Ottawa/Canada to Colorado/USA
Years ago, after having written all six stories I posted a plea on Facebook looking for an illustrator. Remembering a fellow allergy mom (from the states) whom I had met on a chat forum was an artist I sent a message. Her reply, not interested, no thanks.
A month went by and I sent one last request asking if there was any chance she might reconsider. Jen answered with the offer for me to forward her my story files to read and she would from there have a final decision.
Not an hour later after Jennifer having read my stories I received a reply that she was not only in, she was as excited as I was to see these books come to life.
Five years later Jen and I still not only have not met, we have talked on the phone maybe 3 times, never once video chatted as well hardly text. Yet our partnership as our vision is seamless. With only the odd email our entrepreneurship is effective as we share the same passion for the books and as their need and purpose.
I am as excited as proud to announce that the fourth book will be in print by summers end with the remaining two books in the series completed within 2016. To Jennifer, for bringing my stories to life through your incredible illustrations I cannot express enough thanks.
I received a high tech helping hand from Syracuse, NY after a late night tearful tirade with his wife on an allergy chat forum that I was having technical troubles.
I was awed when a business man as well allergy dad here in Ottawa offered to pay for the print run of my first two books.
Two years ago an allergy mom unbeknownst to myself contacted Gwen Smith, owner/editor of Allergic Living magazine who overwhelmed me by paying my gas as well hotel so I might travel with my daughter to the anaphylaxis conference in Toronto. With no vendor space available Gwen went as far as to allow me a spot on the Allergic Living Magazine table in which to set up my books.
I was amazed when asked to participate in the CHEO’s (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) open door event two years ago. To have my books housed in the hospitals resource library is truly an honor.
I swore secrecy to his kindness, so I will only extend my truest of thanks to Peter Ausland of Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine for having me participate in the Parenting Times Expo.
To Mireille Schwartz a huge thank you, for your kindness and friendship. My gratitude to you as well the Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board for sharing some of my writings as well to your community for voting me in the top 5 of allergy books.
I have had endless encouragement and swarms of supporters as I persist in the pursuit of my passion.
For the years of support and encouragement from all who believed in me, and my little books, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude. As the series moves forward into completion I am excited to see how the path of my passion is yet to unfold.
The first was as an allergy parent I am constantly looking for creative ways to teach my son what foods to avoid- all the while fully avoiding them. A task particularly challenging with tree nuts as they vary greatly in both name and appearance ,whole and again shelled.
A conversation I find myself having time and time again brought about the second reason for this book, the misconception between that of a peanut and... tree nut. Many have asked me what does it matter and what’s the big deal anyway. Well, it’s this! Although an allergy parent has learned that ‘free’ of one doesn’t necessarily mean ‘free’ from the other, a well intentioned caregiver or relative might. And in assuming peanuts and tree nuts are one of the same - therein lies an issue of great concern .
To Be A Nut Or Not is a fun story providing a safe manner in which to teach what tree nuts look like as well as answering the question just what *IS* a peanut!
Living life true to oneself is the most important lesson I wish to instill in my children. Books, butterflies and now bikes...I am living and will continue to live, my bucket list.