I am honoured to announce that first-time author Jane Carey has released her debut children’s book, SHMUG-A-LA TAMES THE SHMOVID MONSTER. To celebrate the release, Jane and I sat down to chat about the book.

MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Hi Jane! Congratulations on your book, SHMUG-A-LA TAMES THE SHMOVID MONSTER. Can you tell us who this book is for and when you started writing it?

JANE CAREY: This book is for children ages four to eight years old. I started this book during the COVID-19 lockdown as I became aware and concerned about the cloud of isolation, loneliness, dullness, and gloom that seemed to settle over many children during that season.  

As the actual COVID-19 lockdown was lifted, it became clear to me that not only could COVID-19 isolation set the child in a negative spiral, but so could many other negative events or seasons in their lives, which they cannot change or control. Children sometimes need help navigating through these “SHMOVIDS” of life, to “Choose Fun” and positive, creative activities, perspectives and focus amid negative situations.

ML: What inspired you to become an author?

JC: I have always been one to write about my experiences, opinions, politics and human and civil rights. I would write poems, essays, letters to the editor, journaling, newsletters, and work-related writing. What leads me to write is my desire to share, teach, and inspire. I hope to make a difference, bring humour, comfort and healing.  

ML: Why was it important to share this message in your book?

JC: I saw a deep need in children for them to develop tools early in life, to help build resilience, and positive patterns of response for when life goes wrong and gets tough. 

ML: Do you have any memorable moments to share from the publishing process?

JC: There are so many, I cannot think of one in particular at the moment. Something that really surprised me though, was that several adult friends or family who knew about the book each reached out to me separately, each in the throes of their own individual SHMOVID crisis situations saying, “I need SHMUG-A-LA NOW!”

I was unprepared for this and did not see it coming. We would talk and I sent a couple of them a “SHMUG-A-LA CARES PACKAGE”, with a journal and pen, a book, and other small spirit lifters or distractions.

ML: That is so wonderful! It’s great that your book could provide help to both children and adults. Many writers face trials during their publishing journey. Did you face any challenges?

JC: The biggest challenge was probably clarifying the message, condensing it and presenting it in a humorous, fun-filled, do-able, but adventurous way. Add, of course, the computer!

SHMUG-A-LA TAMES THE SHMOVID MONSTER By Jane Carey Book Cover

ML: Did you learn any lessons along the way?

JC: The biggest lesson I learned is the power of editing and to submit to it. Not only was my repeated editing crucial, but I could not have done it without the editing from the team. Thanks, team!

ML: You decided to join Publishing Mastermind to publish your book. What was the biggest value this team brought to you?

JC: I experienced the value of a team approach involving everyone in the team, as well as involving all of us prospective authors. Many minds working together for the same goal but including the individuality and separate needs of each author, was invigorating. And of course, I learned so much about the process, and also could not have done it without all of you.

Besides seeing my book in print, which is an indescribably exhilarating experience, another favourite part was watching the other authors' books come to life. It brought me great joy to see each one begin to develop and to flourish as authors (and illustrators!).

ML: What do you hope parents and children take away from SHMUG-A-LA?

JC: My hope is that parents will become very aware and validating of their child’s very real emotional reactions and distress and know when to step in to facilitate a learning experience and help develop a positive focus and perspective, thus setting up healthy responses to the hard seasons in life.

ML: That is wonderful, Jane. Thank you. Before we finish, could you give some advice to the aspiring authors tuning in?

JC: Trust your book and let it lead you to where it needs to go, and trust the team to get you there!

ML: Thank you, Jane, and congratulations again on writing such an incredible book!

Watch the Full Interview:

Pick up your eBook or paperback copy of SHMUG-A-LA TAMES THE SHMOVID MONSTER on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, or your local Amazon Marketplace.

Jane Carey

Jane wrote her first poem at age six, emphatically stating that she liked bees and trees but hated peas! She has been writing and rhyming ever since. Before writing children’s books, Jane was an RN, a School Board Director, an educator, counselor, business woman, a community leader, and an artist.


Her enduring passion is to encourage growth and healing. She is a mother of four and grandmother of two, and currently lives in sunny Carmel Valley, California.

She loves hosting her family, and you will most likely find her enjoying her backyard, playing with her grandchildren, or both.

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