At the very end of my senior year of seminary, maybe a week before the graduation ceremony, we had a dinner as a class to celebrate. At this dinner we did a "senior superlatives" of sorts. Now, because this was seminary the superlatives were things like "Most Likely to be Bishop", "Most Likely to be a Seminary Professor," and more. The way it worked was that any person you wanted to nominate for each superlative, you wrote their name on a sheet of paper and put it in the box. Then, towards the end of the evening, names were drawn from the box and that was the winner. It wasn't a matter of having the most votes, but of being nominated and your name being pulled out.
One of the superlatives was "Most Likely to Write a Book." Honestly, I wasn't even paying attention. I think I did alright in seminary. I made decent grades and I enjoyed my time. But I wasn't super involved in the community, I didn't live on campus and was working full time throughout all of my course work. I was definitely not the most intelligent or articulate or deep theological thinker, so I really didn't expect to win any of them and that was totally ok. Then they pulled the name for the book one. My classmate said, "Sarah Bowers!"
This felt like a bad joke. I did not like the attention. I did not think I was the most deserving. I had no idea why anyone would have put my name in that box. Anyway, how do we deal with situations we're uncomfortable with? We laugh. So I just tried to laugh it off and of course make myself the butt of the jokes before anyone else had a chance to make the joke. I definitely thought it was a mistake.
At the end of the evening, a friend came up to me. "I nominated you for the book one," she told me.
"Why would you do that?!" I said in laughter and shock.
"Because I think you're going to write a children's book."
Well, that had never crossed my mind. I was caught off guard, but was able to muster a "thank you," to her. I guess maybe I had thought about that before, but this was definitely the first moment I remember vividly thinking, "Huh. Maybe I'll write a book."
And as life happens, there have been many stories on the farm where I have pondered writing a children's book about the events or the animals or the lifestyle. I love any opportunity to educate and share the story of farm life, especially with children, and so writing a book really makes sense.
And here we are! I am a published author! That is such a strange sentence to type, but I am also so flippin' excited and, honestly, really proud!
Welcome to the Farm, Chief is a story, based on true events of our former Livestock Guardian dog, Chief, finding his place on the farm. It is truly what I hope will be the first of many children's books that I'm able to share in hopes of educating children (and adults) about life on the farm.
But even if you aren't able or are not interested in purchasing a copy, if you'd share the book with others that may like to buy one, that would be amazing! Another way you can help, if I'm not already asking too much, is to write a review. The world of self-publishing means you're a one person marketing team and both shares and reviews are super helpful as we share this story with as many as possible. Oh, and if you live near a Barnes & Noble and go inside the store to ask if they have the book - that could help the book make it onto the shelves and not just be available online. Who knows?! Dream big!
Thank you to all who have been part of this journey. From my seminary friend who was one of the first to ever read the rough draft, to my mom and sister who were my final editors, to Brandon who kept encouraging me at every roadblock to keep going, to Ali the amazing artist who illustrated this book and took such care and thoughtfulness in to our hopes of creating a realistic picture of the farm, and to the countless friends and family members who have cheered me on and who are continuing to support the book by sharing with their circles of friends. Words will never be enough to truly express my gratitude!
And one more thing. If there is a gift you see in someone, tell them! They may not be able to see it for themselves and maybe you'll be the catalyst to help them dream just a bit bigger and go for something they never thought was possible!