Feature Friday with author and illustrator Chynna Denny

Good morning! Happy Friday!

I am so excited to have interviewed Chynna, author of “I can’t, I can’t, I can! This new and exciting children’s book takes you on a wonderful adventure teaching your little ones about bravery and strength! Take a look at our interview.

First off, what was your inspiration behind “I can’t, I can’t, I can!” ?

The idea originally came from joking with my editor, Laci Swann. She told me that anyone could write a book and I assured her that I would never be her book client because I had nothing to talk about lol. Weeks later, the idea to write a book about shyness popped into my mind. Initially I ignored the idea altogether, but after a while I could not shake the thought. Eventually I reached back out to Laci and sat down and was able to come up with a storyline and ended up writing my entire manuscript in one hour. I believe writing the manuscript came so easily for me because I relate 100% to this story and the main character. The character and story is loosely based on my life growing up. I wanted to put everything I needed growing up into a story for young children.

Have you always been an artist? I mean, it’s pretty incredible to write AND illustrate your own book!

I guess you can say that! I grew a love for drawing very early on in life but in elementary school, I stopped nurturing that gift after being picked on by another girl who didn’t like my work. She told me often that her drawings were better and that mine were simple and stupid. So I really let that discourage me and drawing soon became a hidden talent that really only came in handy during school projects. Eventually in college I started to get back into it and took a few figure drawing classes. I decided to illustrate my own book to overcome that fear of my drawings being judged and to prove to myself that I can complete any project I put my mind to.

Can you tell me about your main character Emery?

Emery is the main character in this story. She is loosely based around myself as a young girl. Big glasses, big hair and a whole lot of fears! In the story, she is faced with the difficult decision of whether or not she will break out of her shell and do what she loves or continue to be paralyzed by fear. I relate to this character because I let a lot of my fears hold me back and I missed out on so much as a child.

I absolutely LOVE the diversity in the book, was this intentional?

Yes! This was very intentional. Growing up I cannot remember reading too many books, if any, with characters that looked like me. While I wanted to highlight that aspect with my main character, I also wanted to try my best to make every reader feel as if they could identify with a character in the book.

If there was one thing you want parents to take away from this book what would it be?

My ultimate goal is that parents will be patient and understanding with their children. It’s very easy to write-off or mislabel shyness as something else more serious or negative. I have included a few activities at the end of the book to help parents and children to first, identify any fears or concerns that are present. From there, there are exercises to help children practice being courageous daily and tips for parents to show daily support.

Will there be more books from you soon?

Yes!! I do plan on creating a series of books, each about an obstacle I faced as a child. I will probably start the next project very soon!

Thanks for chatting with me today, Chynna and I can’t wait to share this with all my friends!

Make sure you all go check out this book for your kiddos! You can find all the links below.

Email: contact@shychybooks.com

Website: ShyChyBooks

Purchase “I can’t, I can’t, I can!” HERE

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