Interview with Children's Author Christy E. Bykowski
Christy E. Bykowski is an award-winning public relations and marketing practitioner, as well as a wife and mother. She lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, Benjamin, raising their three boys and spreading awareness about celiac disease and the need for a gluten-free environment for individuals diagnosed with celiac disease.
Tell us briefly about your recently published book and what you feel is the most important topic/sub-message you share.
“Beckmin Goes to School” is meant to raise awareness for celiac disease and the everyday challenges children with celiac disease face in their otherwise normal activities. As diagnosis of celiac disease increases, education, awareness, and understanding will be the keys to making celiac kids feel normal and included. This book is written for children to help them express and understand celiac disease. Beckmin’s stories, written to help children define, understand, and explain celiac disease, are meant to be both empowering and educational for kids and their parents.
What are some of the things that have influenced/inspired your writing?
I was inspired by my son, Beckmin, who was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 1.5. Watching him grow up – how he’s had to explain his disease to other kids and parents; how he’s to make very adult decisions all day, every day – led me to write this book. I’m hoping it’s a tool that will help him, and others, easy explain what celiac disease is and how someone with it has to cope.
Can you share some writing experiences with us?
Most of my writing is done in my PJs, at my computer with a cup of coffee – before the kids wake up. While I enjoy writing all kinds of things, this is the first piece I’ve taken all the way through publication.
It has been my experience, some things come quite easily (like creating the setting) and other things aren’t so easy (like deciding on a title). What comes easily to you and what do you find more difficult?
The characters for the book and the purpose/intent came really easily – because it was so personal to me. But, I had a really hard time figuring out the name of the book. I wanted to be sure that the people who would be looking for this kind of resource were able to find it.
Please describe to us your relationship between you and your editor. What makes an author/editor relationship a success?
I think the key to an author/editor relationship really lies in the ability to accept and give feedback. I had to be open to the edits and suggestions she made for me.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If yes, how did you ‘cure’ it?
I don’t really suffer from writer’s block because I’m not that focused in my writing. By that I mean I typically write about what’s on my mind or in my situation around me. I don’t try to force my writing. I let the words come to me.
What happens before sitting down to write? (Explain your creative process.)
I’d like to say I have a formal creative process, but I don’t. Usually, something happens and I think to myself that I want to remember that moment. It might take a few days or weeks before I get around to getting it down on paper.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Don’t give up! Your children’s book will be a wonderful legacy for you and your child.
The World of Ink Network will be touring author Christy E. Bykowski's kid friendly celiac disease awareness picture book, Gluten-Free Me: Beckmin Goes to School January 2014. You can find out more about Christy E. Bykowski, her book and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/lquajjn
Author Website: www.glutenfreekids.info
Twitter URL: @christybyk