Local author completes second children’s bookBy: Carol Percy
Summer Cox recently finished her second inspirational children’s book, “How Sophia Found Her Way.”
A musician and family therapist, Cox lives on a rural Lincoln farm with her husband, David, and their combined family of 12 children.
The Lincoln News Messenger asked Cox to talk about her new book. Her answers follow.
What is the most important idea in “How Sophia Found Her Way” that you’d like readers to remember?
“That every person, no matter the past hardship, has the innate capacity to make of life a unique and beautiful masterpiece.”
What age group did you target for Sophia?
“My son asked to hear it repeatedly at age three. That’s probably the youngest appropriate age. Ideal for ages five through nine. My sincere hope is that it will be appreciated by all ages, even teens and adults who appreciate beautiful artwork and positive thoughts.”
What inspired the book?
“‘How Sophia Found Her Way’ was inspired by Dr. Stephen Covey and contains rhyming elements of Dr. Seuss. The book was built around Covey’s quote that states: ‘Every human has four endowments - self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom. The power to choose, to respond, to change.’”
How did you organize and write the book?
“I’ve always loved to learn and teach through metaphors. I love how weighty they are with meaning. I’m still a huge fan of fairy tales and the way they can bring us in touch with the infinite. When I remembered the four human gifts, I knew there must be a way to symbolize them. So I placed Sophia in a dream world where anything can happen and the story naturally took on the structure of relating her encounter with each gift. As she uses each one, a life lesson comes out, the kind we can repeat to ourselves to give us hope and encouragement.
The rhymes help them stick. I just persist with a concept until I can put it in the appropriate rhythm and rhyme. My musical training has helped to give me a feel for that. It’s an uphill battle because there’s so much bad rhyme out there that most editors won’t give it a second look and yet good rhyme can be a treasured part of one’s life forever. I strive for the best rhyme, with a rhythmic, yet natural feel.”
How did you keep on task?
“This particular story was a gift. It practically wrote itself. A huge motivator, though, was that Sean Covey (Stephen Covey’s son) had finally responded and provided a great review of my first manuscript and I was excited to share with him a second one inspired by the teachings of his late, great father, whom I truly admire. As a side note, it could never have happened without my smartphone. With four kids under five years of age, accessing a laptop is about as rare, in my house, as a clean bedroom.”
What was your first book titled?
“‘Sophia Stops the Meanies.’ It uses a contagious illness as a metaphor for unkind feelings and helps kids learn to work through them. It was a fruit of learning to deal with difficult people in my own life and of my training as a therapist. My current title, still in progress, is entitled ‘Sophia Finds the Now,’ inspired by the wisdom of Eckhart Tolle. Sophia’s name is Greek for wisdom.”
Where can we find your books?
“My books are waiting for a publisher. Anyone who is interested is warmly invited to sign up at my website, wisdombooksforchildren.com, to receive the first updates about publication. I am excessively grateful to everyone who does. These days, ‘kid lit’ is more competitive than ever, and agents and publishers are on the lookout for a ready audience, and a lengthy mailing list is the best of indicators.”
To receive updates about Cox’s books, visit her website at wisdombooksforchildren.com.