Q: First tell us something about yourself?
I am a wife and mother to two little stinkers. I am also a retired teacher of 10 years. I spent A LOT of my teaching career reading children’s books, and finding the literary value within a book, whether it was in a theme, a standard I was addressing, or just simply good vocabulary. I had my son and then decided to stay home and pursue other professional outlets. Writing was always involved within these outlets and I see now that it was and is my true passion.
Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?
In college I majored in so many things. I began as an English major and eventually landed within the College of Journalism at the University of Florida where I received my bachelor’s. I loved working with children and could not see myself sitting at a desk all day. As soon as I received my undergraduate degree I immediately returned to the University of Florida and got my masters in Education. Writing children’s books really seemed an organic next step based on my background.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
I wrote BRAVE in August of 2020. I really wanted to get the book out before Christmas and immediately began looking for an illustrator I would love. I knew the illustrations in a book are what really grabs a child and the gravity of this decision. This process took a few weeks, but eventually I found Rekha Salin, based in Bahrain. She is brilliant. A true gem who was a pleasure to work with. BRAVE was based in the nighttime, however I wanted the book to be bright and colorful. She nailed it! I couldn’t have asked for more. BRAVE hit the shelves December of 2020!
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
BRAVE was based on the real life experiences of my son who was scared of going to bed at night. He was having a serious problem sleeping and I couldn’t find a book that acknowledged his fears, but also made him feel safe. I knew I could solve this problem and so I decided to depict him and his sister as superheros who were not scared at night. They would courageously face monsters, have each other’s back, and in the end be reminded that they are always safe no matter what. This book is for every child and shows there is a superhero within us and we have nothing to fear. We are safe, we are loved, we are BRAVE.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ?is there any specific reason?
I have always had an interest in teaching and working with children. They are perfect. They are innocent, eager to learn, and little sponges that think the world of you. Truly the ideal client.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
My kids are crazy! They are loud, rambunctious, hilarious and (if I do say so myself) pretty darn adorable. So other than the constant nightly wake-ups as my inspiration, I also had the daily reminder that I had two perfect characters running around my home. How could I not write a book about them?
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
I would like readers to know that no matter where you are in life: be it working, in between jobs, a stay at home parent, or a student, to just go with what feels right, and even if it doesn’t feel right but it’s paying the bills, that’s ok too. My father would always say “they call work, work for a reason..it isn’t always fun.” And he was so right! Sometimes work just isn’t fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important or useful. It may also be the catalyst that will continue you on your journey to other things. Don’t get discouraged if you are doing something you don’t love. We have all been there, or are currently there. Try to find the value in what you do, whatever it is. God does have a path for you. Stick with it and you will eventually find your happy little niche.