Q: First tell us something about yourself?
I am a physician from Lincoln, Nebraska, pursuing my dream of becoming a dermatologist in New York City. Embrace Your Skin, Embrace Yourself is my first published children’s book and connects with my advocacy for pediatric dermatology patients.
Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?
My journey as a writer began with my love of children’s books growing up. It sparked my creativity, and I grew to enjoy writing. In high school, I became interested in creative writing. In my medical education and training, the focus of my writing has been publications for scientific journals. After completing my pediatrics internship, I wanted to create a book that would connect with families in a personal way and saw a need to provide education and advocacy materials for children suffering from skin disease.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
I wrote creative poems and short stories that were published in a local journal in my home state of Nebraska in high school. It gave me a sense of satisfaction to complete the publication process. Embrace Your Skin, Embrace Yourself is my first published children’s book.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
Embrace Your Skin, Embrace Yourself was written to advocate for children who suffer from skin disease and allow them to see their skin disease in a new light. In addition, my goal is to promote inclusivity and belonging in social groups. “Embrace Your Skin, Embrace Yourself” is also the name of the fictional organization that the children and I create in the book to help other children with skin disease. My goals with the outreach and book events that I’ve had with my book are to help children with skin disease and who may feel different know they are not alone, and I hope to make the organization, “Embrace Your Skin, Embrace Yourself,” a reality.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ? is there any specific reason?
Children are at an important stage of identity development and where acceptance in social groups seems to be emphasized. I wanted the children to see examples of archetypes of courage through the characters I created in my book so that they may feel more confident in their own skin.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
My father is a dermatologist, and the characters in the book were inspired by people I knew growing up and through my experiences in dermatology. In addition, I am a character in the book to re-affirm my commitment to my patients and to encourage young readers to trust their doctor with their concerns. There are three main characters, with alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis (eczema), and vitiligo, although my intent is that anyone with skin disease will relate to the characters. These characters overcome adversities related to their skin disease with courage and end up as happy, successful adults.
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
Be true to who you are. Your self-esteem and confidence are determined by your opinion of yourself. The most important things are to apply the skills you have gained to help other people and be kind to everyone.