Never, have I ever, dreamed that I’d be co-writing a children’s book with my younger granddaughter.
I’m a romance/fiction novelist, and when my debut book, Hope from Daffodils, launched back in 2019, my two granddaughters were with me, and they participated in the big day’s event.
When I was signing over 300 books that lay across my dining room table, in preparation for that day, I remember so clearly, my youngest granddaughter, Riley. She was five years old at the time, and she appeared to be just as excited as I was. She’d run her tiny fingers over the covers as we talked about them being in bookstores and libraries.
After the book launch ended, she asked me for a signed copy for herself. Of course, the book wasn’t appropriate for a child, but someday it would be, and so I wrote a little note, signed it, and handed it over. Her little eyes welled up as she clutched it to her chest, and then she thanked me. I confess, I had to wipe a tear away myself.
Some time had gone by, and she began to share an idea that she had for a book. She wanted me to help her write it, so she could be an author, too. But what struck me was the subject matter. It would be a story about helping kids feel better about themselves if they were different. You see, she didn’t like being teased or seeing others being teased at school. As our conversation continued, we talked about what kind of character she’d want to write about, and how that character would be different. Riley loves fairies…as many little girls do (so does this grownup one…but we’ll keep that our little secret). Anyway, one thing led to another, and—before we knew it—Fairy Dust Wishes: For When You’re Different was born.
Writing this book together has been a labor of love, in more ways than I could ever have imagined. I loved hearing her imagination run wild and watching the story unfold. I found great joy in listening to her criticisms and wishes for the illustrations…even down to what font she liked best. I laughed when I had a handful of images come through my email; they were photos of her using different facial expressions, as the little fairy in the book resembles Riley, and we wanted to make sure that the illustrator got it right. Just so you know, she did.
I can’t wait for the day that Riley will get to hold her own book in her arms and see her name on the cover. I seriously doubt that I’ll be able to hold it together. We hope you’ll enjoy Lilybell’s adventure, and that it will bring a little bit of whimsy to your life and make you smile. More importantly, we hope your child will feel just a little bit better about themselves and their differences.
Now, off I go, to co-write a children’s chapter book about an adorable puppy, training to be a service dog, and the little girl who needs him. Yep, that’s right. Remember, I have two granddaughters, and this grandma, AKA “Bunny”, isn’t about to leave Hailey out of this great adventure called ‘being an author.’
Fairy Dust Wishes, For When You’re Different will be available, anywhere books are sold, on May 1, 2021.