I’ve wanted to be a write my entire life. I have notebooks full of short stories and poems that I wrote when I was in middle school and high school.
I briefly thought about majoring in English, but my family encouraged me to choose a career path with better outlook for a solid career. Which was great advice. But as I climb this ladder in a business career, it seems to take me more and more away from the creative writing that just comes naturally to me and makes me happy.
This time last year, a good friend of mine self published a children’s book. Just around that time, my daughter built a leprechaun trap that was really a “cozy home”. When I asked her what she’d do if she caught a leprechaun, she said “I’d wish for fairies” without hesitation.
That is when it hit me — I am living with these kids with awesome imaginations, and instead of struggling to write the next great American novel, I could start writing children’s books. That is where Louie the Leprechaun was born.
I found that I would write, get stuck, and then read it to my daughter and her friends, asking them what should happen next. They’d give me a few nuggets, and I would use their inspiration to complete the story.
The entire time I have been writing this past year, I have felt energized and just plain excited. I get visions of what future books could be, and love talking it over with kids to get their ideas.
This week has been exciting and a bit terrifying for me. I’ve been doing a book tour of local elementary schools, and also sent out press releases to the local newspaper, and there was an announcement about my books made at work. It has felt a bit like walking around in my day to day life naked.
I don’t know why I’ve always felt so private about this dream. When my closest friend in Reno got my email announcing the books were published, she wrote back and said, “I never knew you wanted to be an author.”
But what I’m learning is the more people I tell about this little venture, the more I feel accountable to make it happen. I’m also learning that there is a heck of a lot more to the whole process than just publishing a book… Anyone can get a book up on Amazon, but it takes a lot of effort and creativity to actually sell the books.
At this point, I’m just trying to break even on my little venture, but I see so much potential. Reading at the schools has been so rewarding… The kids treat you like a rock star, and have been so excited by the story of Louie the Leprechaun.
Even if this little effort of mine doesn’t amount to much, I think it is setting such a valuable example for my daughter (my son is just a bit too young right now to fully understand what is going on). She has been a part of the process from the beginning — hearing my drafts, giving me ideas, and now she gets to see me promote the books, and tomorrow I’m doing readings at her school to up to eighty (yes 80!!!!) kids at a time.
I like to think I’m teaching her to follow her passions and her dreams, and to do everything she can to make those dreams a reality. I’m teaching her how to make a little business — a bit about marketing, and how there are costs at starting this up. When she saw that an order form had been sent home to every student at her school, she said, “Mom, you’re going to be rich!”
I took that opportunity to explain to her that these books surely won’t make me rich, but we’re trying to sell as many as possible to cover my costs, and then donate some of our proceeds to charity. The rest of the proceeds will be put towards the making of future books.
I was invited to an open house at an elementary school on Tuesday, and since it was in the evening, I packed up my kiddos. We set up a table (using her leprechaun house, the books and bookmarks to decorate), and the kids helped me hand out bookmarks and talk to people about the books.
Who needs Girl Scouts to teach business skills?! Instead of having my daughter sell highly processed cookies that practically everyone feels obliged to buy anyway, I’m teaching her how to pitch someone on something they’ve never heard about, and giving her the confidence to go up and approach people about our books — something we are very proud of.
At least that is my plan. Anyway, it has been a great, yet an exhausting week. For the first part of the week, I was deathly afraid that I’d be stuck with the $500 of hard copy books I ordered. But you know what? Things are picking up speed… I think I may just sell all of those books. And that is a good thing. A really GOOD thing!
Visit www.adelinesmagicalmoments.com to read more about my books.
Here is a picture of Little Miss helping me sell books and handing out bookmarks.