I’m always up for a challenge...but a Children’s Book Challenge?
If you had said to me “You’re going to be a children’s author by the end of 2018” I would have laughed out loud. The reality is, that is exactly what happened and it all started with the Children’s Book Challenge.
It was the 15th of August and my husband, International Entertainer Michael Bennett was having his weekly chat with his mentor. From my desk where I was replying to a school principals email on our Dream Guards tour of resilience, I overheard Michael saying “Yeah, I want to write my memoirs. I’ll write a chapter a day while I’m entertaining on the next cruise and check in to see how your writing is going too Ace. That way we will keep each other accountable”
Hanging up the phone, he called out to me “How about you baby? Want to do a challenge and write a book too? Maybe you could write a children’s book?
A thought entered my mind for a brief moment. I could write a book about my daughter Jessie and her dog Rocky Rockstar. “Sure, I will take up the challenge” I answered back.
Dropping Michael off to the airport the next morning we gave each other a hug and agreed that writing a book was a good idea. Opening up my emails later that morning I was excited to hear I had been accepted into Vinh Giang’s private Facebook group Stage Community. This was my opportunity to polish my stage communication with one of the leading inspirational keynote speakers in the world and my biggest mentor.
After my morning routine of meditation and exercise, I settled down at my desk with a coffee and my IPad. Within moments words just started to flow out of me and on to the screen. On reflection, it was the most extraordinary experience. I have heard of authors saying their books were channeled through them from a higher source and now I believe it.
Within 2 days I had written my first Children’s book. A story of family life, the adventures Jessie and Rocky Rockstar have been on and the lessons he has taught her about life.
Later that week I discovered part of being in the Stage Community Facebook group was to complete a live challenge every 2 weeks and receive feedback from Vinh and the members. My first challenge was to go live reading a children’s book.
I asked my children Jessie and Hamy what their favourite book was when they were little. It surprised me to hear their answer was the same “Going on a bear hunt”. It was one of my all-time favourites too and I was happy to think I would be reading it in the challenge.
Searching high and low in my bookshelves everywhere, I couldn’t find the book anywhere. I knew I only had 3 days left to complete the challenge or I would not remain in the group.
The following evening Michael arrived home and I announced my exciting news. I had written my first children’s book and had also been accepted into Vinh’s Stage Community group. He was thrilled and asked if I would read my book to him. I agreed and we sat down while I read “Rescued” in my series “The Adventures Of Jessie and Rocky Rockstar”
Beaming with pride he said “Baby, that is such a cool story. You have to publish that”. I felt so excited and relieved he liked it. I went on to explain the live challenge I was preparing for in Stage Community and the children’s book I was trying to find.
Without hesitation, Michael interrupted “You're going to read your children’s book you have just written for this challenge aren’t you? The expression and passion you inject into the characters when you read it, baby, will have them engaged and wanting more.”
The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind for a second. I had only just finished writing this. Without edits. A first time writer. I would be putting myself in a very vulnerable position. I thought to myself.
I decided to go for it and the response was phenomenal. Not only did Stage Community members love the story and the way I read it, but Vinh insisted on a copy in both hardcover and audio for his son when published.
The reason why I am sharing this blog with you today is to inspire you to believe anything is possible in life. I took up the Children’s book challenge and I am proof you just need to be open to opportunities and embrace them with imperfect action.
2018 FSG International Women's Day Winner In Social Justice & Equality Ambassador Award