Life as a Mother and Author

Life as a mother is not easy. I know because I raised two boys. One is 27 and the other is 18. I was told as a teenager that I wouldn’t be able to have children. Well, they got it wrong! Both my boys are like night and day. My oldest son, Danmario, is a think-outside-of-the-box kid. I actually learned that phrase from him. He is so intelligent and smart. As a child, he saw things far beyond what a normal child could see. I would always say, “You’re too smart for your own good.” He has his own ideas and unique way of thinking.

My younger son, Danniel, yes with two ‘n’s, is different. He’s more of a carefree, free-spirited young man, and an ‘it is, what it is’ person. Perhaps more of a realist. While he thinks differently sometimes, he tends to agree with most things and it doesn’t take much for him to turn on his creative mind. He keeps it pretty simple.

On the other hand, I have a five-year-old granddoll, who is a combination of both my boys. She is one of the inspirations behind my becoming an author. She is creative, has a unique imagination, and a colorful, warm and vibrant personality.

All three keep me on my toes as a mother and Nanna. I have been married to my husband Danny, whom I call a “jack-of-all trades” for 28 years. He’s a simple person that rolls with the punches and goes with the flow.

Maintaining a work-life balance was easy for me, yet at the same time my work life often presented itself with many challenges. I knew I wanted to be married and raise a family. Having to work, I kept my boys in daycare until school age. I guess you could say they helped raise them since the majority of their time was spent there, as my husband and I work the typical 9-5. I never liked that. I’m sure most parents don’t, hence the reason for a lot of stay at home moms.

My life took a turn when I became disabled. Being in six car accidents left me with a bad back and Fibromyalgia. In one of those accidents, I learned I had Hip Dysplasia. At that same time, I was diagnosed with Lupus, which may have been misdiagnosed as Hyshimotos Thyroid disease. My blood work, which was done six months apart, showed Lupus, but a year or so later, I was told either I’m in remission or I was misdiagnosed. My bloodwork was lost, so I’ll never know. All of this history has led me to becoming a writer.

Becoming an Author of Children’s Books

When my oldest son Danmario was in daycare, he had an incident that pushed me over into the writer’s world, something I wanted to do as child. He took an issue of the color of his skin literally, which caused a conflict at such a young age. My first manuscript was written from that called, “What Color Am I?” It became challenge trying to get it illustrated and published on my own. I submitted it to several traditional publishing companies, but it was always not what they were looking for. I got frustrated and set it aside. Then, when my second son Danniel was born, he had this unusual way of believing that the people on TV were talking to him, especially when they did a close-up. I sat back and watched him. He was only six months old at the time. Another manuscript was formed. Out of it came “Through the Eyes of a Child.” It was a collection of poems, putting words to his reactions. My thoughts were, “What is he thinking?” After a while, that too, was set aside.

Life happened and writing took a back seat. At one point, I became a homeschool mom during my youngest son’s fourth grade year and part of his sixth grade year. He is now a thriving 12th grader.

Fast forward – in 2012, I found my father unresponsive, while he was in ICU. No one knew he had coded. He ended up brain dead, in a coma, paralyzed on one side and ultimately being taken off life support. Signing those papers was the worst thing my sister and I had to do. I became depressed and forced into another style of writing and blogging. I became an advocate for better monitoring of patients. However, it started taking a toll on me. I was up day in and day out, searching for answers and raising awareness. I created a blog site and two Facebook pages. I was spending too much time on them, causing depression. I was constantly reliving those dreadful days and nights. After hearing stories of advocates taking their lives because of losing a loved one to Medical Malpractice, I decided I needed a positive outlet.

What It’s Like to Get Published

It was then that I picked up my writing again. Because of companies such as Fiverr and Createspace, I was able to self-publish five children’s books and I’m currently working on my sixth one called “Nyrah’s Bully.” My granddoll, Melody Rayne, is my current inspiration for these and future books. It’s such an accomplishment and such an incredible and rewarding feeling, seeing your literary works come to fruition, opening the box and seeing your literary works as a book! As a self-publisher, you don’t have to worry about getting rejected.

Things I Wish I had Known Before Writing Children’s Books

The one thing I wish I had known before writing children’s books is the business side of it, and knowing your target audience, because your books may not be chosen by ALL kids. Trying to do all the marketing, sort of takes the fun out of writing.

My Mission

My mission as an author is to become a tool to entertain and offer a temporary escape into a think-outside-of-the-box adventure! I LOVE writing entertaining stories so that children can temporarily escape into a think-outside-of-the-box adventure. This is my reason for wanting to become a children’s book author. There is so much going on in the world today. Children need a positive distraction and I want to be that needed, positive distraction. I saw a 9-year-old boy read my book about divorce. Tears began to flow from his eyes. That solidified my passion to write what I have written, and to write in a style that is unique and will immediately set me in my own world. I create interesting characters who may stay with children long after they’ve finished the story.

Some of my stories may be real, but written fictitiously with a light educational touch. I write in a way that my books will become tools that will help your children grow in literacy love and laughter. My mission is for my stories to be your children’s favorite books to pick up and read. My books are aligned around a city to city strategy called “Get Hooked on Mrs. Annie’s Books,” which center on an exceptional reader experience. I want you and your city to be on this adventure with me. I am committed to continuously improving my stories and enhancing your child/children’s experience. I want my stories to inspire your children to become creative and allow their imaginations to run as far it will take them.

I know a lot of you encourage your child/children to develop a good reading routine. Imagine: you will have the satisfaction of knowing your child is somewhere curled up in a corner, rocking on the porch swing, lying across their bed, sitting under a tree or sitting in your lap reading a unique, warm, refreshing, diverse, thought-provoking and wholesome book, rather than getting into mischief. This too, is a fulfilling reason for becoming an author.

I encourage you too to put pen to paper.

Annette Smith

Annette Smith

Annette Bentley Smith is a writer of children’s short stories, rhyming poetry and picture books, for ages 0-4 and 5-9. She lives in Georgia with her husband, two sons, her granddaughter and her stepdaughter. Mrs. Smith’s educational background includes a high school education and she is a graduate of "The Institute of Children’s Literature." She was self-taught as well, by looking and learning from other writers. Her passion for writing began when she was in elementary school, but it took her own children to get her to this point in her writing career. She has worked around and helped a lot of children in her time, and plans to continue to help many more through her writing. Her granddaughter Melody Rayne enables her to stay current with the preschool and elementary scene.
Annette Smith

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2 thoughts on “Life as a Mother and Author

  • October 29, 2016 at 2:06 pm
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    Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your site unintentionally, and I am surprised why this coincidence did not took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

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  • October 24, 2016 at 7:31 am
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    I’ve toyed with the idea of self publishing a cookbook, but I always get overwhelmed with the technology.. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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