Sample Q + A for Interviews
Why did you write this book?
I wrote this book during a time that I myself was suffering immensely and I could not see the “light at the end of the tunnel”. I actually met a yellow lotus flower on a pond one day and that flower helped me write this song. It showed me its own journey from the murky depths of the pond to the very top pf the water, where it blossomed into a beautiful flower. I felt relieved to know that the process of transformation is a part of nature, and it isn’t always beautiful; it can in fact be very painful, but it is an essential aspect to growth. I wanted to share this story with children AND adults, because I know they can relate to it on a very personal and also a global level.
Who are your inspirations?
One of my biggest inspirations is my teacher and friend, Joanna Macy. She is 89 years old and has taught me the importance of honoring our pain for the world, and that it is only in this honoring that we free up the energy to act on behalf of life. This may not sound like kid material, but I actually know that it is. I believe emotional intelligence is one of the areas our education system today fails students, and it is actually one of the most important areas of focus for a fully embodied child who is ready to face the challenges that our current world presents. Some of my children’s book writing inspirations are Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss (specifically The Lorax), and Eric Carle.
Why is your book so unique?
First of all, there aren’t that many multi-media books out there where you can sing-a-long to the story, and for all children learning to play instruments, there are actually lyrics and chords in the back of the book so that they can learn how to play the song! This book is also unique because it has a powerful and deep message that is conveyed through the lens of nature. No matter what the particular circumstances of people's lives at the time of reading this book, I know they will find a way to relate to it. Yellow Lotus Flower is also unique in its artistic style, with vast watercolor imagery, quirky pond characters, and colorful words dancing across the page. It is truly a children's book for the enhancement of the soul.
Who do you think this book is for?
This book is primarily for picture book readers, ages 4-9, but the truth is that kids and adults of all ages will relate to this song. Our hope is that this story can provide healing and inspiration for all kinds of life's twists and turns, from the loss of a loved one, to moving homes, to puberty, and everything in between.
Why is this book relevant today?
This book is timeless in one sense, because the process of transformation is always happening; it is part of the cycle of life. And yet this book is deeply relevant to the times we are living in today. Unfortunately, many children are under immense stress, whether it be from over-testing, peer drama, fighting at home, or even addiction to the screen. In addition, the youth of today are faced with unprecedented global issues as well, like climate change, gun control issues, and the refugee crisis. I hope that this book can help build children's stamina through the pain of these times; to allow the grief to be felt and to simultaneously offer hope that perhaps there is opportunity in crisis and that sometimes things can only be completely transformed from the muckiest of places.