“Children need this book."
That’s what Lauren Bertone’s high school teacher told her. Lauren had originally written The Bright Purple Monster as part of an assignment in her Writer’s Craft class, but the story and message were so significant that her teacher encouraged her to consider publishing.
Looking back, it is easy to see what the teacher saw in that first draft. The book has a delightfully delicate approach to mental health for children, making it a perfect conversation starter for children and parents.
Lauren had plans to be an author since she was a little girl, but she hadn’t really considered writing for children and was focused on her education. It wasn’t until a few years later when she got the opportunity to join Miriam Laundry’s Publishing Mastermind that she considered publishing The Bright Purple Monster.
The encouragement from her teacher and the importance of the book’s message were strong motivators. She had watched her friends struggle with mental health and experienced her own “bright purple monster” as a child. Lauren felt that while it seemed the whole world was talking about mental health, children had somehow been left out of the conversation. Despite having a full schedule with her final year at university, she decided to go for it.
What is her secret for finding the time to work on a special project while juggling a full time schedule? Lauren shares the simple truth:
“I learned that the key to getting stuff done is to sit down and get it done"
She says that trying to publish a book on top of being a full time University honours student was “a tad hectic” but the Publishing Mastermind helped alleviate some of that stress:
“Not having to worry about hiring an editor or book designer was a HUGE weight off of my shoulders. All the guidance and knowledge you get from the Publishing Mastermind is exceptional.”
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Lauren hopes that The Bright Purple Monster will encourage parents to discuss mental health with their children and help children reject that “crazy” label and gain the confidence to reach out for help.
“I wanted my book to slowly guide children into this conversation without scaring or overwhelming them. Children shouldn’t be excluded from important dialogues. No matter the topic, there’s always a way to appropriately inform young people about it and what better way to reach children than through a picture book?”
You can connect with Lauren (and let her know what your favourite colour is!) on her Instagram page, @laurenbertonebooks, and purchase your own copy of The Bright Purple Monster on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca. Niagara, ON locals can order a hardcover copy of the book by emailing Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren A. Bertone
Lauren is a Canadian author and copywriter with a Bachelor of Arts in English & Creative Writing. She achieved her first ever publication at 16 years old after winning a local poetry contest. The Bright Purple Monster is her first published book. Lauren currently lives in Niagara, Ontario, where she longs for winter time and drinks a lot of chai tea lattes. Her favourite colour is yellow.