Do you see that image, too? The one with my child holding my book? The one with today’s date on it?
Because I could totally be dreaming this… After two years of my sweat, tears, and (frankly) my raw tenacity it’s hard to wrap my head around being finished. Hard to believe that the time has finally come. The idea I had has come to fruition and is a REAL BOOK. I should believe it, I’m holding my own copy, but it’s all just beyond surreal.
But today really is the launch day! Whether I believe it or not, my book Extra! is now available to buy on Amazon. I have written it and now it’s time to let it go into the big wide world so that it can touch other lives. So today, as I kick off the blog tour for Extra!, I wanted to tell you more about my decision to write this book and how I hope it can enrich your lives!
I will lead with the obvious, this is a children’s book, intended for those of us on IF island who have been lucky enough to find our children- However they came to be! This book started with just a seed of an idea about how I wanted to talk to Bean Sprout about his conception and all the amazingly different ways there are to become a family. Having inhabited IF island for over 4 years, I can say that I am always in awe of how diverse the family groups that come out of it are. Not just that, but also how incredibly strong and sensational our stories of conception are! If you are a regular reader of this blog you’ll already know how passionately I try to support and respect all aspects of the infertility community, how badly I want us all to work together, and I wanted a book to capture all of that! I wanted to share all of our combined awesomeness and have my child grow up knowing where he came from and how many other families are formed too!
So I started looking for books in that vein before he was even born. And while I found lots of good books, I didn’t find the one I was hoping for. The one I had been dreaming up in my mind didn’t really exist. There are lots of good books on babies born via IVF (like Bean Sprout) but they usually stop there. They don’t go into other ART methods. There are lots of books on how all families are different and that different is good (usually aimed at adoption circles and divorced/blended families) but they don’t go into any ART reasons for the differences. I would’ve had to fill my son’s baby library with multiple books to get the effect I was going for. And while I love books, and bought some of those anyways, I wanted to be able to read him one story that wove them all together.
And it was because of that, the hope for a unifying voice and a normalizing presence of ART conception in a children’s book, that I sat down at my computer to write. I had no idea when I did how long of a process this would be, but I KNEW that if I wanted a book like this then there must be other families looking for the same thing. I knew that I couldn’t be the only person who felt that way. And with that resolve, I kept on chugging. I wrote 12 iterations of this book before it got to the version you see in front of you. It went through 5 rounds with a professional editor. I sent this book to more than 20 first readers and another 10 second and third readers to help me find the appropriate messaging for specific groups, the best kid and adult approved language, and to shorten (and shorten and shorten again) the word count. And all that was before I even started looking for my illustrator (the incomparable Sarah-Leigh Wills)! But it was worth every minute. In the end, I am left with this gorgeous book that I am so proud to call mine! I really hope that everyone who reads it feels just as strongly that this is an engaging book for the young kids who read it and that it’s also an impactful voice for the entire community of families who took “extra” to form.
I invite you now to learn more about what it means to be “extra” through the story of Lucas and his quest to find out. Get your copy -here-!
Back jacket information for Extra! in case you’re on the fence: Lucas wonders what it takes to make a baby. Mommy tells him that babies are made with a sperm and an egg but that some babies, like him, take extra. But what does it mean to be ‘extra’? This question launches Lucas into a day full of discovery. He and his friends begin to uncover what makes you ‘extra’, coming to the conclusion that Lucas must be a superhero! In the end, we discover that it took a lot of extra time and patience for Lucas’ parents to have him, and that not only is he extra like a superhero, but his mommy and daddy are too! Covering many family building options, Extra! shows that even when parents struggle to conceive they can go on to become a family and that being ‘extra’ is wonderful!
The book discusses sperm/egg donation, LGBT families, ART conception, surrogacy, and adoption. I sincerely hope that your unique family is portrayed in this book and that your child LOVES the characters and beautiful illustrations. Only one way to find out! Read it to that kiddo ;). Please let me know what you think of it and leave reviews on Amazon if you read it. Your opinions matter!
As I said, today is the kickoff but not the only exciting day for this book launch. For the next 3 weeks Extra! will be featured on a different blog every day! Please follow the bloggers who will be taking part in the blog tour and read their posts. There are 3 copies of this book being given away and a lot of insight into why these families loved the book. Tomorrow Jess, from A Hummingbird Paused, will be doing her discussion on it and giving one away.
Finally, to all of you who have stood by me these last 4 years while we struggled to build our family- THANK YOU! And to all of you who are finding this blog for the first time because of this book- WELCOME! I hope you all get to the place where you can share this book with the children of your heart, however they came to be, and feel that your journey to get there was meaningful, that being “extra” is wonderful, and that we are all fucking superheroes in the end.
All my love,
Kaeleigh AKA: The Chicken
PS: Extra! Is available through Amazon.com right now as well as Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es. Go forth and purchase!
P.P.S: To continue to follow the blog tour go to A Hummingbird Paused for tomorrow’s post!