Give a brief description of your book
Don’t Limit Me On What I Can Be is a rhyming ABC book about all the amazing jobs that exist in the world for ANY child to explore. From an animator or an art curator to a zookeeper or a zamboni driver, this book is sure to spark some creative answers to “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
This is your first book! Where did you get the idea?
I’d describe myself as a person with a versatile skill-set, a bit of a dabbler in that I love to throw myself into something, see if I absolutely adore it and if not, add it to my repertoire and move on. I think that there are so many other people like me who didn’t have a clear path growing up and had a multitude of interests, and weren’t really given a sense of the variety of jobs that exist and could be an option. I hope that this book inspires kids to dream big and live bigger.
What did YOU want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actress (loved being on stage), a showgirl (loved their costumes), a business woman (LOVED their briefcases in a big way, lol), a shop owner (thought it would be so cool to get paid to help people shop) and a children’s book writer (hi there!). It sounds crazy but I can say now that I have accomplished all of that!
What is the best job you’ve had and the worst job you’ve had?
Oh that is a tough one! I have been lucky in that most of my full time jobs have been incredible. I have been mentored by some of the most amazing people and given the skills that have brought me to where I am today. That being said, at one of my PR jobs we represented a very famous circus and I had the opportunity to throw a baby elephant birthday party and even help make its cake and that was so incredibly cool. The worst job was for a well known pizza place taking orders over the phone. I didn’t quite get their computer system and I accidentally deleted several orders instead of sending them to get made. I got fired after the first day I worked.
The illustrations are an important part of your book’s message. Can you explain how?
It was extremely important to me that the book showed a diverse range of children so every little one could see some resemblance of themselves in the book. When I spoke to the illustrator Arlene Soto she agreed that the book only worked with an inclusive “cast of characters”, and her work speaks for itself. It shows that ANYONE can truly become anything they put their minds to.
What was the most challenging part of writing your book?
The most challenging part was narrowing down the jobs I wanted to include! There are so many incredible opportunities in the world, but only so many pages I could fill in one book. In good news, I guess that leaves things open for a part 2!
What is your favorite part of the book and why?
The paleontologist is my favorite part of the book because it reminds me of my little brother. Other kids his age would say they wanted to be a ninja or a spaceman (and he wanted to be those too), but he loved dinosaurs and wanted to be a paleontologist. He’s now more into Jurassic Park than digging for bones, but that page in the book always makes me smile.
What other books have inspired you?
I am an insatiable reader who simply loves the written word. I have been inspired by hundreds of incredible books and authors along the way, but when it comes to children’s books, I was inspired by The Little Prince, the Madeline series, and pretty much everything Shel Silverstein has written.
If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
I would sit myself down and say “Start now and don’t listen to what anyone else says. You can truly do or be anything if you find what authentically makes YOU happy.”
First, a nap because book publishing is exhausting, lol. Then a new book! I’ve actually been working on 2 new books, one is another children’s book and one is a book on public relations and marketing. I am also working on some super secret but very exciting new projects that I hope to see come to fruition soon!