19 August 2022

Topics: writing

I am a published author.

Wow. Publishing a children’s book was a shock, probably to everyone, but especially to me. I never thought that “author” would ever be a word that I could use to describe myself. Yet, here we are.

I suppose this should not be too surprising. I spent my high school years writing (pretty terrible) poetry, some of which was published in our school’s creative writing magazine. I started blogging when I first got access to the internet. I’m not even sure we called it blogging at the time. I updated my hand-coded and likely horribly inaccessible website with “updates”.

This was back in 1996, which was a bit late for many folks my age. The internet was not a household thought when I was growing up and my parents were rarely early adopters of technology. I first got online when I was in college, where freshman orientation included a crash course on the internet, email, and how to use the command line. (The vast majority of our university systems were some flavor of UNIX workstation.) I taught myself the basics of HTML (and later CSS, after it came to be), and soon my website was born.

But I digress.

My writing history

Like I said, I have been writing for a while. Most of the things I have written remain unread (probably). Some have gained a bit of popularity, like the chronical of my pregnancy and my rant on why you should never, ever, ever put a carousel on your website.

I speak at conferences too. I 100% count this as a form of writing, since it involves much of the same process. Think of a topic. Outline the shape of topic’s story. Write in the details. Speaking simply adds another step: Say the words out loud.

Over time, I have discovered that most of my writing that has been more popular1 was born out of some amount of frustration or otherwise had an emotional drive. My pregnancy story was quite the complicated ride2. Website carousels are the bane of my professional existence. Most of my conference talks are almost always born out of whatever new hottness I am working on in any given year.

And now?

Sweet Little You is no different. This book was born out of both love and frustration. I love my daughter and we love reading together. We have a ton of books. There are books in every room of our house3.

Among our collection are “welcome baby” books. They are cute and I love them. In fact, Welcome Little One is the first book I ever read to my daughter and is still one of our favorites. However, just about all of these “welcome” books use plural pronouns. We. Us. Our. The messages are beautiful, but slightly awkward for a single-parent family.

Our collection also includes children’s books about single-moms-by-choice (SMC) and donor conception. I brought and read these to introduce my daughter to the concept of how she came to be and why. Books like Mommy and Me: How I Came To Be and For Mommy So Loved You are also in regular reading rotation in our house. These books are fantastic now that my daughter 4, but, me being me, I wanted to introduce her to these concepts as early as possible. In fact, I told her about her “bio-dad” (the donor I used to conceive) when she was just a few days old.

Right, I know. Way too young for her to understand any of this. However, my philosophy has always been that I don’t want her to remember when I first told her about her bio-dad. I don’t want there to be a big reveal moment in her life. My goal is to make our “mommy and me” family as natural to her as possible.

To that end, I was craving a “welcome baby” book that is inclusive of single-parent families (e.g. no plural pronouns!) and at the level of a newborn, who is not going to fully grasp the concept of a SMC.

So, Sweet Little You was born. It is a book where a mother welcomes her donor-conceived baby into the world. She promises to love them. She acknowledges their origin story without getting into the details.

Sweet Little You is the book I wanted to exist when my daughter was born and I am so excited to share it with anyone else who may be craving the same.

So, shameless plug here. Please spread the word. And, if you have read the book and are so inclined, please leave an Amazon review. Even if you are not a fan of Amazon4, it helps with rankings and such.

  1. That is, more than 1 person has read it.
  2. Thanks, in no small part, to hormones, but going it solo definitely helped to feed the fire.
  3. Except the bathrooms. I don’t want to yuck anyone’s yum, but bathroom books are not for us.
  4. Fun fact that I just learned, you do not need to buy a book on Amazon to review it. You can support your local bookstore or borrow a book from a library and still leave a review on Amazon. For better or worse, Amazon is great for exposure, especially for those of us who self-publish, and ratings help with Amazon rankings and recommendations.
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