Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Thank you all for joining us today and we sit down with another Mom’s Choice Award-winning author. For this interview, we were able to speak with Carolyn Watkins, author of the children’s picture book, I Don’t Want to Move!! When Charlotte’s parents announce that the family is moving to a new home, Charlotte is scared. She does not want to leave her friends – go to a “silly new school.” Charlotte soon discovers what it’s really like to be “the new kid” in school and how to go from being the new kid to helping others adjust to their new school. Keep reading to find out more about Carolyn and her award-winning book, I Don’t Want to Move!!
MCA: Hi Carolyn, I first want to say congratulations on your Mom’s Choice Award, and thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today! I’d like to first start off the interview by having you tell us about yourself!
Carolyn: I am an award-winning author of children’s books with a Master’s degree in education. After, retiring, I became a full-time realtor for Keller Williams Coastal and Lakes & Mountains Realty in Portsmouth, NH. My first title, The Knock, is the recipient of 12 international awards, including the Certificate of Excellence in Children’s Literature, and the Purple Dragonfly Book Award. My husband and I reside in New Hampshire with our three grown sons. I love to knit, garden, and host family gatherings.
MCA: Twelve international awards, that is quite an accomplishment! What was your path to becoming a writer like? What inspired you?
Carolyn: I come from a family of writers. My uncle was a journalist and published poetry writer in Germany. Creating children’s stories has always been a dream but I got busy with life and put that dream on the back burner. However, during my last years of teaching, I saw support staff dealing with social and emotional issues-parental separation through incarceration, divorce, single motherhood, and even death from drug overdoses. The staff worked hard to help these children. but there weren’t many relatable books to guide children through emotional emptiness. Children’s feelings are real and having someone to talk to makes a huge difference in how they respond to these situations. My books are written to encourage those conversations as well as create a lifelong love of reading. It’s about the magic in friendship. These focused conversations will help everyone cross the bridge for emotional strength and promote healthy healing.
MCA: Being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs in the world, but also the most important! That’s amazing you were able to turn your dream of becoming a children’s book author into a reality. What was your inspiration for writing I Don’t Want to Move!?
Carolyn: Keller Williams Coastal and Lakes & Mountains suggested I write an entertaining story about real estate, so I decided to develop a story about children. Moving. Charlotte’s character is based on a dear friend’s granddaughter. She has spunk and becomes a leader by showing empathy and compassion for Catherine, the new girl.
MCA: The people closest to us can provide the best sources of inspiration! What are some of the key lessons found in I Don’t Want to Move!?
Carolyn: I Don’t Want to Move! teaches many lessons.
- teaches love as a core value and way of life
- teaches confidence and perseverance and the ability to be flexible
- supports family bonds with focused conversations
- helps children problem-solve by making connections through higher-level thinking
- gives a sense of belonging
- activates and empowers imagination, language, and listening skills
MCA: What kind of response from readers have you received?
Carolyn: Charlotte is a fun, relatable character. Most responses have been very positive.
MCA: How do books such as I Don’t Want to Move! make big moves and goodbyes easier for children?
Carolyn: Reading books together as a family prepares all by alleviating some of the unknowns that come with transitions. If children are prepared and part of the transition, adults may be surprised at how resilient they can become. It’s those courageous conversations that bring families together.
MCA: If you could ensure readers of your book walk away with one main lesson, what would it be?
Carolyn: Showing empathy and compassion as well as goodwill will always be an all-around win. Every book should be a page-turner! Enjoy what you read!
MCA: That’s a lesson we at Mom’s Choice Awards can definitely get behind! Thank you for a wonderful interview, Carolyn. We hope to catch up with you again sometime soon!
You can learn more about Carolyn Watkins and her award-winning book, I Don’t Want to Move! by visiting her MCA Shop pages.