What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
The Motivated Child is a parenting tool kit in a box. It is based on the behavior management strategies that I successfully used in the classroom as a teacher. It can be implemented in the home in less than one hour. The award winning program uses positive reinforcement to help children in the following areas: communication skills, self-esteem, teaches responsibility and respect, setting goals and strengthens relationships within the family. It is for children ages 3 to 11 years old, including those with or without discipline issues.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was a television reporter before I became a teacher and author. I worked in Texas as a morning anchor and education reporter. I was also a a NBC reporter in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL area. After covering countless crime stories and what seemed like constant hurricane coverage, I decided that I wanted to surround myself with something more positive. There is nothing more inspiring than children. I went back to school and became a first grade teacher. It was a wonderful decision!
What inspired you to write this book?
Through the years many of my students’ parents had come to me asking for help in getting their children to listen, do their homework, etc at home. One parent in particular came to me in desperation. I realized that there was no simple program out there that she could use with her son. Interestingly enough, it turned out that this boy who was causing trouble at home happened to be my star student of the week! Clearly he was responding well to the strategies that I was using in the classroom. I modified those strategies so that his mom could use them at home and it worked! Soon, she shared the success with other moms and word spread quickly.
How did you choose the title?
I believe that in life motivation is everything. You could be intelligent but if you are not motivated, your intelligence could only get you so far. I have seen many people who have succeeded on motivation alone. I think that if children are motivated to make good choices, they will.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Since The Motivated Child is not a traditional book, we needed to find a manufacturer to make the boxes and a printer to make the cards that go inside the box. It was challenging to find a company that would make a test run for us. We wanted a small quantity just to test the market. After numerous calls to several companies, Victor Pupo from Wright Brothers Paper Box Company in Hialeah, FL gave me the opportunity. He was a teacher in Cuba prior to working at the company. After sharing my story with him, he too believed that the product could make a difference in the lives of children. I will forever be grateful to him for believing in me and in my product.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I majored in broadcast journalism with a minor in English. I always had a passion for writing and was able to use those skills as a journalist. The Motivated Child allowed me to use those skills and combine them with my passion for education and children.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
If you have an idea, test it on a small scale and then go for it! It’s also good to have a deadline. For example, my deadline was September of 2009. I was launching The Motivated Child at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. I actually picked up the product two days before I flew out for the show. It was stressful to have a deadline. However, in the end I am glad that I did. It kept me on my toes!
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would not change a thing. Every bump in the road taught me a valuable lesson.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
These days I only have time to read magazines and the newspaper. I can’t commit to anything that is lengthier. I have a six month old daughter who keeps me quite busy.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Write what you know and/or what you are passionate about. Your voice will shine through.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Parents of children ages 3 to 11 years old. Grandparents or caretakers of children in that age group. The Motivated Child is also wonderful for children who are welcoming a new brother or sister. Often older children feel left out when the new baby gets all of the attention. The Motivated Child can be something that the older child shares with his/her parents in a special way.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
You can visit our website at www.motivatedchild.com