Sheri Kiss is a published author of both children’s and adult books. Dream Write is the first in a series of four books that offers kids the opportunity to face any emotional and physical challenge using the power of their imagination and writing/self-expression. The next in the Dream Write series is Feel Write. Each of the four books in the Dream Write series includes a writing prompt.
Past biz mama Rachel Teichman of OOGIAH told me about Sheri and her book. Since I’ve been working on my own children’s book ideas, I was excited to meet Sheri and feature her on the Biz Mama blog.
Sheri’s books are available on Amazon.com.
Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.
Wonderland Press is a small publishing company that Dr. Suzanne Mouton-Odum and I created after growing disenchanted with the traditional route of publication. Our non-fiction book, Out of the Rabbit Hole (under my pen name Bloom), offers tools and inspiration for tackling the common yet often unspoken anxiety disorder, OCD. Out of the Rabbit Hole has won first place by both the OCD Foundation in Texas and most recently by Indie Reader (1st place in the self-help category). Our publishing company is geared to offer readers books that inspire, engage and we hope empower people of all ages.
There are many hats one wears as a writer and business entrepreneur: marketer, publicist, accountant, editor, creator, secretary and entertainer (I typically perform a puppet show based on Dream Write and give speeches and TV/radio interviews for Out of the Rabbit Hole).
What are the ages/genders of your children?
Our oldest son, Aden is turning eleven this July and entering middle school (How did THAT happen??) in the fall. Our youngest, Elie (short for Elliot) will be a second grader this coming academic year.
Did you start your business before or after having children?
I started Wonderland Press after I had children. Writing was something I did all along. When I landed my first and then second literary agent, I naively thought “I’ve arrived!” Little did I know that this was just the first in a series of many literary hurtles. Wonderland Press is the figurative “baby” Dr. Mouton-Odum and I gave birth to once our kids were in elementary school, a natural manifestation of our growing desire to gain more control of our work.
How did your business life change after having children?
Before I had children I worked as a middle school English and theatre teacher. I was fully committed to this career but can still recall the hours upon hours of grading 125+ papers on a regular basis. I also continued to work in theatre (on stage) both in NY and then continuing to do so in Houston. Once the kids arrived, time morphed for me. Sleep-deprivation does that, I suppose! I still managed to squeeze in a theatre production here or there, but it was nothing like before children. My primary focus and priority became (and still is!) about our children. Still, I always tried to make sure that I carved out some kind of creative time for me. Writing offers a wonderful opportunity to retain our inner muse: the hours are flexible and our imagination is limitless.
Describe a typical workday.
Drop the kids off at camp (currently) or school. Feed the dog, clean the kitchen, feed myself. Pop in the never-ending load of laundry. Check email. Then write, write, write. This can be anywhere from twenty minutes to three hours–depending on what the day allows. Exercise (typically 20-30 minutes) and then it’s back to Domestic Land: food shopping, carpool, homework, dinner, kids’ shower/bath, snuggle/read time and bed time.
What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?
Follow your bliss. Life is too short to fill it with shoulds. We moms tend to allow our dreams to percolate but often don’t act on them. A dear friend once told me: “We underestimate how much we can do in ten years and overestimate how much we can do in five.” Baby steps, five minutes here, five minutes there, add up to the manifestation of our vocational dreams.