Writing a book has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I've started many over the years on various topics but could never completely get into them before starting a new topic or getting distracted by something else going on in our lives. I honestly wasn't sure it would ever happen but feel so blessed to have it finally completed! I couldn't thank God more for this incredible experience along the way and how everything came together so perfectly.
After swimming with manatees on my surprise trip from Derek earlier this year, I got home and didn't know what to do with all the excitement and passion I had from the experience. I remember saying to Derek that, "I feel silly that I have all these feelings pent up and feel like I need to do something with them but can't fathom how or what." After finally thinking to pray about it, God gave me the idea of a children's book. How incredibly perfect for someone who absolutely loves children, manatees and writing. It was comical how perfectly it fit.
The writing part seemed to come out so easily. Even though I did a million and a half drafts and edits, it came to fruition like it was a part of me. The topic of doing the right thing in a difficult situation and repaying meanness with kindness has always been an extremely important subject to me. I know how hard kids have it these days and with bullying being such a prominent subject, I think it's important for kids to see that it's good to treat others how they would want to be treated regardless of anyone else's actions. And hopefully in leading by example we can all experience the same result Mango does from others!
I was so blessed to be connected with my illustrator, Leah Lopez, and she was amazing to work with. She drew out everything I wanted like she could see the pictures in my mind. This is exactly what I pictured my cartooned Mango to look like and I couldn't be happier with how the pictures all turned out.
I am blown away by the outpouring of support I have received from so many people since announcing the publication and posting it online. The amount of shares, likes, beautiful comments, and books ordered since going public has been truly incredible and I am so very thankful for each and every one of you for your support. I hope and pray that this book will bless you and your children, and maybe even get to others that I don't even know. This has been an incredible experience and continues to be so as each day passes. Next dream is possibly having a Mango sequel but we will see...! :)
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires of your heart.