Christy E. Bykowski is an award-winning public relations and marketing practitioner, as well as a wife and mother. She lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, Benjamin, raising their three boys and spreading awareness about celiac disease and the need for a gluten-free environment for individuals diagnosed with celiac disease, with her latest being a children’s story on the issue, Gluten Free Me: Beckmin Goes to School. Her website and Twitter feed.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow? I just let it flow. In the case of this book, the story came to almost in the middle of the night. I jumped out of bed at the crack of dawn and got it down onto paper before my kids woke up for the day!
Do your characters ever want to take over the story? My son, Beckmin, is the main character – so he jumps out of the book and into my life every day. He was and is my inspiration.
What is your favorite food? I’m exploring a wide range of new, gluten-free foods every day. With that, we tend to eat local and organic when we can.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? I’m a night owl by default and a morning person by necessity. As a full-time working Mom with three sons under the age of five, I often burn the candle at both ends.
Where do you dream of traveling to and why? I love to travel and explore the world, and have touched six of the seven continents. So, Antarctica is on my bucket list to make that list complete!
Do distant places feature in your books? Because my book is based on my family, my story lines stay very close to home.
Do you listen to music while writing? I need quiet for my writing, so I typically stay up after the kids go to bed and the house is peaceful.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest release? Beckmin Goes to School is my first children’s book, and was inspired by my middle son, Beckmin, who was diagnosed with celiac disease at 18 months, after extensive sickness and a series of hospital visits. As a Mom, I’ve watched Beckmin face everyday challenges of being a kid with this disease, dealing with his frustrations and his own learning curve as to what celiac disease is, how to explain it, and what it means in his day-to-day life. I wrote this book to help children define, understand, and explain celiac disease.
Beckmin goes to School is meant to raise awareness for celiac disease and the everyday challenges children with celiac disease face in their otherwise normal activities. As diagnosis of celiac disease increases, education, awareness, and understanding will be the keys to making celiac kids feel normal and included.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started? The process was much faster and easier than I thought it was going to be. Because of technology, book publishing today isn’t the exclusive club it once was.
Is there anything you would do differently? I was really happy with the entire publishing process.
Who or what, if anything has influenced your writing? My son is my inspiration: and my husband is my toughest editor and strongest support. Both of them had a tremendous influence on this book.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft? Don’t give up! Publishing a book will be a wonderful legacy for you – and your child.
What are three words that describe you? Optimistic, spirited and appreciative
About the Book: “Beckmin goes to School” is meant to raise awareness for celiac disease and the everyday challenges children with celiac disease face in their otherwise normal activities. As diagnosis of celiac disease increases, education, awareness, and understanding will be the keys to making celiac kids feel normal and included. Written for children to help them express and understand celiac disease, the book is a wonderful tool for children and adults alike.
Christy’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour is here.