FishHawk resident Deidre Owen is helping others while achieving a life-long dream.
Owen, a stay-at-home-mom who has been writing for years, recently published the latest in a series of six illustrated children’s chapter books titled We’re All Just People, inspired by the social issues of childhood.
“Each book in the series focuses on a different issue modern kids might face,” said Owen.
The most recent book in the series, The Pickle Fairy, tackles autism and hair donation, but other books focus on lesser-known social issues of childhood including hair loss, ataxia of speech, physical handicaps and adoption.
“I not only hope to spark conversations about uncommon differences and how to embrace them, but I hope to maybe give a voice to children who feel different themselves, whatever those differences may be,” said Owen.
Owen’s first publication, The Heaven Zoo, a series of picture books was released in 2017 and inspired by a poem about zoo animals she wrote for her daughter who is now in second grade at Stowers Elementary School. But Owen started writing as a child.
“My mother saved my first book that I wrote in third grade,” she said. “Bound in purple construction paper, it was a fully illustrated story about a family of rocks living on Mars.”
She now writes in a variety of genres including contemporary fiction, poetry, humor, horror and with Christian themes, inspired by favorite authors Lee Strobel and Dave Barry.
Research into hair donation in 2014 inspired Owen to cut off and donate a foot of her own locks and sparked an idea for a children’s story which also prompted her daughter to donate her hair last year.
Owen advises writers looking to be published to stick with it.
“If you are serious about it, be tenacious,” she said. “Starting it is the first step, and the hardest, but then owning it is an important next step. Don’t undersell yourself by qualifying your work with words like aspiring or someday or soon-to-be. You can find amazing support from other writers in online forums like Facebook groups or Twitter’s writing community. And whether you decide to seek traditional publishing or become an indie author like me, embrace the journey. It is a long road to publication either way, but it is can be very rewarding.”
To learn more about Owen, visit www.deidrejowen.com. Owen’s books are available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book retailers, and the fourth book will be available in the next few months.