Who am I?
I am married, and a mother of 4 children. Two girls and 2 boys. Ages ranging from 4 to 17.
My passion and why is it my passion?
I have a passion for reading and writing and feel that reading and writing are two of the most important things that a person can ever learn, for both academic reasons as well as for the benefit of enjoyment that they can bring.
I make it a point every day to ensure that either I or my husband reads to our daughter before bed. I have done this with all of my children when they were little.
I have always enjoyed writing and found it to be my easiest subject in school. I could typically do my writing assignments in half of the time that was given to us. I say that not to brag because I know that writing can be difficult for many people. I am just using this as an example to show the reader that I was able to use my creativity and turn it into a relative talent from a rather early age.
While I had the talent to write stories for a long time, I did not start trying to write stories for publication until my first-born child was already in high school, and my youngest was a toddler. Instead, I would write poetry, short stories, and help all of my children with their academics to the best of my ability. I never thought about joining a creative writing group, but now since the recent podcast with Mark Lestrange. I can honestly say I am planning on looking into it. So, thank you, Mark, I appreciate the insights I gained from our interview.
I initially went to school to get my Masters in Early Childhood so that I could teach, and while I completed all the coursework I found that the tests for the certification process were a little more than I could handle at the time as I have very poor math skills after algebra. I could pass everything else academically, except for the fact my test-taking skills were terrible. So, I substituted for a long time, until I started working at a daycare center. I currently work with babies for 6 weeks and up to about 18 months of age for most of my time at work, and then I go home to the chaos of my house. But I enjoy listening to my kids as they discuss various topics, from Pokémon to princesses, to My Little Pony, and many more.
My favourite color is Black simply because it goes with pretty much everything I own!
My favorite type of book: As a child, it was mysteries, my favorite being The Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene. I also had a passion for anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have always been a huge fan of the Little House on the Prairie series, both the books and the television series. Nowadays, I read a lot of Danielle Steele Novels with the occasional switch to whatever looks interesting in the library.
My favorite Disney Movie: While I was unsure during the recent podcast with Mark Lestrange, after thinking about it awhile I landed on Cinderella both the book and the movie because I remember just loving those little mice! Another one that I really enjoyed as my kids were growing up was The Aristocrats. O’Malley was a very cool cat! As for regular movies, I have not gotten to watch many these days, but I enjoy some sci-fi, and action and adventure type, and of course, the occasional “Chick flick” is nice too.
How did my journey start?
When I first started working on the story Learning Together with Sally and Kate, I was actually writing it for a final project for an early childhood reading skills class that I was in. The assignment was to write a story with simple easy to follow instructions that a teacher could read to their class, and they could follow easily enough.
How was I suggested to publish a book?
I decided that since this was due in December, I should make it a story with a wintery theme. I also wanted to include an activity for once the story was read since it was supposed to be read in a classroom. I originally was going to include a hands-on activity using the shape blocks or even Playdough in the classroom, and that was what I mentioned to my professor at the time.
The professor really liked the idea since most early childhood classes have those items. However, she liked the story so much that she suggested I should publish it.
The first problem that I wasn’t aware of (before publishing)
Once I finally decided to publish it. I didn’t know who to turn to, so I googled children’s publishers and found Dorrance. At that time, I didn’t know there were different contracts that you can get. So, I went with them doing a Self-Publishing contract. I never knew how long it would take to get published or the many mistakes that could be made. The first set of page proofs included all the original pictures that I had used for my assignment, including the new ones the illustrator had made. Someone had forgotten to take them out, and they were supposed to be taken out since they were just images. I pulled off of bing during my google search (what a mess that was!). I had to go through and write all the changes that would have to be done before I would approve the proofs. Once they finally got the proofs correct. Dorrance did not send them to me in a book format where I could see how the text and pictures lined up. So it was a lot of guesswork there.
How I found my ideas/inspiration again?
Then I started watching my youngest child very carefully and found I could relate many of the things that she was doing as a young toddler to many of the same things her previous siblings had done in the past. The difference was now she had a new twist to how she played versus how her siblings had played in the past. It was then I found my inspiration for my first book Learning with Sally and Kate, and my second book that is still in the publishing stages, Kitties Don’t Eat That! Do they?
What made me want to publish children's books?
I have long since held the belief that reading is by far one of the most important things you can learn in your lifetime, whether for academic purposes or just to make it through life. So I figured if we want to ensure a brighter future for our children, we need to show them how much fun learning and reading can be too! I really enjoyed reading as a child and still do as an adult. So I wanted to share the joy with others and hopefully bless them as well through my stories.
Where did I get stuck during writing?
Ideas! Ideas! Ever heard of writer’s block? It’s a real thing and can be a huge obstacle to overcome, and it’s easy for people to say keep writing and inspiration will come until they’ve been there! But while it may work for some people, it didn’t for me. Some of my best ideas would come while I was laying in bed either sleeping or trying to get to sleep, and if I didn’t get up and act on those ideas, then I would lose them by morning as if they were just a dream.
What motivated me to finish it?
My first book was originally a class project that would either make or kill my final grade. So I had that to drive me because I had the desire to pass the class I was taking. So there wasn’t much for me to do when I decided to publish it because all the editing had been done.
So as far as I was concerned the writing side was done. It was the illustrations that scared me the most. I initially had wanted to have my brother-in-law, who was a well-known artist in his area do my illustrations but due to many complications with his schedule. I had to look elsewhere. I finally went through Dorrance where I was publishing my book and used one of their artists for my illustrations.
However, My second book is still in the publishing phase. It was even more fun for me as I took an instance in my daughter’s life between the ages of 2-3 and turned it into a fun-loving story about learning the differences between real and stuffed animals.