When I think of a big dream or goal, I often stop and say to myself, “Why not?”
I published a children’s book last year called The Jolt Felt Around the World. It’s about global warming, kindness, tolerance and working together as a team. It’s meant to be a conversation starter between adults and kids, a way to open up a discussion about current social and environmental issues.
The idea for the book came from my boys after we had a conversation in car line about the Paris Agreement. My youngest son asked, “If we keep putting more and more trash on the earth, will she just fall from the sky?” It was an innocent question that ultimately turned into a finished children’s book.
When I first thought about getting a book published, it sounded so far-fetched. But again, I asked myself, “Why not?” I broke the dream down step by step and started tackling one step at a time. I lucked out by working with Wisdom House Books out of Chapel Hill who understood my vision and guided me through the process. My illustrator, Krystal Smith, was phenomenal. I could not have asked for more perfect, vibrant visuals to go along with my words.
The creative and publishing process was so much fun for me. I plan to write a different post offering tips and suggestions if you have a children’s book idea you want to get into the world. Writing the book and working with the editor, illustrator and publisher stimulated a familiar rush of adrenaline I often feel when working on a writing project.
Once the book was published, however, I had to move into the marketing phase. While I love the world of marketing, I’m not the best at promoting myself and my own products. With that being said, I know it must be done so one of the things I’ve been doing to promote my book is visiting independent bookstores and meeting with book buyers in person.
This weekend I’m in New York City for the Society of Childrens Books Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) winter conference. Since I’m here, I decided to visit four independent book stores.
Matthew joined me for this trip. We’ve spent today experiencing the city and visiting various book stores. One thing I’ve learned is that indie book stores are similar no matter where I go. You can feel a similar vibe, and I love that. Below is a picture of a book store we visited in Chelsea Market.
After our trip to Chelsea Market, we went to Greenwich Village, which is one of my favorite areas of NYC. If I were a young person and had an opportunity to live in New York, I would live in Greenwich Village. It’s a quaint artsy area with a funky vibe, beautiful neighborhoods and delicious food. It’s also fun to see all of the NYU students walking around and studying in coffee shops.
Washington Square Park is somewhere we enjoy going during the warmer months for a picnic. Even though it’s far from warm and sunny today, we decided to get a shot of the book in front of the iconic arch.
The conference starts tonight with the Golden Kite Book Award ceremony. The opening speaker is James Patterson! When I first learned of the SCBWI conference, I thought it sounded crazy to make the trip up here. I mean, there are people here from huge publishing houses and other writers who have a slew of books on the market.
But then again, every journey starts somewhere. Mine started with a chance conversation in morning car line. What dream or goal is sitting right there in front of you. Whatever it is, go catch it.
The Jolt Felt Around the World can be purchased on the author website, in your local independent bookstore or on Amazon.