Thursday, January 20, 2022

Interview: Author Kelly Caleb Talks about Her Newest Children's Book Now Cow Helps Fighter Spider, and the Experience that Inspired this Series of Books to Help Children Be More Mindful

Kelly Caleb,  LCSW, MCAP is a licensed therapist and author on a mission to help children, Her book series, Now Cow, shows situations in life which help children deal with different and difficult decisions and choices. Read on to find out about her tragic life incident that inspired the series and about her newest book.

Suzee: You had quite an life experience that you turned into a positive. Tell us about how that inspired you to write this book series?

Kelly Caleb: The Now Cow series came about after a difficult time in my life. I suffered anxiety and PTSD after being hit by a drunk driver. My car was pushed through an intersection, knocked down a 30 foot drop, and I woke up hanging upside down by my seatbelt with my car crushed around me. 

I read Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now which helped me greatly. I wanted to simplify and embody this concept in a way that would allow it to be shared with people of all ages. I worked in an adolescent residential facility at the time I first wrote Now Cow Helps Drama Llama and used it to help teach mindfulness. 

Suzee: Tell me about the newest book, Fighter Spider.

Kelly Caleb: Fighter Spider gets mad and loses her temper. She gets in fights, bullies the other kids, is not a good sport, and gets kicked out of school. Now Cow guides and helps Fighter Spider to use mindfulness and self-control to learn that strength comes from within.

Suzee: This series is destined to help people. Who do you think will get the most out of it? 

Kelly Caleb: Children, families, teachers, therapists,  we all need creative stories. Now Cow inspires, motivates, and entertains while helping with mindfulness, moral decisions, and emotional self-control. The Now Cow books resonate with children or anyone whose inner or outer child needs a little guidance. 

Suzee: Every author seems to have their own tricks and tips. What was your writing process like?

Kelly Caleb: My writing process is frequently full of chaos, procrastination, salt and pepper cashews, and oranges! However, once I get myself centered and mindful, I focus on the needs that others have shared. For example, Fighter Spider is about handling anger, bullying, feelings of aggression, confusion, and loneliness. So, I create a journey for the character that shows them stuck in their negativity until Now Cow comes along and guides them into a better way. However, it's always the other character's choice. They have to choose to listen and to learn. And, I spend a lot of time working on rhymes!

Suzee: We are living in very difficult times right now. Children, as well as adults are deaing with issues that we never had to. What are key takeaways from the book or what do you hope will be the message?

Kelly Caleb: For all the books, the key message is being mindful, being aware of your choices, being aware that you have a choice in each moment of what you say and do. If you don't like the way your life is going, change it. It's simple, but not always easy.

Suzee: What is your background?

Kelly Caleb: I'm a mental health therapist, LCSW, MCAP, certified hypnotherapist, and certified in ART Accelerated Resolution Therapy. I have a background working in adolescent residential, adolescent detox, adult substance abuse recovery, domestic violence shelters and advocacy, the public defender's office, jails, community mental health and addictions treatment, and private psychiatric practice. 

Suzee: Tell me about what's next for you.

Kelly Caleb: I have 6 more Now Cow books on the way. Next up is Now Cow Helps Mole in the Hole: A Mindful Tale for Coping with Depression. I have other therapeutic books in line also to help explain difficult topics such as Schizophrenia and addiction. I do a lot of work with to prevent child and adolescent suicide. 10% of my book profits are donated to OJV.

Suzee: And now something about your personally. Quick questions:

Top 5 Movies

Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, then Matthew MacFadyen / Keira Knightley), The Scarlet Pimpernel (all versions), Searching for Angela Shelton, M Night Shyamalan The Village, The Matrix (series)

Top 5 Books

Jordan Peterson 12 Rules for Life, Mercedes Lackey Valdemar Series (Magic's Pawn), Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, Anne McCaffrey Dragons of Pern or Killashandra series, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

How you unwind
I listen to BTS (Kpop) on my earbuds while walking. I practice / learn Korean. Watch Kdramas (You might notice a theme). I meditate.

Best Comfort Food
White chocolate

Item you can't live without.
GPS - I am geographically challenged.