We are so excited to spotlight our new Critique Group Coordinator, Lenora Biemans today on our blog! Laura recently shared a little about herself and her writing journey.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, and how did your writing journey begin?
I grew up in Germany as a military brat and I’ve always been a writer but I forgot about that for a few decades. I was a career student in Louisiana in my 20’s and then after importing my husband from The Netherlands, we settled into corporate life in Dallas. When I didn’t return to my job after my son was born in 2012, I naturally made up songs and wrote stories starring him and all of the adventures and struggles we faced. Eventually, I started to pursue writing, clueless but hopeful.
What genre of stories do you write?
Picture Books, but I probably have some chapter books rattling around in there somewhere.
Where do you get inspiration for your writing?
My six-year-old son has a unique perspective of the world and I’m always people watching. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t write in my ideas book.
What are your favorite stories that you read as a child? What is a favorite book of yours now?
I loved Dr. Seuss, classics like Heidi and Huckleberry Finn, Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume.
I’m obsessed with We Don’t Eat our Classmates, The Remember Balloons and How to Code a Sandcastle.
You’ve enthusiastically jumped in to support our SCBWI chapter as Critique Group Coordinator. How long have you been a member of SCBWI, and what brought you to the organization?
I’m new! I heard about SCBWI from reading the websites of talented writers and editors and they all said SCBWI was fundamental to their success.
Can you share a little of your experience with critique groups? What, in your mind, makes for a successful critique group?
I was afraid to join a critique group because I thought people might steal my ideas. Silly huh? I didn’t find one as active as I wanted, so I started my own and managed to trip over a spectacular group of writers.
I think trust is important in a critique group so that everyone can put their heart and soul into their writing and know they will get honest and constructive feedback.
Now for a little fun. If you could be an animal, which one would you be and why?
Any of Oprah’s dogs, obviously…
If you could have a storybook character over for lunch, who would it be, and why?
The Pigeon; My cooking hasn’t won any awards, so he would be impressed with hot dogs and cookies.
In one word: Describe yourself.
And finally, if you could give any advice to a new member of our chapter, what would it be?
If you ever find yourself asking: “Why can’t I ever find time to write?” Instead, ask yourself: “How can I easily find time to write and achieve my writing goals?”
Thank you for the lovely interview, Lenora! We look forward to getting to know you better in our chapter!
North Texas SCBWI members can find out more about our chapter’s critique group offerings on our critique group page.
Lenora’s Bio: Lenora Biemans is a dedicated picture book writer, reader and an enthusiastic member of the SCBWI community. She lives in Dallas, TX with her husband, son and muppety Bordoodle. When she’s not writing, she is immersed in writing courses, personal development courses, and dorky video games. Follow Lenora’s antics on Twitter https://twitter.com/BiemansLenora, on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/howtoempowerkids, and on her website https://lenorabiemans.com.