Six years ago, Robyn Allaby discovered a book idea she knew today’s children needed. Now I have the absolute pleasure of announcing the release of Robyn’s new children’s book, The Big Book of I AMs. Below you can read our interview as we discuss why The Big Book of I AMs is so important for today’s children.
Miriam Laundry: Congratulations on the release of your new children’s book, Robyn. How exciting! Can you tell us what age group this book is for?
Robyn Allaby: This book is for children aged 4-8 years old.
ML: What inspired you to become an author?
RA: I have been an avid reader since I was 5 years old. There are few things I love more than curling up with a good book and a cup of tea. I’ve long admired the craft of writing, and I’ve always had it in the back of my head that someday I would be an author.
ML: And now you are! That’s incredible. Can you tell us why you chose to write about this message in particular?
RA: As I was writing my first children’s book, Where IS This Light?, I thought about how, in my experience as an educator, many children default to negative thoughts and self-talk. If we are lucky, we learn about affirmations and the power of positive self-talk as adults. I started wondering about how powerful it would be to teach children these tools at a very young age so they would have them as their default for their entire lives. It just grew from there.
ML: Why was this message so important to you?
RA: I saw how powerful affirmations and positive self-talk were to adults in overcoming difficulties and transforming their lives. I’ve experienced it myself. So I really wanted to share what I had learned with children, but I wanted to make it fun and organic.
ML: Definitely. Did you encounter any memorable moments as you spread this message?RA: When I finally got brave enough to share an early draft of The Big Book of I AMs with a primary teacher, she got very emotional and said, “Robyn, you have no idea how much teachers need this book to work with children. We’ve been waiting for this book for a very long time.” That really gave me the courage to continue on this journey. The other day someone asked me what this book was about. When I told her that it teaches children about the power of affirmations and positive self-talk she replied, “Oh my God, that just gave me goosebumps.” I took that as a very good sign that I am on the right track.
ML: That must have been such an incredible feeling, to know your book would make a difference in readers’ lives. Did you encounter any hurdles as you wrote The Big Book of I AMs?
RA: I spent most of my career working with teenagers 14 -18 years old. While I always thought I would be an author someday, it never occurred to me that I’d write for children. When the ideas for Where IS This Light? and The Big Book of I AMs popped into my head, I don’t think anyone could have been more surprised than I was. But I just believed in my heart that these messages needed to be shared with children. My biggest challenge in writing The Big Book of I AMs was taking the very mature message and making it relevant and relatable for children.
ML: Adjusting your message for a younger audience can be a big challenge. Of course, you conquered that challenge with The Big Book of I AMs. What did the publishing process teach you?
RA: The biggest lesson I learned is that no one does this alone. I am one of those readers who actually reads the acknowledgement section in each book, so I knew that authors have many folks to thank. But until you actually go through the process yourself, you have no idea how much is involved. It really does take a team.
ML: Absolutely. It takes a quality team to produce a quality book like yours. You found your team in the Publishing Mastermind. Can you tell us why you chose to join the program?
RA: After we’d met at "Breakthrough to Success" with Jack Canfield in 2016, I knew that you were a remarkable woman. As my dad would say, “She walks her talk.” I believed that you would be a tremendous help in taking this idea from a rough draft to a polished published children’s book. I also liked that you’re Canadian, and I try to support Canadian entrepreneurs whenever I can.
ML: I appreciate that, Robyn. Those words mean so much to me. Did you have a favourite part of Publishing Mastermind?
RA: Actually, two things. I enjoyed the group calls as I believe I was able to contribute and help others. As an educator, I believe it’s second nature for me to do this. Personally though, the editing process and working with Lauren was invaluable. It was a challenge for me to provide examples of I AMs for this age group, and Lauren’s input was tremendously helpful. I also found our one-on-one calls extremely supportive in helping me to prioritize tasks and in holding me accountable.
ML: That’s wonderful, Robyn. I’m so glad myself and the MLP Team could help you achieve this lifelong dream. Now that The Big Book of I AMs is out in the world, what do you hope parents and children take away from it?
RA: It is my sincere hope that parents and children feel inspired, motivated and empowered by reading this book. I wish for them to learn that feeling good about ourselves is a choice, and we are always in control of our thoughts and actions. Affirmations and positive self-talk are very effective tools to have in our toolbox. They help us to respond to things in life and not react.
ML: Yes, that is such an important message. Before we sign off, do you have any advice to share with the aspiring authors who may be listening or reading?
RA: Face your fear and do it anyway. Invest in yourself by working with an experienced team. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Work with people who have done this before and are experts in the field.
ML: Thank you, Robyn and congratulations on the publication of The Big Book of I AMs.
Watch the Full Interview:
Robyn Allaby is an award winning educator and the bestselling author of “Where Is This Light?”. She lives with her husband and boxer, Ellie, in New Brunswick, Canada.
She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, certified yoga instructor and Canfield Trainer, a knitter, quilter, reader, dancer, kayaker, hiker, biker and bread maker.
Robyn has always believed that her purpose is to inspire others. She writes books that empower children by helping them to connect with their inner light and by teaching them lifelong tools that cultivate positivity, confidence and resilience.