In celebration of Children’s Book Week, I am hosting a special book GIVEAWAY!
I love all books that help children (and adults) understand what it is like to be a ‘little worrier’ – I have now added this book to my recommend list!
Darlene Wierski-Devoe is the author of “Just Like You” which is a lovely book about a young girl who struggles with the ‘anxiety monster’.
The story explains that the anxiety monster can be controlled, rather than always being in control. There are lots of detailed examples as to how different situations can create anxious feelings for some children. It is a wonderful book to share with little worriers to help them understand that they are not the only ones who feel anxious but also great for those who are lucky enough to NOT experience the anxiety monster to read also.
It is complimented by an additional ‘Toolbox’ that can be written and drawn in to help record feelings, and prompt different ways of thinking to help manage the anxiety monster.
It is fantastic to have another book that addresses anxiety and the effects it can have on us, and I will be giving away to one lucky reader, a copy of “JUST LIKE YOU” as well as the additional “TOOLBOX”.
To enter, simply ‘like’ Happy Hero Facebook Page and leave a comment below why you, your child, your family or friends, would benefit from winning this lovely children’s book and workbook.
**THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED** but feel free to leave your comments.
Get to know a bit about the author Darlene and how she came to write and publish “Just Like You”, as she answers my questions below….
Darlene Wierski-Devoe – Author of Just Like You
1. Tell us about yourself…
I am a mother of two wonderful children. I find peace and happiness in all that life has to offer. I love to write, create and learn.
2. Tell us about your latest book “Just Like You”
The story came from a desire to help other children (and adults) understand the complexity of a person who has anxious feelings. I wanted others to be able to see and feel exactly what being in that moment of panic feels like. “Just Like You” chronicles the everyday life of a girl named Brooke. It shows her struggles, her fears and most importantly highlights the concept that she is not a part of the anxiety – the anxiety is separate. She struggles with the “anxiety monster”. With help and a supportive environment Brooke is starting to teach anxiety that she is in control not “it”.
To help the reader even further I have also designed the “Me” toolbox journal. It is a place where the readers can work through different ideas that are touched upon within the book. It prompts them to find out what their own “anxiety monster” looks like and how it affects what they think and believe about themselves and others. At the end of each page is an affirmation that helps them to remember just how amazing they are. The journal gives children the opportunity to create a toolbox that helps them identify options for when they are feeling scared or worried.
3. What makes you Happy?
That’s a hard question - there are so many answers: friends, family, quiet time to myself. I think I would have to say life itself; life makes me very happy. Each day is a new journey and along the way the things we learn and the people we meet make it all so interesting. I wake up every morning grateful to have the day ahead of me.
4. Do you ever worry? What do you do to beat the anxiety monster?
I do worry and I have battled my own anxiety monster for many years. In 2009 I had a break down myself. I took myself to the hospital certain that I was having a heart attack. I was sure that was the end. It turned out after numerous tests that my diagnosis was a really severe panic attack. For the next year my life went through a drastic change. Life as I knew it needed a bit of an overhaul. I could not leave the house, I was unable to drive, I couldn’t be alone in the house. Up until a few months ago I had always challenged my hardships and regarded them as some sort of punishment. With the release of “Just Like You” I now realize that everything I have been through with my own anxiety and that of my children has put me exactly where I am meant to be. Was it hard? Absolutely. However, I look at it as a gift. It is my chance to shed light on how debilitating anxiety can be for people; especially kids. If I at nearly forty years old had a difficult time explaining what I needed and how it felt, how on earth could we expect our children to find the right words without support and understanding?
After two years I have discovered what my triggers are and I am able to do some realistic thinking about the situation. I envision how I want the outcome to be and I embrace the good feelings in my body. I try to stay in the moment. The phrase that I have found most helpful is, “I thank you body for these feelings but I know I don’t need them right now. I release them and let good feelings come into my heart and mind. I am good.”
I breathe. I mean really breathe from my core.
Most importantly I have surrounded myself with people who understand when I am having a difficult time. They may not always know what to say but they are there for me unconditionally and they understand how hard it can be sometimes.
5. What type of writing do you do? (books, articles, topics etc…)
I have been chronicling our journey with anxiety since 2008 at the Raising Socially Anxious Children Blog. I have works of poetry published in several National Anthologies. One of my greatest passions and something that I do for myself is journaling. I think it is such a great way to bring forth your creativity and let go of any issues or topics that may be holding you back.
I also am part of a great group of writers at Special-ism. I am their anxiety expert and I contribute articles on anxiety each month.
6. When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I have always wanted to write a book ever since I was little. There are many unfinished manuscripts in my closet. As a child I would constantly be writing and constructing books. I distinctly remember one summer getting a huge pad of paper and vowing to write a story that would take up the whole book. So for the next two months I brought that pad of paper everywhere and I sat each day writing my story. I believe it was about being locked in the school over the weekend with friends. I would love to read it now almost 30 years later but sadly it got lost in the shuffle over the years.
7. What books or authors have influenced your own writing?
I don’t think there is any one author that has influenced me. It’s a paragraph from here, a quote from there and a chapter from this or that book. It is a collaboration of everything.
8. What is the best thing about being a published author?
Having children you don’t know walk up to you and tell you how much they loved your book. When I ask “what was your favourite part?” the sparkle in their eyes and the recollection of details is amazing. To have them interpret the book in their own words and through their own vision is truly euphoric. To know that my life’s experience has brought me to them and that my words – my simple words – have resonated with them is breathtaking. It’s what life is all about. Life is all about making magical connections and through the book I have met so many beautiful people both young and old.
9. Who or what inspires you?
My inspiration for everything I do is a desire and passion to continue to grow and move forward. I am inspired by all that I see and hear. You never know where inspiration will come from unless you listen carefully.
10. What are some of your favourite children’s books?
Oh no..there are so many. Here are a few I absolutely love:
David Shannon – Alice the Fairy
Lisa Himle – Hands as warm as toast
Shell Silverstein – The Giving tree
Robert Munsch – Love you Forever
11. Are you working on another project?
The second book to “Just Like You” is already written, it just needs some fine tuning. I am also working on a toolbox journal but for older children.
I am looking into a different format for my toolbox that will hopefully be out in the Spring of 2013.
12. What is one piece of advice you would like to give to other writers?
The best piece of advice I would give is to follow your heart. Realize that a lot of people will give you their opinions and their ideas, however be true to yourself and let what’s in your soul guide you. Don’t ever give up on your dream.
13. Do you have a favourite quote?
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher
You can follow Darlene:
Facebook Group: Parents Raising Children with Social Anxiety Disorder
Don’t forget to ‘like’ Happy Hero on Facebook and leave a comment below to go into the draw to win a copy of “Just Like You” as well as the “Toolbox”…
Thank you Darlene for helping us celebrate Children’s Book Week and this giveaway!
The competition is available WORLDWIDE – so please share with anyone who may benefit from winning this lovely book to help ‘little worriers’!
*Competition closes Sunday 26th August @ midnight (AEST)
**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED** but feel free to leave your comments