Wonderful Surprises

Nine months ago, I embarked on an unmapped journey. I never shy away from new adventures. It’s what keeps me feeling alive and resets my compass, but this particular uncharted territory was something I’d dreamed about for a long time. A secret wish that a young girl held onto for years in the containment chambers of her heart.

“Someday when I grown up,” she said, ” I will write a book.”

I used to draw pictures on sheets of white computer paper with my brother when I was little. We would staple the pages together and turn them into comic books about our favorite stuffed animals. The Adventures of Marshy and Hippo is still lying around in the bottom of a box of treasures somewhere. I didn’t know why I liked doing this so much, but my big brother was doing it and it looked pretty awesome. To this day, it is one of my favorite memories of hanging out with him. I’m sure I was just the annoying little sister who couldn’t quite make the right size oval for the monkey’s head or didn’t write the words in the clouds the right way, but I learned a lot about telling stories through pictures. I learned a lot about my imagination. He sure knew how to make me smile.

As I grew up, I moved onto more serious things that seem to matter to kids in their teens and twenties. University, marriage, family, and somehow making a living. When I hit my 30’s and had my second child, I felt a very familiar glimmer of childhood creep back into my hardened veins. I picked up my brushes and began to paint stories about a little fox named Milo to decorate my son’s nursery. The idea of filling his room with imaginary characters with bright colors and deep eyes made being a new mom again so much fun. The characters grew, made friends and evolved. After that, so did my art.  It is from that time when I held my baby in my arms and looked around his painted nursery that I realized NOW was the time to write my book.

I began working on my illustrations daily, blogging more, taking classes and researching all I could about writing and illustrating children’s books. Some tasks were harder than others. The weekly round up of 10-20 books at our local and surrounding libraries was a huge motivator. I became completely immersed in reading other author’s words and admiring the styles of other children’s book illustrators.  It played such an integral part in how I look at children’s books to this day. I began to realize that the parent takes just as much joy in reading a book to their child as the child gets from reading a book themselves. I wanted to develop a style of art that could bring joy to adults and children alike. It was important to me.

It is at this particular conjecture in time, I met Kim Gosselin. You all know Kim by now here at Sweet Afternoons! She is the sensationally talented author of our children’s book BABIES OF TWO along with 16 additional children’s books. She was my wonderful surprise! Five months after her manuscript was in my hands, we had officially launched our new book onto Amazon Kindle. This may not have been her first rodeo, but it WAS mine! In a way maybe it was her’s too, as this was the first e-book for us both. We would be both learning catastrophic lessons in patience and chartering the unknown. Together, we laughed, cried, screamed and smiled through exhaustion and sunlight. Today, I am beyond proud to say that this beautiful person who was such a short time ago just a stranger, is now my trusted friend and partner. This journey over the past nine months has not only fulfilled lifelong dreams for us both, but sparked a fire in our bellies to get this into print through Rocking Chair Press. Thank you for always inspiring me to keep pushing myself even when we can’t see the outcome yet, Kim. You are truly a blessing.

I’m exceptionally proud to put my name next to Kim’s and announce that our Babies of Two are now IN PRINT and available on Amazon.com for purchase. Please go pick up a copy! I have always loved the feel of a real book in my hands, turning the pages is as if you are given a little box of magic to do with as you please. Our hearts are on each of the 34 colorful and beautifully written pages. If you are feeling warm and fuzzy from our story about love and life, please leave us a great review!

You can watch our book come to life below in the official book release trailer 🙂

Click here to watch!!! Babies of Two Book Trailer

Thank you for all the continued support! This dream is yours too. You helped make it happen and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

This illustration is for all the dreamers out there. Dream big. Dream weird. Dream outside the box. Dream until it becomes reality. One day, you will be living it. You simply have to begin.

With Love, Alisa

Fireflies in Her Hair110

Fireflies, watercolor and graphite, 5×7 

 

 

 

 

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