Faydra, This is such a great book idea for children. What inspired you to write for children of divorce?
Faydra: Thank you. I am very excited about Two Homes for Daniel. and sharing about how he, his family and friends cope with every day issues about divorce. The books are semi-autobiographical and are based on my children. The stories are issues my children and other children face when their parents divorce. I wanted parents to find a way to open up dialogue with their children about the not-so-easy aspects of divorce. Daniel and the other characters give a voice to uncomfortable feelings that children have.
By reading the story to a child, a parent, grandparent or significant adult can help children learn through Daniel’s example how to talk about how they feel. Parents can learn from Daniel’s family about healthy ways to address the special needs that children of divorce have. Two Homes for Daniel is the first in a series of books all about children and divorce. This particular book deals with Daniel living in two homes and missing one or the other parent when they are away from each other.
How can a children’s book about divorce help families cope better with their situation?
Faydra: Parents with young children often do not realize how much their child is coping with. Parents are very sad and feel guilty that their children are hurting. Sometimes families only talk about divorce when emotions are off the rails. A story like Two Homes for Daniel can be a catalyst for talking about their child’s feelings when they aren’t upset. After reading about Daniel and how he makes the best out of a difficult situation, families can talk with their child about their personal situation and help their child feel more secure about the changes in their lives.
Young children enjoy characters on video and in books. The fact that Daniel is a dinosaur who has a life situation just like they do will help them feel more comfortable with their situation.
Daniel is a cute character. How did you create him?
Daniel the Dinosaur looks just like the real Daniel who is my son. Originally, he was going to be Daniel the Dragon, but when I expanded the series, there weren’t enough styles of dragon to cover my cast of characters, so everyone became dinosaurs. He is based on my son at age three, as are all of the child-based characters. My son is now seventeen and I am very grateful that he liked my idea. He had a lot of input into the sketches and worked closely with Joe Eckstein, the illustrator of the book, to capture the human-like qualities.
You said this book is the first of a series. Are there more books coming soon?
Yes, Two Sisters for Daniel is being illustrated right now. That book deals with blending families, another big issue for divorced children. There are more books on the way. The subsequent books introduce my daughters as Kelsey the Pterodactyl and Meg the T-Rex. One book on the way deal with the moment when a step-child tells her step-parent “You’re not my dad. I hate you!” There are so many issues families face. I hope to capture them all over time.
Faydra Koenig, MA is a mental health professional, author, speaker, podcaster and certified life coach. She works with men and women to help them avoid the pitfalls of divorce and get the lives they deserve. You can find Faydra’s podcast, Coming out of the Fire, on iTunes. Find her at America’s Divorce Coach and look for her books on Amazon. She is also a weekly newspaper columnist for her hometown newspaper The Red Bluff Daily News where she inspires her audience to make lasting changes in their lives.