Hello, and welcome to my blog! I must admit, I’m a teensy bit terrified to share this first entry with you. As an introvert with a LOT of anxiety, I tend to shy away from stuff like this. Public stuff, that is. The thought of blogging never even crossed my mind until I started writing my first series of picture books, all of which are about . . . you guessed it . . . anxiety!
All my life, I’ve been told to write what I know, and anxiety is definitely one of those things I know well! When I was a child, I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which triggered the onset of Panic Disorder when I was twelve. When I was thirteen, I developed agoraphobia, which is the fear of public places. Although I managed to defeat my agoraphobia by learning to cope with the symptoms of my OCD and Panic Disorder, it wasn’t without hardship. Part of that hardship stemmed from the fact that I felt isolated as a kid who was “mentally ill.” Since mental illnesses weren’t openly discussed at that time, I felt like I was the only girl in the world whose knuckles were cracked and bleeding due to compulsive hand washing, and who fainted at school as a result of unexpected panic attacks. But of course, as I now know, I wasn’t alone. There were lots of other kids out there, suffering in silence, just like me.
Nowadays, the topic of mental illness isn’t nearly as taboo as it was twenty years ago. But even so, there’s still some hesitation when it comes to talking about it with kids. This is why I have decided to write a series of fun, approachable picture books about fear and anxiety. My hope is that these books will help destigmatize the topic of mental illness and encourage self-acceptance – a lesson that will benefit all readers, with or without mental illnesses.
So far, I’ve written four books in my series, three of which are in the process of editing. I can’t say too much about them now, but I can tell you that one of my main characters is an anxious, little possum!
Stay tuned for more details about my latest projects and teasers about my books-to-be! As always, I appreciate your time and I look forward to sharing more of my work with you soon!