This week, I am interviewing Tracy Watland, a writer from the Chicago area. Her first children’s book, “The Kindness Can” was released on December 6 from Mascot Books. It is available from Amazon
, and for those in the Chicago area, it can also be purchased at Loulou Belle Boutique, Homewood, IL, This and That Gifts, Frankfort, IL, and M & Em’s Children’s Boutique, Glen Ellyn, IL.
About the book:
Grace is having problems in school. Chance, a classmate has been mean to her and she is starting to believe the things he says. When her grandma hears Grace calling herself stupid, she decides it is time for Grace to learn a lesson about being kind to others. She gives Grace the Kindness Can, along with the four rules of kindness. Grace takes the can to school and begins following the four rules, even being nice to mean Chance. She soon finds out that when you begin to change yourself, magic happens!
Now, let’s talk to Tracy!
1) Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an empathic inspiration junkie who really tries to live from the viewpoint of my inner child. When we look at the World thru the eyes of a child I believe we see things that may have been forgotten once we grow up. I think we tend to make life too complicated when it doesn’t have to be. So I love to help people reconnect with their own inner child. I love sunshine and hanging out on the beach every chance I get, going to as many rock concerts as I can…and I LOVE doing Random Acts of Kindness. Bottom Line…I’m an advocate for Peace, Love and Kindness.
2) Where did you get the idea for your book?
Again, I love doing Random Acts of Kindness. The World needs more Kindness….especially in this day and age! I wanted to find a fun way to teach kids about Kindness and doing these random acts so they become part of who they are. I read an idea online about a memory jar that people could start the new year with. How you take colorful pieces of paper and write down good things that happen to you or what makes you laugh or smile and put them in the jar over the course of the year. On New Years Eve you read all the things that happened and discover what a truly wonderful year you had. So, I found a box and did this myself for a year. It had been a rough year for me with career issues, and losing a friend to cancer. etc; but when I went through all the memories at the end of the year I found in spite of all the sadness I had still been incredibly blessed. That’s when I came up with “The Kindness Can” What if we kept track of all the kind deeds we did for others? What if we could see how many wonderful things we could put into the World and discover how much more we got out of it in doing so? And “The Kindness Can” was born.
3) What are some of the books and/or authors who have inspired you?
Anything by Dr. Wayne Dyer, “Am I Being Kind?” by Michael J. Chase, “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein. I love the messages Judy Blume has put out there over the years. Carolyn Keene and her Nancy Drew series were important to me. And any positive, colorful Childrens picture book will grab my attention.
4) Do you remember how old you were when you wrote your first story? What was it about?
I’ve been writing from the time I learned how to spell. So many stories over the years, I don’t remember the first. I do remember writing a story for an art project in junior high about Debbie the Diamond Engagement Ring. And I used to write sequels to my favorite movies, because I always wanted to know what happened to the characters when the story was over.
5) What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing your book?
That people were very supportive and encouraging when they heard I was writing a book. But they also had their own very specific ideas of what my characters should be doing and saying. And they were quick to let me know. LOL I had to turn all of that off and focus on my own voice. Also, that I have many more stories inside of me that still need to be told!
Thank you, Tracy, for stopping by to tell us about your book.
I will be reviewing “The Kindness Can” for Friday’s blog post, but with Christmas coming, you might want to pick up a copy for that special child on your gift list.
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