A retired teacher from Adrian is launching a children’s picture book about grief to help children learn to cope with the loss they feel.
“Always in Your Heart” is a tribute to Deb Wade’s late mother and is inspired by her granddaughters. Instilling a love of reading has always been Wade’s passion. With a degree in Early Childhood Development from Siena Heights University, Wade taught Head Start, Preschool, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 to Adrian before his retirement.
“This is my first children’s book. I’ve always wanted to write one. I love reading children’s books. The book started with my two granddaughters (Alex, 11 and Caroline, 6) because that I lost my mother and my granddaughter remembered my mother but the other one was too little We talked about a lot of things that reminded us of her and we wrote them down So I started to write a story for my daughters, and then my husband (Mike) was like, ‘OK, I think you need to find a publisher.’ And the book went from my mom to a story that applies to all of us, young and old,” said Wade, who now lives in Omaha, Nebraska.
“Always in Your Heart” is a heartfelt story that draws the reader in and guides them through a day in life after a difficult loss.
“Wonder what life will be like when they’re not there to hug you or say I love you. It’s a real tool for parents, children and other supportive adults around them to discuss the healing process you go through after experiencing a loss. This will appeal to readers looking for support and the shoulder of a friend to lean on,” Wade said.
Soon, Wade found herself taking a writing class with an instructor who was a children’s picture book publisher. She started the book in the middle of the pandemic, and everything fell into place for the publication of the book.
The instructor liked his job and they worked for a few months by videoconference. The publisher resides in Des Moines, Iowa. The editor suggested changes and Wade was able to keep the original concept and story.
The publisher also found him an illustrator, who worked on the book for three to four months and came up with what Wade describes as a perfect representation of the printed word.
“As it was COVID and we were home a lot, some weeks I was writing and I had a lot of pages and of course a children’s book is very few words. So going through everything the editing process with an editor was probably the hardest part because they allowed me to make my own choices, but they were suggesting things and I was like, ‘Oh, oh, I hadn’t thought to do this.’ So I had a lot of ideas and sometimes I’d let it sit for three or four days and wouldn’t even go back to it,” Wade said. “It would come down to one sentence and I would have to change something but I don’t. didn’t know what. It was really interesting. At this point in my retired life, I really learned a lot about writing just by writing my own story, you know, what it took to put it all together. And some things have changed. But in the end, the whole idea of the book remained exactly what I wanted it to be.
The whole process, from first draft to printed book, took about a year, while many authors struggle for years without being published.
“My goal was to help as many children as possible deal with the feeling we call grief. So hopefully this will help other kids besides my granddaughters,” Wade said. “I call it a ‘cuddling book.’ It’s like when you’re done, you might want to hug someone, or it just tells people what they can do to remember the person they lost. there’s a need for things like that out there.
Wade is working on a new book with his granddaughter Alex which is about animals and fun things. She said she was taking her time.
Wade and his family lived in Adrian for 28 years. An active local volunteer, she was twice Co-Chair of the Lenawee County United Way Campaign.
Readers can purchase the book locally at the Sass Gift Shop in downtown Adrian, the Amazon and to Barnes & Nobles. Readers can also purchase the book and learn more about: bibliokidpublishing.com. Contact the author at [email protected] or go to his website debwade.com.