Roxanne Schmitt Copeland is a former Cannon Falls resident and first time published author with "You are a Gift from God." 

The blank page will intimidate the very best of writers. Some will take more time than usual to get started and some don’t start at all. 

For Roxanne Schmitt Copeland, she took the challenge head on, writing the Christian children’s book, “You are a Gift from God.”

Copeland is a former Cannon Falls resident who now resides in Gordon, Wis. Alongside co-author Deborah Thoennes Schlapper and illustrator Carole Kinion Copeland, the trio created the book that is written for a young audience that promotes spiritual growth, healing, loving, forgiving yourself, and gathering strength and trust in God. 

Copeland has been writing since she was a little girl. This book is her first published and took two years to finally be released.

She wanted to write the book because she believes being told you’re special or you’re beautiful isn’t always communicated from parents to children. This book helps give children confidence and be reminded how important they are. 

“Each person is a different individual with unique talents and gifts,” Copeland said. “You want to encourage that and you want to encourage that now.”

Carole Copeland is a Rochester based freelance illustrator who was approached by her former sister-in-law and Schlapper about doing the illustrations for the book.

Carole Copeland said it was a unique challenge for her. Normally, Carole Copeland specializes in natural science illustrations. Having the chance to work on a children’s book that challenges her imagination and try to emphasize movement and color on the page. 

After a test group of area children gave Carole Copeland feedback on what they’d like to see in the book, the illustrations came easier and vision became clearer. 

Copeland said her former sister-in-law was the difference maker in the book, saying she couldn’t have done the book without her. Similar in praise, Carole Copeland said Copeland inspired her. 

In the book, there are places for children to trace their hands, write their names, and they can even download a free song exclusively created by Schlapper’s sister as well. 

“You are a Gift from God” can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the West Bow Publishing website

The book is dedicated to Copeland’s daughter, who had no idea until she received a copy of the book. 

On advice from Copeland for writer’s hoping to complete their dream project: Have faith and be patient. 


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