My dream to write books began with you, mama.
You, sweet you.
13 1/2 years ago when my first born was just five months old, I cracked open a new book titled Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It by Andrea J. Buchanan. It rocked my world. Andrea’s words spoke to my needs as a new mom, but they also spoke to my needs as a woman. She got it! She understood me! I wasn’t alone in this thing called mothering. Finally, somebody was speaking truth. At that point, I’d been writing in diaries, notebooks and journals for 15 years, but for the first time ever, I understood the healing, transformative power of words on readers. Nobody had written so honestly and tenderly to my heart. Nobody had bared their soul so brutally and beautifully on the page.
I wanted to move people like that. I wanted to touch peoples’ hearts like that. I wanted my words to make a difference in peoples’ lives the way Andrea’s words made a difference in my life. I wanted to write raw and real, tough and tender. I wanted people to know they weren’t alone.
I wanted to write books.
Four years later in the spring of 2007, I set a goal to write ONE book on mothering in my lifetime. In the summer of 2014, that goal morphed a bit. Perhaps I’d write a book on mothering when I was older, wiser, and through the hardest and longest days of motherhood. But now I had a fresh vision for reaching mamas. What if I could impact mamas’ lives and touch mamas’ hearts through children’s books?
Between January and April of 2016, I spent every Tuesday and Thursday morning writing and editing three children’s books. This summer, I received clear vision for book four! While the first book could certainly stand alone, the books are intended to be part of a series.
BOOK ONE is about being bold and brave. The manuscript is complete! It’s been edited by me numerous times and by my husband two times. Even after all the edits, I still sense something special about this story. Of all four books, I have the most peace about this one. If I had to put it in the hands of an agent, editor or test reader today, I have confidence it would read and resonate well, especially with anyone who’s a parent.
BOOK TWO is about growing up. This story has been to the chopping block with a major rewrite, and is richer because of it. The manuscript is complete and REFUSES all thoughts of being discarded! As all moms know, there’s an undeniable push and pull when it comes to our babies growing up. This book speaks to the hearts of moms and their girls transitioning from one stage of development to the next.
BOOK THREE is about becoming comfortable with who we are and fixing broken things. The manuscript is fully written, but is still in rough form. It’s been cut by 900-some words and edited several times through. There’s definitely a book there, but it needs a lot of development before it’s ready. The challenge of this story is piecing together our identity and our brokenness as moms and girls. I’m bound and determined to write this one, even though it’s the most challenging of all four books.
BOOK FOUR is about dreaming big and was just conceived (unexpectedly) this summer! I’ve jotted a FULL page of notes down, and have a clear vision for what the book is about and the unique way it would be illustrated. At this point, I need time to write the first official draft of the manuscript. With all the notes I’ve taken, it should get off to a solid start! I’m very excited about this book. It’s fun and fresh, and will take the series in a new direction.
So here’s where I stand, friends! I took a break from writing the children’s books this summer because I needed to focus on my three kids and my dad’s lung transplant. This fall, I intend to open those children’s books back up. My goal is to spend a good chunk of time editing books one, two and possibly three with fresh eyes. I also need to write a first draft of book four as long as it’s clear in my mind! After that, I’m going to begin writing the book proposal for the series. A book proposal is a formal document that outlines all the details about the book you’re proposing to write and the audience for whom it’s intended. For children’s book proposals, you must also include the full manuscript of your book, which is why I’ve been working on those so hard! The hope is that someday I will pitch the children’s series to a literary agent, acquisitions editor and/or publisher for consideration.
There is never, ever a guarantee when it comes to getting published. But at this point, I just need to keep moving towards the dream that’s been in my heart for 13 1/2 years! I’m committed to doing my part and determined to make a meaningful difference through the lasting legacy of a book.
Here’s where you come in, mama! I need your help. I dreamed up this children’s book series and wrote books one, two and three with YOU in mind. But before I open those books back up and dive into the next round of heavy work, I want to hear from you!
After all, this series is for you AND your daughters. I want to know who you are. What are your struggles as a woman and a mom? What dreams do you have for your daughter? What dreams do you have for your own life? How else can I KNOW you so I can write FOR you?
The more I know about you, the better I’ll be able to tailor my writing to meet your deepest needs. The more I know about you, the better I’ll be able to touch your heart in a way that’s sweet and tender, bold and beautiful. The more I know about you, the better I’ll be able to write books that meet the developmental needs of your daughter while ALSO meeting your needs as a mama. The more I know about you, the more likely these books will actually land in your home and hands someday.
With all of that in mind, I’d be so honored if you could take a few minutes out of your busy day to complete a survey for me. If you’re a mom of a girl ages 2-9, you’re QUALIFIED to take the survey! Biological mom, adoptive mom, stepmom, foster mom, you ALL qualify as long as you’re mom to a daughter! The survey is 14 questions and completely confidential. I’m hoping for a lot of responses to ensure I get the most accurate picture possible of WHO my readers are as WOMEN, and WHO my readers are as MOMS.
Click the link below to take the survey! Make sure to answer all the way to the end, as each question has been included for a reason. Submit your survey when you’re done! Then please share this blog post with friends who have daughters so they can take the survey and share their perspectives, too!
I’m excited and honored to invite you on this journey. Thank you so much for your time, and for all you do as a mom and woman to make this world a more beautiful place.