This week, author Mary Beth Shepherd is celebrating the release of her first children’s book, Little Isabella the Tiger Moth. Following the story of a young tiger moth who yearns to fly up to Strawberry Moon, Little Isabella is on an adventure about self-confidence, responsibility, and why we should never overlook the underdog. I had the incredible opportunity to interview Mary Beth about the book.
Miriam Laundry: Hi Mary Beth! Congratulations on publishing your first children’s book. When did you start writing Little Isabella the Tiger Moth?
Mary Beth Shepherd: I started writing the Little Isabella story after my first granddaughter was born, over 10 years ago!
ML: Wow! It must have felt great to finally publish a story you’ve spent a decade writing. What inspired you to take the plunge and become an author?
MBS: Being an author enables me to reach children with a message of empowerment. No matter how small or how big you are, no matter how young or how old you are - YOU have the power to make the world better!
ML: You’re absolutely right, Mary Beth. Did this idea inspire you to write Little Isabella’s story?
MBS: All over the world, children leverage their talents to make a positive difference. Little Isabella represents their spirit and resiliency.
ML: That’s a great analogy. Why was it important for you to share this message in your book?MBS: It was important to me to help children know that they can overcome their fears and follow their dreams.
ML: Yes, it’s so important to empower the children in our lives. In doing so, you followed one of your own dreams — to publish your own book. Did you have to overcome any hurdles along the way?
MBS: Between my career and raising a family, finding the time to complete the Little Isabella story was a challenge.
ML: And yet, you still made a way. Incredible! Did you learn any valuable lessons as you created this path for yourself?
MBS: I learned that it takes a team of people working together to move story content into a beautiful children's book.
ML: Definitely. Did the Publishing Mastermind program help you find that team?
MBS: I learned so much from the talented group at Miriam Laundry Publishing! Lessons on story format, editing, illustration, book design and publishing were invaluable. I also enjoyed the best practice sharing and moral support from fellow authors.
ML: Did you create any heartfelt memories as you connected with other authors and saw your book enter the world?
MBS: When I told my four-year-old granddaughter that I was writing a book for her, she said, "Grandma, there is only one problem. I don't know how to read quite yet!"
ML: That is amazing! I’m sure Little Isabella will inspire her to pick up the skill rather quickly. For anyone else reading the story, what do you hope they take away from it?
MBS: I hope parents and children find the book to be a magical adventure with a beautiful message.
ML: Yes, I’m certain they will. Lastly, if you could offer one piece of advice to the aspiring authors out there, what would you say?
MBS: Believe in yourself. Don't be afraid of the journey. Get help from others when you need it. (Just like Little Isabella!)
ML: Thank you, Mary Beth. I’m sure Little Isabella will make a great impact in many children’s lives.
MBS: Thank you, Miriam.
Watch the Full Interview:
To learn more about Mary Beth Shepherd and Little Isabella the Tiger Moth, visit marybethshepherd.com.
Mary Beth Shepherd
Mary Beth Shepherd is a retired training manager. During her 35-year career, with a love for learning, she taught thousands of people and developed hundreds of learning programs.
When she isn't working, Mary Beth can be found creating children’s books in journals, on paper scraps and post-it notes, even on the backs of her children’s cereal boxes!
Mary Beth lives with her husband, Tom, and their big white dog, Henry. They live part-time in Florida with seashells and alligators and spend the rest of their time in the mountains of North Georgia with chipmunks and bears. Mary Beth enjoys telling stories to her grandchildren.