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Adventures in the Heart of Children's Book Authors, The Origin Story
Episode 122nd December 2023 • Adventures in the Heart of Children's Book Authors • Rick Harris
00:00:00 00:16:09

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Episode One – Adventures in the Heart of Children's Book Authors, The Story Behind the Story

Welcome to Episode One of Adventures in the Heart of Children's Book Authors podcast.

The idea for this podcast show resulted from our journey to become a published Children's Book author. 

When we started our journey to publishing our first Children's book, we soon learnt from the saying, "There is no right or wrong way to create, write, publish or market a children's book."

Over the years, I have read many different children's books; however, I never thought about how Children's book authors assembled and published children's books.

Only when I became a grandpa did I think creating a child's book would be fun. 

Our first grandchild, Kyra, took a few years to develop into a little person. She became my imagination guide. 

I share our story to demonstrate that our way is only one of many paths to getting started as a children's book author or a proud supporter of children's book authors.

This podcast will help give you, as a listener, a glimpse into the story behind becoming a children's book author. 

Our Story Behind the Story 

Our children's book author's adventure started because of Kyra's first daycare.

What happened next kickstarted a legacy for my wife, our grandchildren, and me.

Living Legacy versus Legacy

You might be asking, what is a living legacy versus a legacy?

When I think of the word legacy, I always think of what you, as a human, leave behind after you die, such as a transfer of wealth,  a lesson or a message. 

A living legacy is where you are engaged while alive and participate in developing your legacy. 

Let Our Living Legacy Story Begin

The birth of Kyra was a special event for my entire family.

As a first-time grandparent, a special bond of adventures was about to start, and my transformation was to begin; I didn't even know this. 

My wife constantly mentions that Kyra was born with an old soul, and over the years, Kyra has taught me many life lessons, including how to be a grandparent. 

How many have purchased a stuffed animal for your children or grandchildren?

Or have you tried to win a stuffed animal for a child or grandchild at your community's fair, no matter what it costs you, even if you can't make your next month's car payment? 

When Kyra started daycare, she had something magical happen, and I got touched by the same magic 🪄 wand. 

This magical wand was not the same as Harry Potter's; it took a different form. 

One common thing between Harry Potter's wand and ours is that the wand chooses you; you don't choose the wand.

Kyra's daycare had a stuffed animal they would loan to children going on a short vacation or trip.

The idea was to take the stuffy on the child's trip; the child and the stuffy were travelling companions and creating different adventures. Upon returning to daycare, they were asked to share their experiences. 

When Kyra was 4, we planned our first granddaughter and Papa's trip to the Rocky Mountains. 

On this trip, we would pull something magical from a hat. 

Kyra has a kind heart and is always looking to share. So, she asked me, "Papa, could a friend come on our trip."  

I told Kyra, "I am unsure if her parents would be okay with this."

I thought being responsible for another 4-year-old when I was learning to be a grandpa or Papa, as Kyra called me, would have been a challenge. 

Kyra said, "Oh yes, Papa, the daycare said it was okay. " 

I laughed and said, "I don't think your daycare can speak for your friend's parents."

Kyra responds, "Yeah, they can because they are Georgia's parents." 

You probably guessed by now that Georgia was a stuffed animal, a bunny, who would accompany us on our first trip to the magnificence of the Rocky Mountains. 

The daycare couldn't have been happier sending Georgia the Bunny on this trip. They knew Kyra would come back and share her and Georgia's adventures.

On the day of our travels, Kyra made sure Georgia had her seat belt on and joined Kyra in the back seat of our Jeep.

Kyra was singing and said, "Papa, can you join Georgia and me in singing songs?"

I said, "Sure, but I can't hear 👂 Georgia singing."

Kyra said, "Don't worry, Papa, someday you will."

Kyra could hear Georgia loud and clear. I was learning that as a child, you use your senses differently when you are young. 

No, it wasn't because my granddaughter was younger than me and had better hearing, even though my hearing sometimes is a little suspect.

Her creative mind was one sense my granddaughter had that worked far better than mine.

Our road trips to the mountains opened a new world to a grandpa's imagination.  

The Rocky Mountains were our canvas of many adventures, allowing all our senses to run wild.

On some of our trips, we went from Georgia, the Stuffy Bunny 🐰 to George, a Stuffy Bear 🐻 as our adventure guides. 

The daycare had to get a second stuffed animal for the children to take on trips because the idea was so popular.

When I was first introduced to George, I asked Kyra, "Who is George?" 

Kyra said," George is Georgia's brother."  

How is this possible for a 🤔 bunny🐰, a bear 🐻 siblings?  

In a child's mind, anything is possible. This was my granddaughter's belief. 

So, I have tried to adopt anything possible as part of my mindset because of my love for my granddaughter.  

As Kyra entered her school age, the need for daycare lessened, and the chance of Georgia and George staying in our lives soon disappeared. 

However, Kyra had other thoughts and encouraged us to develop our stuffed animal friend, who would be in our family forever. 

A friendship with a new family member we could enjoy together and who would accompany us on our trips, wow!

Trains are a big part of the history of the Rocky Mountains 🏔️ which included the love 💕 of Banff National Park, where we had many of our adventures with Georgia and George.

In our Rocky Mountain home, we had a framed shadow box of my dad's childhood train set, and a caboose was at the end of the stream engine train set.

Kyra was fascinated by the caboose that was part of my father's train set, and she loved saying the caboose, caboose, caboose. 

Kyra and I created a character named Kaboose, Kaboose spelled with a "K." So the first letter in Kaboose is a K, representing Kyra. 

Kyra has never seen a caboose on a real train 🚂. Cabooses were a cool thing from the past, long gone and retired from service.

She said, "Papa, what is a caboose, and why do trains travelling through the Rocky Mountains not have one?"

I said, "Kyra, a caboose was a special part of the train and always at the very end of the train." The caboose was the home and kitchen of the people who worked on the train. The train's employees would sleep, eat, play games, and share stories in the caboose. Like many things in the world, technology has replaced these items.

Kyra nodded her head like she understood but had not lived through the disappearance of 8 Track tapes, cameras that used film, VCRs, and so many other items from the past that our technological world has replaced. 

With a little bit of fortune, on a trip to San Francisco, my wife and I found a stuffy store and created a stuffy of Kaboose, a stuffed bear 🐻 wearing a train engineering outfit. What a cute bear, if I do say myself. 

We brought Kaboose, the newest member of our family home, and gave it to Kyra.

Kyra's joy of having this new family member, as she had envisioned, was incredible, and the friendship continued. 

Over the years, Kyra has shared Kaboose's adventures with her cousins and sister.

It was over a beverage at our favourite coffee shop; Kyra inspired a new level of connection. We would share one with our other grandchildren on creating quality engagement. 

Kyra said, "Papa, we have taken many pictures on your iPhone and rarely do we look 👀 at all our adventures together."

I said, "You, Kyra, you are so right. We are always busy running from one adventure to another; we never take time to look at all the neat things we have done together. What did you have in your mind?"

She asked, "Can you buy a journal like the ones we saw at the Farmer's Market so we can write down our adventures? 

"What a great idea!" I replied. 

We couldn't wait for the next Farmer's market to purchase a journal, and over the next couple of weeks, we would slip away and look at all our adventures in our digital treasure trove.

We found a picture of Kyra in her mommy's tummy along the Bow River, and I remarked how she was a mountain baby before she was even born.

From this picture, Kyra and I developed our first story based on our adventurous weekends with Georgia, hiking across Canmore, Banff, and the Bow Valley.  

Our character, Kaboose, replaced Georgia in our stories.  

We had our process of creative engagement, which is to download the photos of some of our adventures, then develop a story and write ✍️ our stories from those pictures. 

Thus, The Adventures of Kaboose the Rocky Mountain 🏔️ Bear 🐻, our first Children's book, began. 

With our first story written and with some rough drawings, we celebrated with our favourite drink, hugs, and cheers.  

Tears rolled down our cheeks; we knew we had created something unique and lasting.

We couldn't wait to start our next adventure. Within a few days, we returned to our local coffee shop and wrote the title and ideas for multiple stories in The Adventures of Kaboose, the Rocky Mountain Bear book series. 

Believing in Kyra's possible has made me happier and created much more fun and laughter. 

We have published the first book in our series, The Adventures of Kaboose the Rocky Mountain Bear, and we hope you will click on the link in our podcast show notes and purchase our book. www.kaboosetherockymountainbear.com

At the core of this podcast is our story on how we became children's book authors; however, following in the tradition of my granddaughter Kyra's kind heart, we want to share more than our stories.

We have many children's book authors in our Wonderful World of Words and Pictures. Each children's author is different in their approach to their creative process, the central idea behind the story, the writing process, illustrating, assembling of the book, digital, print or audio formatting, publishing method, business and marketing plan.

Even though we cannot interview all of the children's book authors, we aim to interview and share as many authors' behind-the-scenes inspiration for developing, writing, and producing the children's book design and content and how the author uses their imaginative and creative hearts to write children's books.

We hope you will support as many of our guest's children's books as possible and build a children's book library, whether print or digital, that you and your family will be proud of. 

Should you desire to be a Children's Book Author, our deepest wish is that our podcast show, Adventures in the Heart of Children's Book Authors, in some small way, gets you to take action and start your journey to be a children's book author. 

Please head over to www.kaboosetherockymountainbear.com and download our activity pages to start recording your first adventure in your heart. 

The Adventures of Kaboose, the Rocky Mountain Bear

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