AUTHOR: BECKY CYMBALUK
About the author:
One thing that Becky Cymbaluk never thought that she would become was a children’s book author! She never dreamt in a million years that this would happen. It has been quite an educational journey for her this last year. Who knew so much went into making a children’s book! It’s been a real labor of love for her granddaughter, Kena, and as she grows Becky hopes that Kena’s fierceness and determination grows also.
Becky has been an administrative assistant for a local non-profit for the last 20 years along with being a farm wife. She and her husband Dan farm small grains and sugar beets in northern Minnesota. They have three grown children: a teacher, a doctor, and a farmer. They live with their two dogs and enjoy visits from their two grandchildren.
About the book: Why & How: When Becky’s first grandchild was born hard of hearing, things changed. She searched the internet to find a book about a child with hearing aids but they were hard to find. Most of the books had animals with hearing aids in them! So, she decided to write her own book for Kena and that’s how “Super Kena – A Girl Made Fierce with Hearing Aids” came about! It’s meant to empower children like Kena but also other “differently-abled” children who get teased and only want to fit in. The book touches on children with glasses, with diabetes, who stutter, who have a peanut allergy, with asthma, and who are in wheelchairs. Together they use their unique super powers to make a difference in the world by spreading understanding and acceptance . . . one classroom at a time.
Target audience: The book is geared to children ages 4-8 years old. It would make a great ENT or Audiologist Doctor’s waiting room book, or for anyone that is friends or family of someone that’s Hard of Hearing, or for differently-abled children who want to be included and help others to understand and accept them better.
Q & A
Where did you get the inspiration for this book?
I felt that I needed to do this for my granddaughter. I wanted her to be able to see characters like her in a book. She loves books and I love reading them to her.
Why is the topic of this book important to you?
There is too much negativity in this world and all I’d like to see is children and adults being kind to others.
How will reading your book change the minds/hearts/lives of readers?
I hope that children will be enlightened to see differently-abled kids and want to try to understand what they go through day to day and how a small gesture could help that child have a better day.
What surprised you most during the writing process?
Wow, everything! It turns out that the writing is sometimes the easiest part. There are so many different details that need to be considered and weighed. Every day I learned something new about the process and to finally hold the book in my hands was priceless!
What was the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
I’d say the editing process. It’s a tough process and what one person loves, the other doesn’t so it was continually changing words around until everyone was satisfied. Also, the illustrations were really important to me so I spent many hours tweaking them with my illustrator, Zuzana.
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
When I’m not working at my “real” job or working on our farm financials, I would sit at my computer and work for hours. I had to set aside time to work on it or it would literally take up most of my days.
How did you research your book?
I spent many hours on the computer researching children and their different abilities besides watching many self-publishing book tutorials online.
Who is/are your favorite author(s)?
One favorite of Kena and mine is the book “God’s Great Love for You” by Rick Warren and illustrated by Chris Saunders.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I like to walk my dogs and read a good Brene Brown book or romance novel. Any day that I can paint in my craft room is a great day.
Where can your readers purchase your book?
It’s available on my website: www.superkena.com. I will be doing some book signings around town and in Grand Forks, ND that I will be posting on my website.