1. What are you working on right now?
I have two other children's books currently in the works! Both are centered around learning a skill which enhances emotional health, mainly which oppose codependent behaviors, in a light, humorous, and secret way (you can't tell, you just think it's another great story with a great moral! muaha). The one I'm most excited about involves learning the importance of taking risks instead of playing it safe all the time according to what our minds assume others want or expect from us.
2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
I plan to put my books in child-therapy offices. They will teach emotional health in an enjoyable NON-preachy way (children smell preachiness from a mile away you know). And they are pretty darn cute. . .
3. Why do you write what you do?
I have struggled for years of my life deeply afraid of what others think of me. I could barely speak my own opinion, share my own stories about my day due to guilt of taking someone's time, or have courage enough to get myself out of an uncomfortable situation. I eventually became miserable, alone inside my head, and finally sought help. I then found skills that are improving my quality of life by a million percent and I want to help kids and parents learn the same lessons. Also because I'm an artist and my art is for kids - cute, fun, whimsical, colorful. I'm good at putting words and pictures together to tell a story at the right balance. And I enjoy making people giggle.
4. How does your writing process work?
When I'm thinking of something I have learned that helps me be happy, I then think, "I want to write a children's book about it!" I text myself the idea. Later I write the problem which must be overcome, make up different scenarios in which the character faces the challenge and fails, and illustrate how their life was made more difficult due to their behavior. Then I like having a moment of realization in my stories, through an internal or external source (aka: a wise mouse, or a sudden burst of assertion from with within), and then I like having the character repeat the scenario doing things in the new healthy way, and illustrating how things were much better due to the new behavior. I write down all the different animals my main character could be, drawing and sketching different ones, until I come up with one that feels right. Then I find other characters with personalities that both challenge, contrast, and compliment my main character both emotionally and visually. (large purple shy hippo contrasted with skinny pink flamboyant flamingo)