Love Me This Way by Lee AwenLove Me This Way
by lee aven

“How do you love someone and let them be who they are, not who you want them to be?

This delightfully illustrated book is a primer on unconditional love told from the child’s point of view. A poetic narrative, this easy-to-read book will help parents be consistently gentle and forgiving as they learn to recognize the little things that uncover each child’s true inner nature by way of what makes this child happy. Use this book as a guide for raising children or for having an effective relationship with anyone important in your life—including yourself.”

Illustrated and designed by Tadaa Book

Published by Lee Ellen Aven

44 Pages, Paperback, ISBN: 978-0988784604

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“They are in Australia and I am in Boston”

by author Lee Aven

Back in October of 2011, I found myself writing my first book. It’s a short primer on unconditional love told from the child’s point of view.  My vision was to have a magical, energetic illustrator bring the universal message to life and then have the book spread around the world! Ambitious, yes, but if I could just find the perfect illustrator . . . I was then led to send my manuscript to some literary agents and publishers without illustrations, as I was told that most publishers like to choose their own illustrators.  Having been warned that I would face many rejections, I was able to cope with each negative postcard or email that stated NO, we’re not interested, but thanks anyway.  I was then encouraged to try my hand at self-publishing, as it was just starting to take off as a viable way to quickly get published.

Some time went by where my attention drifted from my book project, until late June, 2012, when I found myself housebound with a broken foot!  I knew immediately that the Universe was telling me, not so politely, to get my focus back on my book and get it published. I then signed on with one of two self-publishers that I researched online, but ran into a major road block when I was told by my chosen self-publisher that I could not have a say in my illustrator. Well, I knew that was never going to work, as my illustrations were as important to me as my manuscript, and I was the only one who could recognize my perfect illustrator! I knew that I would have to have an ongoing dialogue with my illustrator to ensure that my book’s message was on point.

I quickly backed out of that contract and made the decision to find an illustrator before choosing a self-publisher. Back to searching online, I found a children’s illustrator website that showcased many children’s illustrators, where I could actually choose one that resonated with me—Hooray! And so I did. I signed a contract with a Canadian illustrator whose illustration business had finally provided me with the magical illustrator I had been hoping to find. I was happy . . . but that hardly lasted. My deposit crossed in the mail with the Canadian illustrator’s email to me stating that he was changing his business model and no longer would be representing other illustrators. Either I could choose him as my illustrator, or he was willing to graciously share the email address of the illustrator that I had chosen so I could work directly with her: Anil Tortop! Oh my, I was going to be in direct dialogue with my chosen illustrator. How kind of the Universe . . . Phew! I was landing exactly where I had always hoped to be.

The rest is history.  Anil and I began our dialogue on October 10, 2012. My book came out on Amazon on December 21, 2012. It was an amazingly wonderful process to work with Anil, and then Ozan, and my book breathed new life with Anil’s energetic, creative, pizzazz magic. She is in Australia and I am in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. We communicated solely through email, day and night, night and day, and my message slowly but surely came alive with Anil’s spontaneity and lively animation. I was compulsive about this book’s needs and she got that and was present for every tweak and edit, as quirky as each may have seemed. It was all important to me, and she made it happen through the strength and zest of her artistic talent.

I love my book’s illustrations. As my book is gaining a wider and wider audience, I hear the accolades for my illustrator from far and wide. Ozan was effortless to work with as well. Anil and Ozan were in the babyhood of Tadaa Book when they accepted my book to illustrate and publish. I never had to look any further for a self-publisher, as Ozan was waiting behind the curtain to design my book’s cover and prepare the files for self-publishing as soon as I signed off on the illustrations. How lucky I was to find the Tortop team and Tadaa Book! I love gushing about Anil and Ozan, so if anyone wants more info about Tadaa Book and how crazy good they are to work with, please contact me.

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