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.
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.
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.
Like all authors, you have had your fair share of rejection letters. You obviously did not let the letters deter you. How did you keep your determination without getting discouraged?
I decided to self publish, so I could work under my own schedule, with personal deadlines, so I went through Halo Publishing International. The process was surprisingly easy, and I’ve been very happy with the relationship. I’m grateful for all the direction and resources they provided.
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.
Tell us about your writing space.
As a full-time working Mom of three boys under the age of 5, there is no typical writing day. I work in personal/writing time when and where I can. That said, I enjoy the solitude of writing. I need quiet space to write and think, and find peacefulness in getting my thoughts down on paper. I wrote this book early in the morning, before the kids were awake.
Is there anything you'd go back and do differently now that you have been published, in regards to your writing career?
I enjoyed the book process so much, I want to write more!
Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand?
I do all my writing at my computer. Thank goodness for spell check!
How do you see the future of book publishing, both traditional, electronic and print on demand?
I self published through an online book publisher and the process was easy and affordable. I can see it really going in this direction. I had a terrific experience.
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 my kid friendly celiac disease awareness picture book, Gluten-Free Me: Beckmin Goes to School January 2014. You can find out more at http://tinyurl.com/lquajjn
Author: Christy E. Bykowski
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN Number: ISBN 13: 978-1-61244-228-0
Publication Date: January 2014
Synopsis of book: “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. Written for children to help them express and understand celiac disease, the book is a wonderful tool for children and adults alike.
Places available for sale: Halo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Author Website: www.glutenfreekids.info
Twitter URL: @christybyk