Monday, November 19, 2012

I received a gift

I recieved a gift in the mail.  As I opened the brown UPS box I saw the most beautiful gift, as I looked at it, touched it, held it, read it, I realized I am actually holding a dream come true!

My friend and published author, Kelli VanHorn sent me 2 copies of her new children's book, This is Bob, (a Tale of Tails).  Kelli is the first stranger to ever send me surprise support.

One day I received an e-mail from her, loaded with encouragement to pursue my dream of becoming a children's book author, ever since we have been friends, she is right up there on my support platform!  I have been carrying the torch of sending surprise support ever since. 
To find out more about Kelli and to buy this cute tale check out her website, its filled with awesome resources

For all of us dream seekers and inspiring writers, I asked Kelli a few questions:

Where did you get your inspiration from for your book?

The inspiration for Bob came from one of my grad classes.
We were asked to write an original children's book to use as a springboard for meaningful conversation with our students.

I couldn't think of what to do and my Mom (aren't Moms awesome) told me that I should write a story about the crazy squirrel that, at that time, lived in my front yard.

He did not have a tail...but despite all of this, he was still a furry woodland critter with loads of personality.  So, Bob was born! 

(See, inspiration is usually close by, sometimes just outside your door!)

What kept you inspired to finish?
The whole process of seeing it through took a long time. Three years, I think. My professor told me to look into publishing and I actually got to use researching of the publishing process as my graduate project.  It was really disheartening...who you know, how you know them...all of that.  

It was clear that traditional publishing was not for me. I guess at this point, I just forgot about making Bob go. Then, I could not get a job and I got even lower...finally, I decided that this whole happiness thing was not a pursuit.  I realized that I had a lot of things to be mad about but I also had a lot to be happy about and making Bob go was one of them.

I teamed up with my dad, who illustrated the book and my brother in law (much needed tech support), and decided to see it through.  I learned way more than I ever thought I would ever know about copyright, photoshop, and the bulk purchasing of ISBN's.  I started my own press, found a printer and launched a website.  Since then, it has been giving copies to family, friends, grassroots effort.

(I love it!, Kelli's family was part of her support system, who's your support system?  I also admire how Kelli chooses the pursuit of happiness rather than being mad and "Bob" helped her find the way)

Is writing easy for you?
There is certainly a flow in my writing process...but definitely never, ever easy.  Any creative process is actually sort of painful.  I would find myself waking up in the middle of the night with that one word that just....aaahhhh....I hated it.  So, no, definitely not easy.

And I tell this to my students e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y!  Anything that your whole heart is poured into should never be easy. 

(Thanks Kelli for sharing that.  Dream completion isn't easy, I usually throw in some fun to get me through those tough times.  What do you do?)

Can you describe what it feels like to achieve your dream?
It was actually sort of anti-climactic.  I had worked and waited three years to see this book done...but right as it was coming off the press, I got my first teaching job.  After I started getting the books out, it was a realized dream.

The coolest thing of the whole deal is seeing my students in the book.  In my third grade classroom, Bob is well-loved and never on the bookshelf!

I told the kids about the book and one day, a little girl found it, read it and put it back. This happened a few times, until a few days later one of my students said, "wait, this is like your last this your book?"  From there on out, it is always on a desk. That is all the achievement that I need.

(Wow, Isn't that the sweetest reward for a children's book author?!)

Do you like cake?
I love cake, especially in cup form. 

Now lets celebrate!! Kelli has graciously given me a copy to GIVE AWAY! YAY!!

All you have to do is spread the word any way you can about, This is Bob by Kelli Van Noppen.  We gotta support our fellow dreamers, right?  (I'm a super dreamer too! The more followers a writer has the better for publishing their book.  hint, hint. just sign up under the Inspiration Makers over there).

The first one to comment gets it, make sure I have some contact info!  Easy peasy :)   xxxxooo Michelle  (I'm also available at my email: daydreamingmommy at gmail dot com

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