Debra Quercetti enjoys starting her day with her dog, Luna, on a meditative walk. It was during these walks that Debra invented Clarity and the Wisdom Tree, her debut children’s book. Now a published author, Debra and I sat down to chat about her writing experience. You can find the full interview below.
MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Hi Debra! Congratulations on your brand new children’s book, Clarity and the Wisdom Tree. Who is your book for and how did you start writing it?
DEBRA QUERCETTI: The book is for children ages four to 10 years old. I started writing the book in 2020 during COVID. I was walking my dog in Pacific Spirit Park and the book seemed to “download” to me. I kept thinking about it and talking about it and somehow I felt moved to pursue it.
ML: What inspired you to become an author?
DQ: I did not know that I was to be an author – it felt like it needed to be written and because the story had come through me I felt I was destined to write it and share it with the world. And when I doubted it, luck would have it, and small miracles would appear so that I was able to afford the courses I took to learn about children’s books and authorship.
ML: You mentioned that you began crafting this story during morning walks with your dog. Can you tell us more about that?
DQ: As I mentioned before, it came from walking in a beautiful park near my home. I was so grateful to be able to walk as I had had some difficulty doing so for about five years previous, and the woods were a calming influence and a welcome respite from the COVID restrictions we were all going through at that time.
One of the messages of the book is that the trees are the other half of our lungs and this was realized in a very big way during these walks.
ML: Why was it important to you to share the message in this story?
DQ: There are several messages in this book including: kindness to others; believing in yourself; slowing down enough to check in and see what is the right thing to do – not someone else's "right” but what's right in my heart, my right; nature is healing – good for the mind, body and soul; and knowing that the world is connected in ways we do not understand.
The most important message is that all the world religions teach the same thing – do unto others as you would do unto yourself.
ML: As you turned those messages into Clarity’s story, what challenges did you face?
DQ: The biggest challenge I had was whether to write it as a spiritual book, a magical book, or a rhyming book. At one point I felt like I was having triplets as I had all three in progress. I had to decide: “What was the best way to deliver the message?”
ML: And as you made that decision, what lessons did you learn?
DQ: Two things come to mind. The value of words themselves. How to say more with less; how to show emotions without describing them. How clear they can or cannot be.
And secondly the immense community it takes to bring a book to fruition. The illustrator, the book designer, the editors, the publishers – it’s a community effort. Just like the book’s message: we are all connected in some way.
ML: Yes, you’re right. A community is so important. It was such an honour to be part of your community, Debra. What made you decide to join Publishing Mastermind when you were considering publishing?
DQ: To have the professional coaching I knew I would need to publish a well written and hopefully well received children’s book.
Our monthly meetings with you and my cohorts in my group were very inspiring no matter where I was. The support I felt was tremendous.
ML: And if you could share one piece of advice with an aspiring author who’s finding themselves in the same shoes you started with, what would it be?
DQ: Keep working at it. Listen to people who have had more experience than you. They are only using their experience to guide you, not to criticise you.
ML: Lastly, what do you hope parents and children take away from Clarity and the Wisdom Tree?
DQ: If they take away any of the lessons the book has to offer I will be happy. If they simply take the time to take their children for a walk in the woods I will be happy. If one child decides it's easier to sleep because the stars and the moon wink back at him or her I will be happy. If one child invites a new person in their school to lunch I will be happy. If one child can see the magic of themselves I will be grateful.
ML: Thank you, Debra. Congratulations again on such a wonderful story.
Watch the Full Interview:
Debra Quercetti lives in Vancouver, BC. She starts her day with a meditative walk with her dog, Luna, in Pacific Spirit Park. Clarity and the Wisdom Tree was created during these walks.
Debra believes that spending time in nature is healing. Debra sincerely hopes parents and readers will enjoy Clarity’s journey to discovering her inner-self.