News - Guest Author
Guest author on Pink Reed Books
The newest kid on the children's picture book block graciously agreed to sit down with us to answer our questions about her book 'Love is...' Read on to learn more!
Can you share with us the story behind this picture book?
It was 1978 and I was a third-grade elementary school student. I remember walking into the classroom one day and seeing the words, “Love is …” on the chalkboard. The assignment was to write an essay on what love meant to us. My mom kept my original hand-printed essay and ultimately framed it for me. I always dreamt about illustrating and publishing it. I’ve known many graphic designers and illustrators throughout my career and asked a couple about working on it, but the timing was never right. For many reasons, 2021 became the year to make my dream come true.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
Chase your dreams now.
How did you deal with the emotional impact of the book (on yourself) as you were editing the story you wrote as a child?
I actually did not edit the story at all. I left it in its pure form. That’s how I felt when I was 8 years old – and I wanted to keep that innocence in the story.
Does one of the characters in your book hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
Definitely the main character. I can’t remember what he represented to me when I was that young. But in working with the illustrator, we speculated as to how I might have thought of him and what he represented to me.
What were the key challenges you faced when editing/publishing this book?
I definitely knew from the beginning that I wanted to self-publish. I did not want somebody to pressure me into editing it. I honestly thought I’d weigh in more with the design and illustrations as I have a creative advertising and marketing background and always have strong feelings on that work. However, the dynamic with the illustrator was something special, and I wanted to honor how he saw my story and how best to bring it to life. We brainstormed over a dinner at a local restaurant, sketching out each page spread. Then he really took it from there with minimal changes from me.
What do you hope children (and the adults who read to them) learn from your book?
That love is all around us if you choose to see it.
What do you most appreciate about Manny Regas’ illustrations?
Each illustration is a beautiful work of art and evokes emotion. Manny truly brought the story to life through his watercolors.
What would you like to say to aspiring writers who are reading this and wondering if they can keep writing, if their stories are good enough or if their voices and perspective matter enough to share?
Writing, or any type of creating, is such a personal experience. You’re opening up your heart and/or mind and looking to share your perspective – potentially with the world. If what you’re writing truly comes from within you, it’s absolutely good enough.
If you could tell people anything else about you – what would it be?
Publishing this book was always a dream. Another one was being an entrepreneur. When I decided to move forward with this book, I started a company to publish it called KLJ Happiness. KLJ stands for kindness, love, joy. The purpose of KLJ Happiness is to share positive messages and life experiences to (hopefully) inspire others to achieve their dreams.
Are you doing any special book promotions to market your book?
I am – some efforts driven by me and some evaluating opportunities that come my way. I’ll be doing some boots-on-the-ground work with local libraries, bookstores and businesses. I’ve also been asked to speak at an area writer’s group and read my book to an elementary school’s kindergarten through 3rd grade classes. I’m especially looking forward to seeing the children’s reactions to my book. Hopefully, it’s positive!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kimberly Weidman is a full-time marketing professional and recently published author of a children’s book. She’s also the CEO of KLJ Happiness, a lifestyle brand intent on sharing positive messages and life experiences to (hopefully) help others pursue more fulfilling lives and achieve their dreams.
Her latest picture book is now available for sale through amazon at Love is... Amazon page