On adulting, writing, overcoming and the creation of...
(Plus Stickers & Stationary!)
Kim: I know you have two projects close to your heart at the moment, Cindy Mindy and the Perfectly Perfect Word and several journals that I LOVE! Can you share some of your inspiration behind writing Cindy Mindy and journals?
Alyshia: When I came up with Cindy Mindy, I thought of a time in my life when I once struggled with perfection, the theme behind the story. I know kids struggle with perfection too, it feels like an important conversation to have. As for the journals, I have two (at the moment;). My first journal is for teens who believe in goal-setting, it also details my learning disability. One thing I love about kids is their ability to dream big. I wanted to create a journal where they could organize their goals and ambitions. You can read more about the journaling process on my website HerFirstMile.com. And my second journal project is for teens who struggle with anxiety. I've been there. I wanted to give them a safe place to explore their thoughts and emotions.
Kim: You have a unique story behind becoming an author. When did you first learn of your learning disability?
Alyshia: Growing up, I struggled academically. Quickly, in the first grade this was labeled as a learning disability. Although classes like math were hard for me, I thrived in English. But once you have a label placed on you, well, kids can be cruel. But labels are just labels. They do not define who we are. We have to make our own labels for ourselves through our experiences. Something I've come to learn...not the easy way. I want to be able to help teens especially work through anxious times that everyone goes through...even when not in the midst of a pandemic.
Kim: Who encouraged you along the way?
Alyshia: I was inspired by my love of English classes, and I found myself reading and writing constantly. My parents were supportive and encouraged my ambition, my goal to be an author. Although my math grade was important too, they allowed me to focus on my interest. When I followed my passion, my other grades began to go up, as it gave me a type of confidence that I didn’t have before.
Kim: I just love that, so much. What made you want to write children’s books?
Alyshia: I want to help kids who are like me, through my writing I know I can do that.
Kim: What are some messages you hope to send to kids through each title and overall?
Alyshia: When kids read my work, I want them to feel seen, heard and believed in. I find it important to open up conversation on topics like perfection, disability and mental health topics.
Kim: Totally agree!
Kim: I always like to ask, any advice for writers:
Alyshia: Surround yourself with other writers. I can honestly say, any writer who has ever achieved more than I have, they have never judged me or my career ambitions. You could say it is because they are nice people, this is true, but I say it is because they have been there, they too were once in my position. When I need advice these are the people I turn to, in return, I am able to show up for them and cheer their successes.
Kim: Alyshia, I totally believe in you , your writing, and these projects. And I am excited to help share your story and books with the world!