Shelia Rocchio has just published her second picture book, Little Oak Learns a Big Lesson. After the success of her first book, Toby the Turtle, I was so excited to work with her on her next project. To celebrate the book’s release, we sat down to chat about the publishing process.
MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Hi, Shelia! Congratulations on your second children’s book. Can you tell us who it’s for and how you started writing it?
SHELIA ROCCHIO: Little Oak Learns a Big Lesson is for children ages three to nine, but a great message for all ages.
I drafted this story when I attended your Writer’s Craft Workshop online one afternoon last spring. I’m amazed at how powerful that workshop was for me. I still have the original handwritten notes from that workshop and now the book is launching!
ML: That’s wonderful, Shelia! What has your whole author journey been like so far?
SR: My author journey has been wonderful! I’ve not only grown as an author but as an individual. I published my first book, Toby the Turtle, through Miriam Laundry Publishing, and it was a fantastic experience. You have put together a solid proven program and the team is amazing to work with. Compile that with my love for reading, writing and empowering children through stories and it is a win-win!
ML: Thank you so much for your kind words, Shelia. I’m so glad we could help you. Where did the inspiration come from to write this book?
SR: This story was inspired by a true event. We had an unexpected snowstorm hit on September 9, 2020! (Yes, you read that date right.) It was early so the trees had not dropped their leaves yet. A lot of damage was done, particularly to our little oak tree. While the storm was unexpected and the impact disappointing, the tree survived. It has been a great reminder of resilience, strength, and to keep growing through the challenges of life.
ML: Why was it important to you to share that message?SR: I love to write stories that have an inspiring or impactful message in them that all ages can relate to. It was important to share this message because we all have disappointments in life when things do not work out as planned. Or we compare ourselves to others. My goal is to empower others to have the courage to keep growing and embrace change, because it is part of their unique and beautiful story.
ML: What was the biggest lesson you learned?
SR: To believe in myself and have confidence in my writing. I have learned to trust my intuition when it is calling me to take action towards a dream.
ML: Was anything different since this is your second book?
SR: It was easier the second time because I knew what to expect, and I have grown as a writer and individual through the process.
ML: What was the biggest value Publishing Mastermind Pro brought you?
SR: Working with you and the seasoned professionals on your team at Miriam Laundry Publishing has been an amazing experience. Prior to Publishing Mastermind, I had no idea where to begin or how to navigate publishing a children's book. It felt like a far-off dream or wish. Now, I am publishing my second book! I am forever grateful to them and so glad I said yes to my dream and joined Publishing Mastermind. I absolutely have no regrets!
ML: Thank you. It is wonderful to hear. I’m so glad you’ve continued writing! What do you hope parents and children take away from Little Oak?
SR: I want to inspire others to look for the good within them and around them. When things don’t work out as you had planned, may you have the courage to keep growing and remember it is part of your beautiful story!
ML: Lastly, if you could share any advice with an aspiring author, what would it be?
SR: Don’t let your story go untold. Because someone somewhere is waiting to hear it. If you have a dream of writing a book, then write it. Surround yourself with others who can support you and go for it!
ML: Well said, Shelia! Congratulations again on Little Oak Learns a Big Lesson.
Watch the Full Interview:
Shelia lives in Colorado with her husband. She has three grown sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren. Her professional background spans over twenty years in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Shelia is a Certified Life Coach for both adults and children. She loves to inspire others to see both the good around them, and within them. Shelia is available for school visits and presentations.