Everything area writer Rochelle Groskreutz does, she does with her whole heart.
Her journey as a writer began in earnest when she was a student at Marquette University. After graduating with an English degree, she used her writing skills in the Marketing and Communications field. Her interest in writing for children began with the birth of the first of her three daughters. The new mother became an avid picture book reader and it ignited her desire to create her own picture book. She approached this goal with the focus and determination worthy of a goal born in the heart.
Groskreutz began post-graduate coursework with the Institution for Children’s Literature and read more than 1500 picture books over the course of a year to become well-versed in the genre which inspired her. As her skills grew, so did her network, and she began membership Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, while steadily working on magazine pieces and educational materials for young readers. She found the group to be so invaluable to the growth of her career as a writer that she is now a regional advisor for the organization.
The spark that inspired her character, Easter Elf, was an Elf on the Shelf that her children received as a gift. While fun for her kids, she struggled with the additional work it added to her daily routine. Wishing she had a helpful elf who could offer another pair of hands with holiday preparations, she considered all of the other seasonal figures who could use a little assistance, certain Santa Claus was not the only one receiving a bit of magical support. The Easter Bunny, with all of his hopping and egg hiding, was a prime candidate for a bit of elfin magic. From there, Easter Elf was born!
Creating a picture book is a highly collaborative process, with the final result being a true blending of the visions of the author, illustrator and publisher. Groskreutz worked with Madison-based illustrator, Leah DiPsaquale and Milwaukee-based publisher, KWiL to turn her dream into a book that she knows young readers will want to have read to them again and again. As a mother, the author treasures the holiday traditions her family has created around favorite books, and hopes Easter Elf will become a beloved part of the Easter celebration for families all over the world.
The life of a writer is a difficult one; the road is one paved with uncertainty and rejection, but there is no other life that would suit Groskreutz as well. Her passion for the work pushes her through the difficult times and she states there is “nothing she’d rather do” than write. As she shares these feelings, her hand gestures over her heart, and she add that “she’s not stopping anytime soon.”
Click here for your own chance to meet the author and catch a glimpse of Easter Elf in April.