Woodbury resident releases children's book
Woodbury resident Theresa Campbell keeps plenty busy being a full-time hairdresser and mother, but she was looking for something else.
"I was at a point in my life where I was wanting a hobby," she said. "I was looking for something to do. At first I searched for it, but I couldn't find what I wanted to do so I set it aside for a while."
"Then, for some reason I found that I like poetry and I like to rhyme."
Campbell's passion for poetry and rhyme turned into something more about a year ago when she was sitting down at a pool with her daughter when she began to write.
"A thought came in my mind and I wrote it down," she said. "That's how I wrote my very first children's book and from there it became very contagious to me."
After that first book, Campbell wrote another and another book. Before she knew it she had a total of 10 children's books.
"It was an accident," she said, "and it kind of spiraled from there."
Campbell's first book, "If I Had a Wish," is currently available for purchase.
"If I Had A Wish" is about Lauryn, a girl who likes to wish for many different possibilities - money trees, to spend one more day in heaven with her pets, snow days and a time machine are just a few of her wishes.
After each wish Lauryn imagines what she would do if that special wish were to come true.
"At the end Lauryn challenges the reader to think about their own wishes," Campbell said.
Inspiring kids through words
Campbell said being drawn to children's literature was just a happy accident that she found herself in.
"It's not anything I thought too hard about," she said. "It was just the way my brain was thinking. It's just the way it came out of my imagination."
Campbell's 10 children's books all have a central theme including kindness, food and even imagination.
"My stories came from my childhood memories so I wanted to use this avenue of my books to inspire children the way I was inspired," she said. "I want to encourage whatever makes them happy."
Campbell said her favorite part about writing is the feeling it gives her.
"When I'm in the moment of writing it takes me away from absolutely everything else in my life - I'm in a moment that's just for me," she said. "I love how it makes me feel - I'm comfortable and happy and silly."
A family affair
After Campbell had completed writing her 10 children's books, she began to think about where she could go next.
"It got to the point where I felt that I couldn't stop writing," she said. "So, I wanted to move forward with it."
So, Campbell made the decision to self-publish all 10 of her books, which she refers to as the "T.C. Sillyspree" collection.
At first, the writer approached her 12-year-old daughter to illustrate her books since she is a budding artist. Campbell noted that one of her daughter's drawings was the inspiration for Lauryn.
However, the girl felt it was a bit too much to take on, so Campbell approached her brother, who is an artist.
Campbell also recruited a second illustrator, who is college-aged and whose hair she has been cutting since he was 5 years old, to help with the illustrations for her other nine books.
"To me it's a very personal project," she said. "I love that I know my artists and my daughter created the character."
Campbell said once all of her 10 books are published, the next step for her "T.C. Sillyspree" collection is that she hopes to one day combine them all into a children's movie.
Campbell said she already has an animator in mind - her illustrator who is going to college for animation.
"I want to write a children's movie about these kids that live in Sillyspree," she said. "In my books all of these characters have their own identity and I think a movie would be a really good way to finish it."
Theresa Campbell will be holding a book release party for "If I Had a Wish" Sept. 23 from 4-7 p.m. at Carmine's Restaurant where children will be able to toss their own wishes into a wishing well and there will be a gift basket giveaway.