Interview with Di Allen

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in churches! My parents and grandparents and family were all involved. When I was too old to go to Sunday school I started teaching Sunday school (we only have Sunday school for children in Australia). That's just what you did in those days.
For most of the next 40+ years I was involved in children's ministry. (Of course I can't really be that old??)
Part of that time was as the wife of a small church pastor, so I appreciate the need for good, inexpensive material.
As the mother of four and grandmother of nine, I understand the advantages of good solid Christian foundations.
We all want our kids to turn out well, don’t we? How can we best help them along the path of life?
Exactly how many stories have your written now? How many books?
There are 24 books each with four stories, and 2 books with two stories. This makes a total of 100 stories!
Well, actually they're not stories, they're cases. We're detectives you know! We're spying on God.
There's also a booklet on what it means to be a Christian.
Explain this detectives bit please.
In each of the 100 cases we examine the evidence (the Bible story).
Shh, don't tell anyone! We're spies. We're spying on God!
Have you ever thought about God? What’s he like? Is he real?
Don’t just go by what others have told you. Why not investigate for yourself?
I Spy GI club members are investigators.
Our equipment is the God Investigator series of eBooks (I Spy GI).
Read the evidence.
Interview characters who might have been eye witnesses.
Take up a challenge. Make some video clips.
Enjoy activities with friends.
Learn truths to help in life. Stories, interviews, video clips, life apps.
Will you take up an I Spy GI challenge?
Have fun as you learn.
How did you start writing ebooks?
Two years ago I'd never even thought of writing a book, let alone an ebook. To tell the truth, I didn't have any idea how ebooks were written.
With so many books now, including 100 different stories, something obviously happened! What changed?
This is how it happened. Someone said they were going to publish some children's Bible stories that they used to tell their children. Their children loved the stories, and wanted them printed for their own children, as well as others, to enjoy. Their idea was to print regular books, and the suggestion was made that they might be accompanied by a cassette or CD - you know, turn the page when the 'ding' sounds.
I remembered my own children having such books, and I thought of my grandchildren and all their electronic gadgets (and 2 year olds who can find their way round an iPad!!)
I wondered how eBooks were published. I got on the internet and checked it out!
What did you find?
The best thing I found was Smashwords! It gave me all the information I needed to know. It told me how to set up my own word documents. It told me how to upload and sell them. And what's more, there were no publishing expenses. It was (and is) entirely free!
If a grandma can do it, anyone can do it, if they put their mind to it.
Have you got a book or two inside you? Try it!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The thought came to me that I too had lots of stories to tell, and lots of experience from hunting down suitable activities to go along with the stories. Why not try?
My aim was to create an enjoyable experience for children - to interact and learn from the Bible the things that will be of benefit to them for their whole life.
My philosophy is to get together and have fun. What could be better than having the children enjoy learning from God’s word?
What is your writing process?
Each book has four stories on a theme or a Bible character. I have the outlines all saved, ready to add the different parts needed.
As I do the dishes, do the ironing, make the bed, do the normal every day things, my mind is ticking over. What are suitable activities? What have I used in the past? Who could we interview? How can we make this fun? What can we learn?
Some of the games and puzzles I make up myself. Others are improvised from similar activities. Many are things I've used myself with groups of children over the years.
Actually, some of the ideas come in the night. Some mornings I just have to get up and type it all up before I forget it.
It's really a full time process.
What would you like to say to people?
Use the books!
Download the free samples and give them a try.
Buy the others, one at a time as you need them, or whatever suits you best.
There's a suggested order on our club web site (links in each book).
In the near future they'll be available in sets of three books, you'll get three for the price of two!
If you use them weekly they will last you the best part of two years (100 sessions!).
That's not bad for the price!
Children enjoy them, and, don't tell anyone, some adults enjoy them too!
Here are a couple of recommendations:
"Another very good read, the children enjoy going through them. Well done."
"I have been using the I Spy GI Series this year as part of our schooling. The stories are written for all ages, and are easily understood by even the youngest of children. We enjoy reading the stories, based on the Bible, and always have fun doing the activities. By learning one bible scripture each book, the children have found it easy to memorize each verse – and remember it! We would highly recommend this series for any family, Sunday school or children’s group as a wonderful, easy, fun and enjoyable way to learn more about Jesus and the Bible." Brisbane (Au) Mum
What are you working on next?
I've done all I can for now, so I'm in retirement.
I must say I miss it though!
Published 2013-08-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

100 Bible Stories For Children With Interviews and Activities
Series: God Investigator Group (I Spy GI). Price: $19.99 USD. Words: 189,940. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
Hey kids, these are your books. Shh! Don’t tell anyone. We’re spies. We’re spying on God! Have you ever thought about God? What’s he like? Is he real? Don’t just go by what others have told you. Why not investigate for yourself? These books will help you discover what God is like, and what that has to do with us today. The book is good for individual reading or for family or small groups.
I Spy GI Free Gift
Series: God Investigator Group (I Spy GI). Price: Free! Words: 15,520. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
The God Investigator Series (I Spy GI) has 100 Bible stories available. As a gift to you Dead Man Lives and Mary’s Baby are yours to enjoy - so you can see the sort of format the books take. Enjoy the stories and activities. They are the same format as all the other books. The only difference is that there are only four I Spy GI cases (stories) instead of the twelve in the other group books.
I Spy GI Series 2 Group 4
Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI), Book 4 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 8. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 30,740. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
Series 2, Group 4 includes: Shipwreck! & other stories about Paul, I'm healed! & other stories about Elisha and Missing! & other stories Jesus told. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
I Spy GI Series 2 Group 3
Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI), Book 3 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 7. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 33,240. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
Series 2, Group 3 includes: Walk on Water & other stories about Jesus' power , Help! – More stories about Moses and Secret Strength & other stories from Judges and Ruth. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities and life applications.
I Spy GI Series 2 Group 2
Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI), Book 2 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 6. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 34,450. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
Series 2, Group 2 includes: Coming Again & other stories about heaven, Promises & other stories about Abraham and Isaac and Stairway to heaven & other stories about Jacob. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications.
I Spy GI Series 2 Group 1
Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI), Book 1 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 5. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 35,340. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
Series 2, Group 1 includes: Build a What? & other stories from the beginning of time, The King is Coming & other stories leading up to Easter, and Do you love me? & other stories around Easter. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities.
I Spy GI Series 1 Group 4
Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI), Book 4 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 4. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 32,930. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
Series 1, Group 4 includes: No worries! and other Elijah stories, Roar! & other Daniel & Jonah stories and Sorry, NO vacancy and other Christmas stories. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
I Spy GI Series 1 Group 3
Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI), Book 3 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 3. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 35,680. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
Series 1, Group 3 includes Get God Out! & other stories from Samuel, One small stone & other David stories and Let’s Party! &other stories Jesus told. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
I Spy GI Series 1 Group 2
Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI), Book 2 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 2. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 33,790. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
Series 1, Group 2 includes: Prison Break and other stories about Peter, Shout! and other stories about Joshua and Who Me? and other follow me stories. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
I Spy GI Series 1 Group 1
Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI), Book 1 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 1. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 34,700. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
Series 1, Group 1 includes Cast Away and other Jesus heals stories, Forgiven! & other Joseph stories and Baby Alive and other stories about Moses. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
Mary's Baby
Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: Free! Words: 10,450. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Christianity, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
“I’ve been to a stable. It was plain, and dark, - and guess what? It was smelly. Not really the place where a king would be born! What do you think?” Stories you might hear at Christmas time. This book isn’t just for reading, it's for having fun and being part of a team as we discover Bible truths that will help us live life to the full. Kids enjoy these books – and so do some adults!! It's FREE!
I Want To Be A Christian - Now What?
Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI) · God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI) · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI). Price: Free! Words: 4,590. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
Are you thinking about, or do you want to become a Christian (a follower of Jesus)? If that’s you, you might be wondering how to go about it and what comes next. We hope this will help you.
Dead Man Lives!
Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: Free! Words: 9,900. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / General
“A large crowd of soldiers turned up to arrest Jesus. They carried clubs and spears in case he got violent.” Shh, don't tell anyone! We're spies. We're spying on God! Have you ever thought about God? What’s he like? Is he real? Don’t just go by what others have told you. Why not investigate for yourself? Dead Man Lives! - try it, Enjoy!