Here is this shiny, new blog on my website. I've announced that Soaring Soren is in production. Now what to do with all this blank "paper?" So I thought it might be fun to do a series of posts about the process to create this book. This will be the first installment.
Soaring Soren is my first children’s book to make it beyond a concept floating around in my head. Because it is based on the true story of Soren, a dog that was extremely dear to me, it has been a labor of love for me—both a tribute to Soren’s extraordinary life and the bond we shared, as well as the fulfillment of a long-time dream of mine to write a book for children.
In the beginning, my focus was on the book I would ultimately create: what it would include, how it would tell the story, how it could bring Soren to life in a way that would be meaningful for children. What I’ve discovered along the way is that the process to get to the point where that book is in my hands, and the hands of others, is truly fascinating. What began as the telling of my incredible journey with Soren, has become quite a journey in its own right.
As much as the story itself was inspired by Soren, the creation of the book has also been inspired by him, as I have drawn on his courage, determination and heart every step of the way, first by believing I could find a way to make it happen, and then by continuing to put one foot in front of the other in a forward direction, even when I was uncertain where the path was headed. I have joked that Soren is my silent partner in this endeavor, but in a way it’s not a joke. The very lesson I learned from Soren, and hoped to share with children via this book—believe in yourself, believe in your dreams and don’t let obstacles prevent you from making them come true—is one I’ve had to embrace to make this book a reality.
I’ve been amazed at how, once I was determined to move ahead, things fell into place, from finding the perfect illustrator, a terrific editor and a wonderful publisher, to friends and family who supported me throughout the project, and many kind and generous people who went out of their way to help me sort through the process and options. I’m so grateful to every one of them for their advice, wisdom, encouragement and support.
Quite a few people have told me that they also have dreamed of writing a children’s book (or have done so but weren’t sure what to do next), so I thought it would be fun, and pay it back a bit for all the help that has been offered to me, to share the process I’ve gone through. Of course I am no expert, and don’t play one on TV. The way I’ve gone about this is certainly not the only way, the best way, or even a good way … it’s simply my experience. But I’ve found this process very interesting and rewarding, and to the extent it might interest others, or inspire them to give their writing dreams a try, I would love to share my experience through this blog. More to come …