship. The noise below decks was almost unbearable. The loud creaks and straining groans of the Mayflower, accompanied by the moaning of the people with sea illness.
“Infants were wailing and crying for their mothers, many of whom were ill and not able to comfort their children. Tossed about the lower deck, and sailors restrained the children and tied them with ropes to the posts and rails for their own safety.
“The spirit of prayer was as deep as the sea. We were petitioning the Lord for His mercy. Our voices reaching up through the hull into the dark windswept heavens. Suddenly, there was a great heave of the ship and a loud explosive ‘CRAAAACK’ sounded from one of the beams! The crew scurried about, inspecting the ship. They found the main beam had cracked and shifted menacingly. Soon we were all focused on the crisis as the chief mariners began shouting their hasty opinions of how to proceed. We turned to each other and questioned if we would be able to complete the voyage.
Any last words before we wrap things up?
There are so many books out there for children of all reading levels and it is hard for new authors and publishers to compete in the marketplace. Self- publishing is an expensive venture, and time scheduled for marketing and promotion. I have several manuscripts in submission process and would be thrilled to see one or more of them picked up by a big-name publisher. However, many publishers have succumbed to the latest trends that a few parents do not agree with. I am certain there is still a place for the traditionally wholesome down home picture book for young children, and intellectually stimulating, informative and entertaining material for young adults!
Maurice M. Hebert is a New England descendant of the Hebert lineage from Canada. He was born in 1957 and married his wife Jane in 1981. Together they have raised five children and are now grandparents of eleven high-energy grandchildren! Maurice is enthusiastic about Christianity’s influence in history and politics and when not writing for children he often writes on apologetics.
He has extensive life experience that includes manufacturing, construction, creative arts, marketing, and administration. He has written many songs and several plays for children and adults. Maurice created Mograce Publishing to publish and promote new material. He is a member of the International Book Publishers Association and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
He also offers creative fine art photography at maurice-hebert.pixels.com You may find his blog post at momeaning.com and at mogracepublishing.com.
Now that his children are all grown up, Maurice has the time to create material that will entertain and inspire rational thought and reason in his grandchildren, and many others along the way!