Sylvia Morrison is the debut children’s author of Grace’s Lunch. She is also an educator, speaker, and humanitarian. It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside Sylvia to produce this book. Naturally, we decided to celebrate by sitting down to chat about the entire publishing journey.
MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Hi Sylvia! Congratulations on publishing your first children’s book. Can you tell us who it’s for and how you started writing it?
SYLVIA MORRISON: Grace’s Lunch is for children ages six to ten years old. The idea arrived in January 2022 and I started writing in August 2022.
ML: What inspired you to become an author?
SM: I enjoy stories. I believe in the power of stories to transport the reader to unimaginable states and spaces, open new windows to a different world, present new points of view without the need for judging or defending. As a little girl from a working class family in rural Jamaica, I travelled the world through books.
ML: Where did the inspiration come from to write this book?
SM: The inspiration came from my mother who has long transitioned from this earthly realm. She helped me understand that I could enjoy my life more by sharing with others.
I believe that everyone, including children, has something to give or do that will create positive change, significant impact, and leave a legacy in our world.
ML: What was the biggest lesson you learned through this journey?
SM: I learned that it takes a team of creative experts to pull off a great book. I learned that I did not, and could not, do it without this team.
ML: Why did you decide to join Publishing Mastermind? What was the biggest value it provided to you?
SM: I have been an educator all my life, but didn’t know how to write and publish a children’s book. I needed a mentor, and I was guided by a higher power to this program. My favourite part was attending monthly meetings, having no idea what questions I needed to ask, but there was always someone who would ask a question to which I needed an answer.
ML: Do you have any fond memories of this process?
SM: My manuscript had made it with flying colours through the final editorial stage. I began reaching out to illustrators, and realized that I couldn’t afford what it would cost. I met with my coach and I told her that I would need to put the book on hold. When I told her why she looked at me with so much confidence and said “Sylvia, there are so many people who would be happy to support you.”
As she talked I cried, and then I thought, this could be an opportunity to give them a chance.
She said “If you send out an email requesting support, I would be happy to support you.” Thanks Lori! I did a GoFundMe campaign and exceeded the goal I had set.
ML: That is incredible, Sylvia! I’m so glad you had that strong and supportive community. If you could share one piece of advice with an aspiring author, what would it be?
SM: Find a mentor who has successfully written and published books. Follow their guidance. The story is not for you to keep. It’s a message for many others to hear. You are a microphone.
ML: Well said, Sylvia. Lastly, what do you hope parents and children take away from Grace’s Lunch?
SM: That everyone has a desire to create change, and they can start with the idea that comes to their mind when they see something that needs to change for the good of all involved.
ML: Thank you, Sylvia, and congratulations again!
Watch the Full Interview:
Sylvia Morrison is a humanitarian, founder and director of Links Across Border, a non profit organization that co-creates libraries in rural Ghana, West Africa.
She has appeared on Volta Star Radio in Ghana, Rogers TV and CBC Radio in Toronto, Canada; and received numerous awards and international recognition, for her humanitarian work.
Sylvia Morrison’s career spans 40 years as community organizer, anti-oppression trainer, peace activist, and faculty at George Brown College in Toronto.
Sylvia guides individuals, and groups to discover the dream in their heart, connect with their higher self and take inspired actions that ignite their fire to stand confidently in their light.