How My Two Kids Made Me An Author
All parents want to encourage their kids to read. And in so doing, they are on a constant hunt for books that align with their little ones’ interests. But what do you do when you can’t find a book that matches your kid’s unique interests or needs?
Beverly Clearly once said,
“If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.”
And that’s exactly what I did.
Both my sons were absolutely fascinated and obsessed with vacuum cleaners. Whether it was You Tube reviews of vacuum cleaners or “special” trips to the vacuum aisle of the local Target, this peculiar interest went far beyond the concept of a typical ‘favorite’ toy.
When faced with such unusual likes of your children, you can react in two ways. You can either try to steer them toward more mainstream interests, and by doing so, run the risk of stifling their creativity and imagination. Or, you can accept their interests and look for a way to encourage and support your kids’ likes.
I chose to do the latter.
Unable to find an interesting children’s book on or about vacuum cleaners, I decided to write and illustrate my own. Inspired by my kids’ tales and descriptions, I sat down and wrote a book that incorporated all the elements that would let every vacuum lover’s heart beat faster.
Upon publishing, it became an instant success among young vacuum enthusiasts. To this day, I receive loving fan mail from little vacuum-adoring children and their parents.
Since then, I let myself be inspired many times more by my sons’ constantly shifting interests. To date, I have published and illustrated more than a dozen children’s books on everything from lawn mowers to monster trucks.
I have made it my mission to transfer my sons’ peculiar interests into something tangible and meaningful. Over the years, I’ve realized that by listening to my children, I can use my gifts to pen and illustrate something truly needed, loved, and appreciated.
My process always follows the same pattern:
- I listen. By listening, I open myself up and become susceptible to new ideas. Rather than glancing over or ignoring a seemingly mundane statement made by my kids, I’m curious and dig deeper, only to be rewarded with the most wonderful themes to write about. This also allows me to share something special with my children as we explore and learn more about a topic together.
- I shift my mindset. Instead of trying to change my kids’ interests to something more mainstream, I see the beauty in their unique and sometimes peculiar likes.
- I fully embrace it. I realized that by writing about my sons’ unique interests, I’m helping other families. You may think you have the only kid that is obsessed with lawn mowers, garbage trucks, or gemstones. In reality, there are hundreds, if not thousands of other families out there waiting for the garbage truck to rumble by, or making a special trip down the street to watch the neighbor mow the lawn.
Because many of my books are bestsellers, I’m often approached by other moms and dads, inquiring about my newfound career as a self-published author.
And that’s when I realized that lots of other people have the same dream. They too have an incredible idea for a children’s book that they can’t stop thinking about. They too want to bring it to life. They too want to see their sons’ and daughters’ smiling faces as they read the story together.
They want to be able to realize their own dream of becoming an author. They just don’t know how to go about it.
Many think that writing a children’s book is an impossible undertaking, especially when it comes to illustrations. But in reality, modern technology and recent changes in the publication process have made self-publishing books easier and less expensive than ever before.
When I published my first book, I felt so lost and overwhelmed throughout the entire writing, illustrating, and publishing process.
After months and months of frustrating research, I painstakingly put all the pieces together, but still felt like something was missing. As most available information pertains to the writing of books for grown-ups, it seemed as though the children’s book market had been forgotten. How much easier it would have been with some guidance and support!
To facilitate and support the writing and publishing process, I created EEscribe, a writing and marketing resource for aspiring children’s book authors.
Over the years, I have worked with many aspiring authors, which have enabled me to compile and create content that will really help aspiring children’s book authors through the process of writing, illustrating, publishing, and marketing their children’s book.
With EEscribe, I was able to combine two of my greatest life’s passions: helping others fulfill their dreams of writing a children’s book, while still being able to write my own, because I know that as long as my sons are interested in a book’s topic, they’ll keep on reading!
Download this cheat sheet with my 5 best ways to finding your own bestselling children’s book idea. Get it here.