Interview With Author S. Alston
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Hello! I am a wife and mother of 3 young adults, and I have always loved children's poetry.
My mission is to write poems and books that are not only fun to read, but they empower young minds and let children know they have control of their thoughts, feelings, and actions. I currently have 2 children's picture books published and will have 5 more coming in the next couple of months.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I AM Mighty Me is the first in a new series of books that will help toddlers learn they are mighty and strong within. Over the years as my children have grown, I have seen so many wonderful kids who are utterly stressed out and overly anxious about the troubles they face in everyday life. They seem to take everything so seriously and have lost a bit of the joy of learning and the joy of being young. So, through my poems and books, I want to inspire young children and give them the words that help them self-soothe, so they know that mistakes are a necessary part of life! It's how we learn and grow! And that being kind to yourself, using your imagination, and tapping into your inner wisdom are all ways they can feel empowered and grow up feeling good about themselves.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I meditate every morning and evening for about 20-40 minutes, and I always have a notepad by my side. I usually get inspired afterward and will write down whatever my thoughts are in that moment. Then I'll come back to the notepad later in the day or the next day and write some more. It's how I've written all my books.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Dr. Seuss and Barbara Park are my two all-time favorite children's authors. I must have every one of each of their books which we read countless times over and over to my children went they were young. I could never get enough of reading the different voices of Junie B. Jones series and the rhythmic rhymes of Dr. Suess were often what lulled my kids to sleep during those preschool years.
What are you working on now?
I have several books that I have finished that are currently being illustrated that I'm very excited about.
The Night Before Christmas – Will Santa Know That We've Moved? is a modern twist on the classic Christmas poem we all know and love that shares the true meaning of Christmas with children of all ages.
My Mighty Imagination (Mighty Me Series Book #2) helps preschoolers realize the power of their minds by using their imagination. With so many young children being overstimulated by constant technology and activities throughout the day, I want to help parents introduce chill-time where kids learn that boredom is actually fun! It's a time you can rest, relax, and practice cultivating our creative centers.
The Greatest Lesson is a Fable for 4th graders and teaches children that true happiness comes from within.
Imagine IF… – Is a picture book that will be done in 2 versions, one for boys and one for girls and it will inspire kids to imagine what they want to be when they grow up.
And Then There Was You, A Giftable Keepsake Book For the 2nd Born, will also be done in big brother and big sister versions. It's meant to be read to baby with big brother or sister in earshot so they too can learn that there is enough love to go around for everyone in the family.
I also just published another book for toddlers called Hello, a Fun-Loving Guide to Greetings which is a book of opposites and has friendly animals and their tracks so children can compare to their hand prints! It gives them words to practice so many different ways to say hello which builds self-confidence.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
They are available on Amazon as ebooks and paperback and some of them will be available on Audible and hardcover. But honestly, I'm brand new at this, so I've just been reaching out to local bookstores and preschool teachers on Instagram to let them know about my books. Whenever anyone reads them, they LOVE them, so it's just a matter of getting the word out, which maybe you can give me some pointers! LOL
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write from your heart. Decide on your intention for the book and then go from there. Write when you are feeling good and feel clear-minded and the words will flow.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Good ideas flow when you are feeling good. So why don't you practice feeling good? Don't let other people or situations be the excuse you give yourself to feel bad or be angry, because when you do that you are giving away your power. In every situation, there is an opportunity for clarity and growth, and that is an incredible gift. So be thankful as often as you can because that's a direct path to feeling good.
What are you reading now?
I love reading self-help books, so I just finished Atomic Habits, Limitless, Building a Story Brand, and my other faves are anything by Dr. Joe Dispenza, spiritual books like Untethered Soul, all of the Secret books by Rhonda Burne, and I'm also obsessed with listening to Abraham Hicks meditations on youtube if that counts.
What’s next for you as a writer?
My real name is Sheila Alston not just S. Alston. 🙂 And the reason I'm using a pen name for my children's books is because I've already got a whole brand around healthy living that my real name is associated with. And I was told it's good practice to keep the genres separate so it's not confusing, and so I have several non-fiction books in the works too that are all about a growing trend in real estate development called wellness real estate and also how to create a healthier home environment. So as a writer, the goal of all of it is to simply, help others be their best selves and create an environment around them that is more supportive of well-being.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
That's a great question! Can I take my audible or kindle? I suppose if I'm stranded, then there are no charging stations so I'd be limited to physical books. So in that case, I would bring the latest book by Dr. Joe Dispenza, Becoming Super Natural. It teaches you to slow your brainwaves down and tap into your creative mind; it's incredible. And then I think I would have to bring some sort of survives guidebook, but since I don't read those I'm open for suggestions! And then there is an amazing new book I just read from a marriage counselor who is an indie author, it's about the differences in how men and women think and the 9 mistakes women most often make that are misinterpreted by the men in their lives. I've been married 27 years and had to laugh since I've been making all 9 on the regular! It's a miracle that we've been married this long! But this book gave me such insight to why there is conflict in our communication and simple steps to resolve them. So I'd have to take that book too so that if I ever got of the island I would be able to best communicate with others! It's called How to Talk to a Man and Feel Heard by Sue Shepard.
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