By Kristin Boza
Faith and family are two touchstones in local author Chanelle Rogers’ life. Her first book, “Good Morning God & Good Night God” was written in honor of her three sons, Andrew, Gates and Bear, as a way to teach them about the power and thoughtfulness of prayer.
The two-in-one book features a morning prayer and an evening prayer; readers simply flip it over to read the other side. With fun and colorful illustrations, children engage with the images while working on memorizing their prayers.
After receiving a Master of Fine Arts in 2013, Rogers was sure that by now she’d have written several books. While focusing on her short stories and working on teaching her son, Gates, his prayers, she got the idea for this book.
“We have always included prayer in our daily rituals, and my oldest son, Andrew, learned to pray by repeating after his dad; then later he said his own prayers to God. By the time Gates came along, I had grown in my relationship with God and my method of praying had really evolved into such a comfortable conversation with Him. I really wanted to show the simplicity of talking to Him in words and ideas that Gates could understand,” she said. “Gates’ lively, adventurous personality gave me the inspiration for the prayers and illustrations. I wanted Gates to be thankful that God gives him a new day every day to be a puddle-splashing, brother-taunting, thoughtful and loving little boy!”
Reaching kids through words came naturally to Rogers, with many in the literary field telling her she had the great ability to “do” kid talk. “I think the best thing I could share with aspiring children’s book authors is to be genuine with your voice,” she said. “Children are incredibly perceptive and can sense disingenuous attempts at relating to them.”
Finding the time to write with three young boys and a bustling real estate business is tough, but Rogers strategizes her day to ensure the boys are occupied while she stretches her creative muscles. “Thanks to a great babysitter, I can schedule my days and consistently dedicate time to the writing goal I set for the week,” she said. “I think the key is setting a goal and spreading it out over the week, because a mom’s day can get crazy sometimes. When I do miss a day, I don’t feel so bad when I know I can make it up later.”
In conjunction with the book, Rogers and her family launched the #DoGoodThings initiative, which encourages families to do good things for others. She asks for social media users to use the hashtag when posting photos and videos of themselves giving to others. Find more information about Rogers and her book at GoodMorning-God.com.