the story behind the story
Dreams make our lives worth living. They keep us focused on what matters most in our lives. Ever since I could remember I've wanted to write a story for children that would communicate how deeply loved and cherished they were. I wanted to explain why some things feel so hard and challenging to understand. For my own reasons, it was important to attempt to answer questions with sincerity and love that every child has asked. So once I had published my own journey through trauma and healing, my dream project began in earnest. This would be a young reader's picture book about how love provides safe boundaries and what those might look and feel like. I wanted the story to not only reassure young ones, but make it easy to understand that sometimes there are things we all need help with. It would be the book I wished someone had read often to me as a child. That's not as easy as it sounds, but I was determined.
It's one thing to write a story, but quite another to sustain the effort needed to nurture the various steps required to make that dream a reality. As other authors can attest, choosing to self-publish your cherished project can be a tough lesson in patience and tenacity. And finding the right people to work with can mean the difference between success and failure. Had it not been for the illustrator, my dream may never have seen the light of day. I think we were destined to work together because her tenacity, creative input, and communication kept the project moving forward despite the challenges.
Our picture book is the result of a fourteen month collaborative effort involving weekly meetings, personal challenges, a steep learning curve with self-publishing outlets, and of course the pandemic. We consider ourselves lucky to have had such a meaningful and demanding project to focus on during a very challenging time.