Since she was 10 years old, Tara Anderson has visualized her future self sitting in her office with a typewriter and a picturesque view of the countryside in front of her. Now that vision has come true.
(Only this time she exchanged the typewriter for a computer!)
You Belong Too follows Annie, a young girl navigating friendship, belonging, and change as she moves to a brand-new school.
Originally, Tara had no intention of writing Annie’s story, but as she worked on her first idea, she found herself drifting towards the amazing children’s book she gets to hold in her hands today.
“... originally I wasn’t writing about this topic, I had another topic in mind. But for this one, I kind of switched gears and decided to write about friendship, kindness and making others feel included. I was inspired to write these things because it’s really important, especially in schools to start to cultivate that with students when they are young.”
To Tara, this was a major shift.
“[I] found it challenging thinking I had to “get it right” the first time. But truthfully, it’s a lot of revisions … Many nights my husband Shawn could find me sitting on the sofa in our room when everyone else was sleeping with the light of my laptop and lightly clicking the keys to add something in or revise.”
Through it all, she appreciated the support of the Publishing Mastermind, where she connected with a tight-knit group of like-minded authors on a similar journey.
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Now, with a published children’s book to show for her efforts, Tara offers this advice to any aspiring children’s book authors:
“It is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient and be prepared to make a ton of decisions.”
Tara hopes You Belong Too will inspire its readers to practise friendship and acceptance in their everyday lives. She hopes this book will help children feel seen, heard, and included.
You Belong Too has since been awarded the Gold Mom's Choice Award.
To keep up with Tara and learn more about her author journey, visit her website www.taraandersonbooks.com, or join her @taraandersonbooks on Facebook and Instagram. Purchase your copy of You Belong Too on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, or your local Amazon Marketplace.
Tara is the founder of Tara Anderson Books. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP).
She lives in Southwestern, Ontario, with her husband, two teenage sons and two comical Bernese Mountain dogs. When she is not writing or dreaming up characters for her next book, Tara is outdoors enjoying nature and fulfilling her love of health and fitness.