I adopted my first dog, a white husky-mix named Palmer, in June 2019. She quickly became my closest companion, and I was heartbroken when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in February 2020. She passed three weeks later at just 10 months. I was determined to give my pain a purpose and found one through my love for writing and dream of becoming an author. It has been so special to see Palmer live on through the pages of my children’s book, Palmer and the Super Pups.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest hurdles for me was writing a genre I had never written before. Historically, I’ve written adult fiction or editorial features, so writing a children’s picture book was new. I had to part with content to meet the average word count. I worked with a writing coach who specializes in children’s books, and she helped me understand that illustrations take the place of descriptive writing. Mapping out my illustrations for each page helped cut my content by two-thirds.
What books are you currently reading?
I’m typically reading 2-3 books at once to cover a variety of topics. Right now I’m reading RBG’s memoir “My Own Words” to inspire my public policy career, a feel-good book by Kathie Lee Gifford called “It’s Never Too Late,” and “The Energy Switch” on the future of power by Peter Kelly-Detwiler.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
Something I wish I would’ve known early in my career is that it’s ok to take a path that looks different than what you initially imagined. I’ve dreamed of being an author since I was very young, but to me that dream only ever looked like the traditional route of pitching to publishing houses and literary agents. When I opened my mind to alternate options, I found I was able to find an editor, illustrator and publisher all on my own. There are many paths to success, so don’t limit yourself to what is conventional.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
Whatever it is you want to do - decide you’re going to do it. As artists, writers, and entrepreneurs, we have more resources at our fingertips than ever before. There’s truly nothing standing in your way! My advice is to break down your dream into bite-size goals and deadlines. These smaller achievements quickly add up to achieving your overall goal.