By Ashley M. Casey
Oswego native Elizabeth Marie Fortune will be signing copies of her first children’s book, “Shhh, Quiet, Listen: What Do You Hear When You Listen for God?” at the Connection Point in Oswego on April 5.
The picture book follows a little girl named Faith and her journey to listen to God in everyday life, whether she is at school with her friends or spending time with her grandparents.
Fortune, a customer service representative with the Scotsman Media Group’s commercial printing department, now lives in Camillus with her husband, William, and their 7-year-old daughter, Erin. She published the book through Inspiring Voices, an Indiana-based publishing company that specializes in spiritual literature.
Fortune began writing the book in 2009 while at home with Erin and found that many of the books she read to her daughter lacked a spiritual message.
“I started reading books and I saw there was a need for this type of book,” Fortune said. “As Erin was getting older, that’s when the concept came about because I saw how kids are really busy.”
Fortune said part of the book’s message is to take time from one’s busy day to be thankful.
“I’m also hoping that the book will open up a dialogue with parents and their children to start talking about God and how important it is to think about God each day,” she said. “Hopefully, the book will help children connect with God.”
Fortune said the process of creating the book was “really exciting.”
“When you see it, you just see your manuscript on two pages of paper. It’s so exciting to finally see it come together,” she said. Fortune worked closely with an illustrator from Inspiring Voices to create the finished product.
“Every page on the book is directed by me — every scene, color schemes … That was exciting, to see your vision come to life.”
The hardest part of the process for Fortune was time management, balancing life as a working mother with writing the book. She said her husband and daughter both have been involved in the process.
“He’s been so supportive regarding time management. He’s actually helping me with marketing my book (and) handling the business end of things. So therefore it’s a family endeavor,” Fortune said.
Fortune is looking to expand distribution of “Shhh, Quiet, Listen,” and the book is available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. “I’m working on plans now, reaching out to different outlets for the book, not just locally, but regionally and nationally,” Fortune said.
She added she plans to write a series of religious children’s books to follow “Shhh, Quiet, Listen.”
Fortune will be signing copies of “Shhh, Quiet, Listen” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the Connection Point, 198 W. First St., Oswego. The Connection Point will have copies of the book for sale during and after Saturday’s book signing. To learn more about the Connection Point, call 216-6455 or visit theconnectionpt.com and facebook.com/theconnectionpoint.