We thought it would be especially appropriate to feature T. Denise Clary for our Mother’s Day issue. This wife, mother, attorney, Realtor and author has a goal built on faith: To write and promote Christian children’s literature.
Clary is a California native who has traveled the world and grew up in the Middle East as a little girl (ages three to eight). After practicing law for ten years, she earned her real estate license and eventually became an author. She is a Fort Bend County resident and wife and proud mother of three children, ages 2, 11, and 14.
A childhood talent
Even as a child, Clary had a passion for writing short stories and poems and has many fond memories of creating and drawing. Hers was the only bedroom with a walk-in closet, and it felt magical to create in that space. She entered her first school writing competition at age nine and was challenged to write and illustrate her very own book. “I was so heart broken when I didn’t win, and ironically, I remember the storyline of the winning book, but can’t remember the storyline of the book I wrote. No wonder I didn’t win!” quips Clary. She certainly didn’t let it stop her.
She has written six Christian children’s books, four of which are in publication as an eBook in the Kindle store including: Vinny Vain Liked to Complain, Mr. Pitt & Lickety’s Split, My Forgivefullness, and Nitti Gritti Smitty. Each focuses on ethics, character and Christian values, encouraging young readers to do the right thing.
Clary was raised in a Christian household and hales from from a long line of spiritually strong Christian women. “I have many fond memories of my grandma Daisy reading and teaching us grandkids Bible passages, while storytelling of her own life experiences,” says Clary. She also remembers living in Saudi Arabia and attending “town meetings” because it was against the law to attend “church” in that country. It had to be kept secret.
Clary grew up attending several different church denominations. “What I learned is that different Christian denominations may look and dress differently, have varying church policies, and even worship and praise differently,” says Clary. “But they all have one common thread . . . that is, proclaiming Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and that the Bible IS the Word of God. This proclamation is what I follow to guide my life today and raise my children.” Clary and her family attend Grace Fellowship Church of Katy.
The summer of 2007 changed everything for soon-to-be-author Clary. “I was one month out of closing my law practice. For nine years I was in the legal world, but now I found myself at home. The first month as a quasi stay-at-home mom I found myself cooking, cleaning, picking up kids from carpool . . . and quite BORED to death. I had been so busy for nearly nine years, and now I just found myself at home on the verge of an anxiety attack. I didn’t know what to do with myself.” She remembers sitting at my computer one night and staring at it blankly. She checked her email for the 100th time that day and noticed a new email from a friend regarding book publishing.
Asking the Lord
“I remember saying out loud, “Huh, wouldn’t it be interesting to write a children’s book . . . a Christian children’s book!” says Clary. “Although I hadn’t written stories since I was a child (in my ‘magically creative’ closet), the desire to write children’s stories never went away. I really desired to write something on a more positive level for my children. I remember asking and praying to the Lord that if He would just give me some words . . . stories . . . I would write them down and go from there.” Thus were born books that uplift, guide and bless the children who read them.
God is so faithful to answer our pleas, and Clary’s head was FILLED with many words and story ideas after that initial sleepless night. Her books came to life. “Out of the six books I’d written, four were published as eBooks and placed for sale on Amazon. I’m happy to report that the four books have been doing fairly well in their short publishing life. At one point, one of my books rose as high in rank to the #4 slot in the ‘Inspirational” category on Amazon!!” Heaven is For Real (hardcover & eBook), published by Thomas Nelson and, The Beginner’s Bible published by Harper Collins, took the #1 to #3 slots respectively. Interestingly, a book by Max Lucado was ranked in the #5 slot. “To say that one of my titles was right behind those popular books, and close in rank to one of Lucado’s books, is truly a gift from God! I can only hope and pray that the momentum continues,” exclaims the author.
We wish this multi-talented mom a very happy Mother’s Day and also thank her for her work on behalf of Christian children’s literature.
Learn more about Clary and her wonderful children’s books at tdeniseclarybooks.blogspot.com or find her out on Facebook at facebook.com/TDClaryBooks. You can also follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/TDeniseClary.