You Should, You Should!

You Should, You Should!

And How It Was Made

You Should, You should! is my first children's book I have ever contracted for publishing, and I had the wonderful pleasure of working with publishing company "Familius" to be published October 15, 2013 digitally and in print.

I've documented the whole process so you can watch it evolve from writing, to raw ugly sketch, to colorful painting, as well as hear my worries, fears, excitements, successes, publishing details, and learn what it's like to be totally green writer/illustrator WITH me since this is my first book.  A huge plus (for me) has been the comments and help I've received from my followers - I can't thank you enough!


How did I come up with the idea for the story?

Well, I was in the midst of anxiety, depression, counseling, and studying like crazy about something called "Codependency" (read about codependent symptoms here) which was finally something that explained all my habits and obsessions I couldn't seem to drop, and the weaknesses I couldn't seem to overcome.  As I became a Senior in college, it was time to think about my Senior Capstone Project.  I decided I'd like to write and illustrate a children's book.  First I needed a story idea.  Learning to become a person who doesn't eat sleep and breathe for the purpose of pleasing other people was my main focus at the time, and I was thinking about how I rarely lived by choices, I lived by shoulds.  I was thinking about how I use to do anything just so people would like me, even painful and uncomfortable things, all with a smile.  I thought about how if only I'd learned this lesson of giving merit to my own wants and feelings as a child might have saved me a lot of grief, and also enhanced many friendships.  Thus... a little idea was born for this story.  

Why a hippo?

I chose a hippo because he's perfectly awkward yet totally cute.  He's huge.  Eats messy.  Doesn't have hair.  Not super agile.  A codependent hippo would easily only focus on all these reasons why he's not important enough to be loved, unless he's pleasing others.  But a confident and healthy hippo would quickly see the asset he is and love being in his own skin, not even giving a care to comparing his differences to others, and feelings that it's okay to say how he feels and assert his wants and needs.

Therapy Posts:

With the writing/illustrating process, I'm also sharing why I wrote this book and what I hope children and adults will glean from it.  Yes - the shy, though cute people-pleasing, timid, insecure hippo represents me.  I'm trying to teach assertiveness skills through my work, and will be sharing what I'm learning in my own therapy process in some of my posts here and there.


  1. Dear Ginny,

    All writers and artists have periods of frustration and need to learn new skills to proceed. I did not learn how to use a computer until 1990 because I needed this skill both for my writing career and for my college teaching job. I also had to learn how to use Google and e-mail.

    Be patient with yourself. You could also try asking your publisher for a little more time. You can also arrange your priorities so that the book You Should comes first.

    Best wishes!

    Janet Heller
    Author of the award-winning book for kids about bullying, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Sylvan Dell, hardback--2006, paperback--2007, e-book, audio, and Spanish edition--2008, 3rd paperback edition and iPad app--2012)

    1. Thank you Janet. I forgot to tell you how much I appreciated your comment. It's always helpful to remember I'm not the only struggling author/illustrator! ;)

  2. Hey Ginny, just wanted you to know that, according to, "You Should, You Should!" shipped today. Apparently I can expect to get it in early November (by boat to Australia then through Customs, hence the wait). Will let you know my impressions once I have it in my hands! It seems a long time since those first few blogs with your pencil sketches. You got there in the end...and will again, with the next book!

    1. WAY COOL!!! I'm excited to hear!!! Haha you'll be the first out of the country that I know of to order and soon own my book! Be proud. :) I am! And yeah I know... what a ride it has been eh? Thanks for being there. :)


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