Interview with Kortney Lewis, author of "Daddy, I Need You"
When it comes to raising kids, it’s been traditional to focus on mom’s role as a nurturing care-giver. But, what about dad? We love it when author’s provide new paradigms that help create a better world, and Kortney Lewis is doing just that. Here’s what she had to share with us:
Daddy, I Need You is about the importance of fathers in children’s lives. What inspired you to write it?
The relationship my brother and I have with my father inspired me alongside teaching so many students that do not know their dad or have an unstable relationship with their father.
What are one or two of the most important lessons you learned from your own father?
Do what you say you are going to do and do everything with excellence.
What role do you believe fathers are, or should be, playing in children’s lives that either they’re not recognized for, or haven’t quite stepped into fully yet?
I think fathers should play the roles of a leader, confidant, disciplinarian, and protector.
What kind of shift do you see happening in the relationship between fathers and their children compared to past generations?
I see some fathers acting in the role of a friend rather than being assertive. I see some fathers running away from their responsibilities which indirectly teaches their children that it may be OK to not take care of their families. I see some men leaving it to women to raise the kids alone. Kids need both parents.
From the cover, it looks like artwork is well done. How did you find the right illustrator to work with?
I went to a vision board party and one of my girlfriend’s told me that I should check out Fiverr. She mentioned that someone she knew found a great illustrator for her children’s book.
It looks like this is your first book. What was it like for you to write it? What came easily? What did you find challenging?
It was joyous for me to write because it brought back so many memories of me growing up. The scenarios came easy to me because the situations addressed in the book are recurring situations with students I have taught. I found it challenging to keep the book where it is because I have so much more to say. However, I came up with a solution. I decided to take what didn’t make it and put it in another book.
What do you wish you’d known about writing, publishing or marketing a children’s book before getting started that you’ve learned along the way?
I wish I knew how easy it could be to write. I only say this, because I was writing from my heart and about my life. I also wish I knew how easy it was to publish. I am glad that I asked for help. As far as marketing goes, I wish I had someone to tell me in the beginning that I needed a solid marketing plan. However, I am learning as I go. That's the beauty of it.
What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about writing their own children’s book?
Do it! Just write down all your ideas and watch the story come to life. Please make sure that it is a story that will help children to learn, dream, and embrace being a child. They have plenty of time to be an adult.
If your 5 year old self could sit down with her dad and read Daddy, I Need You together, what do you most hope she’d experience?
I hope she will experience the same feeling the adult me experiences with my dad: love, fun, comfort, protection, and adoration.
What do you most hope parents will get out of reading and sharing this book with their children?
I hope that they will simply find joy in spending quality time with their kids. Secondly, I hope to inspire fathers to keep being the example their kids need and to maintain and/or build a tighter bond with their kids. Thirdly, I hope it will also inspire parents to build a strong co-parenting relationship with each other to help their kids be the best they can be. Kids must see respect between their parents. Finally, they are their kids' first teacher. Teach them the right things to do.