Author Spotlight

Today you get to meet Amy Sullivan – she’s the author of the picture book series GUTSY GIRLS: Strong Christian Women Who Impacted the World.

What inspired you to start writing?

As a child, my mother always read a book entitled Sunday Morning to my sister and I. It was a picture book about two naughty brothers who discovered heaps of mischief before their parents awoke. The boys would battle imaginary dragons, dodge hot lava pits, play loud music, and have endless adventures all before 7:45 am (that was the designated time in which they were allowed to wake their parents). I loved that story. It made me laugh until I snorted. It made me want to have my own secret adventures while my parents were sleeping, and most of all, it made me want to write.

How old were you when you started thinking about your future career?

I started writing before I could read. I would sit in my clubhouse, imagine stories, scribble ideas on an oversized, yellow pad of paper, and then invite neighbour kids to come over and listen to my tales. So as a child, I always knew that I wanted to write, but as I grew, I didn’t feel as if writing was a responsible career choice. For almost thirty years, I ignored what I felt God was calling me to do. Then a few years before I turned forty, I gave in (not happily!). I said, “Fine God, I will be obedient,” and that was all it took. I wrote, doors opened, people rallied, and Gutsy Girls was born.

Tell us about your Gutsy Girls book series – What makes these books different from books or series out there?

The Gutsy Girls: Strong Christian Women Who Impacted the World picture book series contains five books, which focus on five, real-life Christian heroines who relied on God and impacted the world in extraordinary ways. The women featured in the series include missionary, Gladys Aylward, sisters, Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, hymnist, Fanny Crosby, scientist, Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, and American civil rights pioneer, Ruby Bridges. The Gutsy Girls books are different than other books on Christian heroines because they are packed with facts about each woman’s life, and each life story is told in fun and engaging ways. Forget dry, boring, and dusty biographies, Gutsy Girls allows readers to connect with great Christian women in meaningful ways.

How long does one book take you to write?

Writing one of the Gutsy Girls books takes much longer than you might think! Even though each book is only around 1,200 words long, I do a massive amount of praying and research before I begin writing. I read everything on the woman I am featuring. Then, I look for movies, video recordings, or radio interviews to help me delve deeper. While I’m researching, not only am I trying to learn each woman’s story, but I am pulling out facts that young readers might find interesting. For example, Corrie ten Boom didn’t want to attend kindergarten. When Dr. Jennifer Wiseman was a child, she sold gerbils. Fanny Crosby liked to pull pranks, and she stole a watermelon from her school’s garden. Readers aren’t just interested in facts, they want to be able to relate to the person they are reading about.

What has the response been like for this book series?

The response to Gutsy Girls has been overwhelming! The letters, messages, and reviews from young readers and moms are very positive, and I’ve also received feedback from teachers, pastors, aunts, and grandparents stating they were surprised to have learned things they didn’t know about the women featured. I love that grown-ups as well as young readers are learning things from these picture books.

How can mothers inspire their girls to follow their dream?

Mothers can inspire their girl to follow her dream in two ways. First, moms need to show girls that they, the moms, are following their own dreams. Our daughters need to see us taking risks and putting ourselves out there. If God has given us a skill or talent, we need to show our daughters how we can use these gifts to glorify Him. Second, moms need to show girls how God plays an important role in our dreams. We need to rely on Him for wisdom and direction. We don’t want to raise girls who endlessly strive for meaningless accomplishments, we want our girls to strive and live for Him.

What do you do when you feel uninspired?

Whenever I feel uninspired, it usually means I have been working too much and living too little. If I am involved with friends, spending time outside, getting quality time with my family, and reading, I can always discover inspiration.

Finish this sentence ‘Above all else…’

I want my daughters to know God and His all powerful and never-failing love for His people.

What’s your favourite bible verse?

Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.

How can our lovely mothers contact you? What’s your social media handle and website?

I love connecting with readers. In fact, I like meeting readers as much as I like writing books. Frequently, I Skype with book groups, Sunday school classes, and classrooms. I can be found online at AmyLSullivan.com or on all of your favourite social media outlets. Instagram happens to be my favourite place to connect with readers. Find me HERE.

Where can we purchase your books?

Great question, thanks for asking! Gutsy Girls can be found everywhere. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Biblio.com, and your favourite bookseller. Link to books on AU Amazon: HERE

Who does your illustrations?

Beverly Ann Wines is an artist and illustrator, painter, and art teacher from Chicago, Illinois. She has been phenomenal to work with. She understands my vision and brings the exact feel and fun I wanted to see in the books.


What mothers are saying about the series

“My daughter loves the Gutsy Girls books! I love them because it brings to life strong Christian women that I want her to emulate. I love the title of this series because it takes ‘guts’ to live out our faith with determination, courage, and spirit.”

“I stumbled upon this series, and I am so glad that I did! My family has enjoyed it so much. Additionally we just used one the books for a Book Club with thirteen young girls, and it was an inspiration. To top it off, we contacted Mrs. Sullivan and she went above and beyond to encourage these young gutsy girls. What a blessing! I highly recommend any/all books from this series as vibrant, well-written and illustrated additions to a child’s life that will encourage in matters of faith, courage, and purpose!”




Watch the interview where Amy explains why she started the series ‘Gutsy Girls’

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