Welcome to Meet our SWG Members!
Today we’re highlighting local author and illustrator Bonnie Mathieu. Learn about her experiences and what the Guild can do for you.
I haven’t always been a writer, I’m more of a visual kind of person. I would consider myself an author/writer and illustrator. Sometimes I see the pictures before I see the words. I have little booklets with stories and pictures that I did in my childhood. When I was in college, we had a creative writing course that really inspired me to combine the two genres together. However, I really didn’t pursue any of that until I retired about six years ago. Not sure where the creative bug came from. My Mom was pretty creative and crafty and always encouraged me in that direction. My neighbor was a schoolteacher and a large influence and mentor for years.
I was born and raised in Capreol, Ontario and still live there today. A small-town girl with lots of childhood memories. I have been a member of the writer’s guild for about 4 years and was introduced to the guild by Matthew Del Papa, also a fellow member. I love the interaction with other guild members. There is a variety of skill sets among the members that is unique and everyone is overwhelmingly interested in helping each other. I think the inner circles have brought a lot of interest for me and I look forward to meeting with fellow members on a regular basis. It keeps my creative juices flowing and the feedback is always informative and helpful.
Mainly, I write and illustrate children’s picture books. Currently I’m working on my 3rd children’s book “Pictures on My Pillow” hoping to release sometime in 2022, fingers crossed. My writing process is a little scatterbrained. Tiny pieces of paper all over the house with little lines of ideas or rhymes written on them. Eventually I gather them all together and kind of make some sort of sense out of them. The creative process has no time frame, a thought, idea, or picture is always looming somewhere in my imagination or thought process. I always try to carry a notebook or sketchbook with me to capture those ideas or sketches.
I don’t really have a favorite spot but I like to sit in a comfy chair with a sketchbook or notepad and doodle ideas and words. I usually compose most of my writing in longhand. There’s something personal about your own handwriting, for me anyway. I do like to work on several projects at one time. Being a self professed procrastinator helps with my creative process and gives me time to layout the storyboard. Sometimes I get lost in one project for too long and I need to step back and give myself a break.
During the pandemic I spent most of 2021 illustrating a book for someone else. This was a first- time experience and a very positive one for both of us. Needless to say, I did not do any writing for myself during that time. Recently I joined the poetry inner circle and have enjoyed getting some creative ideas and thoughts down on paper. Positively, my writing is a work in progress and one that I enjoy. On the negative side I would like to have more discipline in my writing process. Setting aside time is always a factor and finishing a story that I’ve started can be an issue. I have a writing folder with abandoned ideas that might have the next great novel in it. Wishful thinking!
My greatest achievement to date has to be “Irene the Muffin Queen.” This children’s picture book is about my mom, and my childhood and all the wonderful things she nurtured in me. It took 12 years for it to come to fruition. I never had the courage and was always afraid of failure. But, with much encouragement from friends and family I finished the book. It sits proudly on my bookshelf as a reminder that it’s never too late and that good things do come true. If you’re new to the writing process, jump in with both feet. Let your imagination run wild. There’s a story in all of us and only you can tell your story.
PS … If you need an illustrator, you know who to call!