Ever since her son was born, Sarah Jones has been creating and singing songs to help her children learn, develop linguistic skills, and adopt positive social practices. Through her experience as an Occupational Therapist, Sarah knows how important play is in a child’s early years. To help other children find joy and learning in play, Sarah turned her educational songs into an accessible children’s book.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah about her first children’s book, Farm Dog Fred Saves the Day:
Miriam Laundry: Sarah, what inspired you to become an author?
Sarah Jones: I wanted to help children learn. I would become frustrated looking through educational books with inaccurate content. So I thought, why couldn’t I make books of my own? Spoiler alert — Farm Dog Fred has much more to teach!
ML: What inspired you to write Farm Dog Fred Saves the Day?
SJ: My son, Derrick.
ML: And why was it important for you to share the message in your book?
SJ: I wanted to empower children by creating fun books that promote learning. While in graduate school, I co-led a research project incorporating play-based treatment intervention and strongly believe that the best way to facilitate growth and development is through play.
ML: As you worked towards publishing this book, did you encounter any hurdles?
SJ: Yes. Going to bed on time was one of them! My only time to sit down and write would be during the evening after Derrick went to bed. I was working full time as an Occupational Therapist during the daytime. I would get so into the story that I had a hard time stopping and going to bed!
ML: What’s the biggest lesson you learned from the publishing process?
SJ: I didn’t realize the business part of it — starting your own business, website, blog, social media, etc., to support and promote your book.
ML: To navigate the publishing journey, you joined Publishing Mastermind. Why?
SJ: This was my first book so I wanted some guidance and support. I got a lot out of the Children’s Book Masterclass and felt this would be a great opportunity as well. I was so right!
ML: What was your favourite part of Publishing Mastermind?
SJ: I have been so grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm within our group. Their excitement and compassion are sincere and so motivating and comforting as book milestones, and at times challenges, come along. It has been like having a second family — your “book family”. They are always there to guide you, provide honest feedback and assist you in any way they can.
ML: What do you hope parents and children will take away from Farm Dog Fred?
SJ: Honestly, I just want parents and children to spend some quality time together and have fun. There’s no better way to learn something than by not knowing that you are — you’re just playing and having fun.
ML: Lastly, if you could share one piece of advice with an aspiring author, what would it be?
SJ: Always trust your instincts and go with your gut! When things seem overwhelming, take a moment to breathe and the answer is there. Nothing is impossible!
ML: Thank you, Sarah.
Watch the Full Interview:
Sarah Jones was born and raised in a small town in Southern Illinois. She achieved her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2007. While in graduate school, Sarah had the opportunity to work alongside her parents, both elementary school teachers, and advance reading skills with children K-4. She now resides in Texas with her husband, Justin, and two children.
Sarah understands that to empower children you must also empower parents, caregivers and educators. She provides tools to support those most influential in children’s lives, to empower themselves and their children. Visit her website or Facebook page to learn more.