"The Birth"of a Book.....You Were Made For Me

Photo by Annie S. on Unsplash

Photo by Annie S. on Unsplash

Sure, ideas are great, but much easier to manifest than reality! I had this idea for a children’s book about 4 years ago when we were contemplating adopting a frozen family of embryos. As, the possibility of conceiving and birthing a child created by others was very foreign to me at the time, I found myself wondering, “How will I ever explain this to my child?”. One implantation, 34 weeks of pregnancy (with 2 months being on bedrest at hospital!), and finally a beautiful baby that was now 1 year old….. I finally had a moment to “have a moment” of inspiration. All the verses and ideas flowed out of me and onto the paper! I cried out in my car as I read the manuscript in it’s terrific totality for the first time. Now what?

That is were the “hard labor” began. Although, I submitted my manuscripts to many traditional publishers I couldn’t wait for the small chance of being traditionally published…this book was for my baby and I wanted to read it to him pronto! I had been “reciting” it to him by memory for months and could see the visual representation of each verse in my mind, but I wanted to share those visions with him since he LOVED picture books!

This is where those two “wonderful” months on hospital bedrest paid off! It just so happened that there was another wonderful pregnant lady rooming next to me with the same rare 1 in 5000 pregnancy complication. We became bedrest buddies, texting back & forth about our wins and woes of each day. We only got to see each other once a week at the “craft” class, for which we were wheeled in and placed in recliners!

Anyhow, turns out she (Kate Woolley) was a graphic designer with her own company www.thenoblepaperie.com which specializes in custom cards for all the special situations that come with infertility, pregnancy and loss. So, after I decided to get this book made the DIY way (self-publishing), I reached out to her to see if she knew of anyone that could illustrate the book for me. She got me in contact with a friend of friend, Hannah Pak, who became my awesome illustrator. As we were both newbies in our own right, we went through the trials and tribulations of creating, illustrating, printing and marketing your own children’s book. At some point my graphic designer friend Kate asked me, “Who would doing the layout for the book design?”….my response…."Huh?”. After explaining the reason for a professional touch for that “chapter” of my book’s creation, she offered to do it for me! Wow!

Needless to say the learning curve for creating my own children’s book and self-publishing was a big one, but chance, circumstance and pure devotion drove me to where I am today….offering up my very first children’s book, You Were Made For Me, created for my son and other children like him. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Sheri Sturniolo