Deirdre Palm Adams is a talented children’s book writer and the author of The Adventures of Rocky series. To celebrate the release of this series’ second instalment, Don’t Worry Rocky, we sat down to chat about the writing and publishing process.
MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Hi Deirdre! Congratulations on your second children’s book. Can you tell us who your book is for and a bit about when and how you started writing it?
DEIRDRE ADAMS: Don’t Worry Rocky is for children ages three to eight years old. I started writing The Adventures of Rocky Series’ first book, Don't be Afraid Rocky, in 2020. As soon as I was finished writing that book, I began to write notes on how the adventure will continue in the next book, incorporating gratitude.
The really cool part is that Rocky and the other characters are brought to life in this book through colourful illustrations created by my niece, Lindsay Morano. She's an artist and was the perfect choice because my entire beach house is adorned with her artwork, and she's amazing with colour, and she has an incredible artistic eye.
Lindsay is a multi-media lifelong artist and her talents in art span across colourful graphic design, acrylic painting, jewellery making, and even food art. She is the absolute best partner at bringing this story to life!
ML: That is wonderful that you got to partner with your niece for this project. You’re right! She has done a wonderful job with this book. So, what inspired you to become an author in the first place?
DA: The first book I wrote was so much fun! Rocky was an inspiration for children in our hometown of Ocean City. We did a lot of book signings and engaged with lots of children. I saw how Rocky touched their hearts and how they related to Rocky’s struggles. I was forever changed by the impact Rocky made on these kids.
ML: It’s always so rewarding to see readers impacted by your book. Where did the inspiration for this story come from?
DA: Don’t Worry Rocky is the second book in The Adventures of Rocky Series. My inspiration for writing this book series came from walking Rocky on the beach in the early morning and watching the sunrise. I noticed that Rocky had a lot of fears. She seemed worried of many things including the sand blowing in her eyes, the hot sun and the strong waves. Her actions inspired me with the idea to write a book about life lessons and how characters on the beach could teach Rocky to overcome her fears.
ML: Why was it important to you to share this message?
DA: Rocky learns powerful lessons from her new friends, Jiggly the Jellyfish, Dede the Dolphin, and Clara the Clam, who help Rocky discover the value of friendship, gratitude and courage. I want to help children realize that they can ask others for help and find out in the end that they had the courage inside them all along!
ML: Speaking of courage, it takes a lot of courage to publish children’s books! Did you face any challenges when writing?
DA: The biggest challenge was to ensure the message of “gratitude can overcome worry” was clearly articulated in the book. The past few years have been challenging for so many; times of uncertainty can create anxiety and feelings of worry. I wanted children to know that the things that seem scary may not be so scary after all.
Encouraging children to rely on gratitude when they are worried and to stay focused on all the good things around them will help them stay in a positive mindset.
ML: Well said, Deirdre! What was the biggest lesson you learned during this project?
DA: How important describing emotions can be to the story — not to just tell them Rocky was worried, but to explain how she feels and the reactions of being worried. The journey was filled with “aha” moments of learning and inspiration. I learned so much from having a one-on-one coach. Those monthly calls were gold!
ML: I’m glad Publishing Mastermind helped you to get here today. Why did you initially decide to join the program?
DA: I wanted to write another book to continue inspiring children to believe in themselves! This time I really wanted to learn the trade of being an author. Working with you made the process so much more exciting because I learned the process of publishing as well as writing. It's been a great journey.
ML: What was your favourite part of Publishing Mastermind?
DA: I love learning from the experts including you, Sharon, and Khursheed (my coach). I also loved engaging with the fellow authors. We've become good friends and are now supporting each other’s launches.
ML: That is wonderful to hear, Deirdre. Did you make any fun memories along the way?
DA: Yes!! I love reading to children and watching them feel the emotions of Rocky. We recently did a book reading at a school. The little kids loved the book!
They love the illustrations — Rocky expresses many emotions, from scared to sad to happy! They relate to Rocky’s feelings of fear and worry, and they love to see her overcome her challenges in the end!
ML: If you could share one piece of advice with an aspiring author, what would it be?
DA: Get started now! Don’t delay. Find a support system, work with professionals, and have fun!
ML: Well said. Lastly, what do you hope parents and children take away from Rocky’s second adventure?
DA: I often get asked “What is my favourite thing about being an author?” The answer is easy — it’s sharing my story with children to help them believe in themselves and see through Rocky’s eyes that bravery and courage are inside all of us.
The book readings and signings are so much fun! I love seeing the children’s faces when Rocky overcomes her challenges. It’s wonderful to see how Rocky touches children’s hearts. They relate to Rocky because kids are always afraid of something, so they identify with Rocky because she worries about things that seem overwhelming when you’re young. So if Rocky could change her mindset with the help of her friends and focus on a positive mindset, she could overcome her worries.
ML: Thank you, Deirdre, and congratulations again on your new children’s book.
You can learn more about Deirdre and The Adventures of Rocky series at www.deirdrepalmadams.com and on Instagram and Facebook.
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Pick up your eBook, Paperback or Hardcover copy of The Adventures of Rocky Don’t Worry Rocky on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, or your local Amazon Marketplace.
Deirdre Palm Adams
Deirdre Palm Adams was born and raised in New Jersey and remains a Jersey Shore Girl at heart, with fond memories of summers on the beach in Ocean City. Today she enjoys the beach life with her husband, Joe, along with her loving extended family including her parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.
Deirdre was inspired to write Don’t Worry Rocky while walking Rocky on the beach, watching the early morning sunrise. Rocky has reinforced Deirdre’s belief that people can learn a lot from their dogs; after all, they are our best friends, and it feels good to celebrate them for all the joy and love they give us!