Hello and welcome back to my blog- and my 1st author interview for a long while!!
Today we have Lauren chatting to us about her book “From Chewing to Pooing: Food’s Journey Through Your Body to the Potty”. I found Lauren through Instagram and instantly loved her work and posts 🙂
Tell us a bit about your book
From Chewing to Pooing: Food’s Journey Through Your Body to the Potty follows the path of our digestive system. Simple rhymes are paired with illustrations by artist Maile McCarthy to make this complex, internal process accessible for little ones. It was important the book was as helpful as possible, so there’s also a back section for caregivers by my pediatrician mother in law, Dr. Natalie Gehringer, with tips for healthy digestion, along with a high-fiber food chart showing which foods offer the most fiber per serving.
What would say is the genre for your book (Age range)
It’s a non-fiction children’s picture book. The target audience is 3 – 6 year olds, but it’s received positive feedback from both older and even younger kids.
Where did the inspiration come from?
On the heels of potty training, one of my children got into a terrible cycle of anxiety, leading to withholding, leading to constipation. Trying to help reduce the anxiety, I explained, in very simple terms, what exactly happens inside (and comes out) of our body. It wasn’t an immediate fix, but there was an undeniable improvement.
Digestion’s an extremely impactful, unseen process that can be easy to take for granted. From the perspective of a young child with emerging body awareness, I think there’s a lot of room for misconceptions or fears to arise. Seeing the positive impact it had on my own child, I was eager to help others understand digestion as well.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I wish I had a better answer, but it seemed to just surface within the process of writing the book.
How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total?
The first draft took only a few hours, but I lost count of how many drafts followed over the course of several months.
How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party?
Being a first-time self-publisher, I struggled with imposter syndrome, and feeling like the investment in creating a picture book was self-indulgent. At launch I was hopeful but unsure if the book would resonate with other children, so my mindset wasn’t particularly celebratory. The dominant feeling was more ‘uh-oh, how do I get this on anyone’s radar now?’. In retrospect, I wish I’d taken the time to celebrate the accomplishment of producing a book I was proud of, regardless of what happened next.
Would you care to give us an extract?
Sure! The book starts off with a question:
“What happens to food when you’re done chewing? Though you can’t see it, digestion’s been brewing. Digestion is what your body must do, to get fuel from food. The rest becomes poo. It’s started by chewing your very first bite, teeth grinding it down to a size that’s just right. With help from saliva (wet stuff in your mouth), food’s sent down your throat and keeps sliding south. Into your stomach is where it goes next. Here, your tummy’s juices are put to the test. Food’s turned into liquid at this stage of digestion, then moves from the stomach to your small intestine…” and on it goes, till the process is (ahem) complete.
How do you beat writers block? Any tips?
I have a lot of luck in the shower. There’s often a very wet sprint to jot stuff down before it’s forgotten.
Do you have any hobbies apart from writing?
Zoom school with the kids has drained me of all energy. Does Netflix count?
When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?
Total pantser, but to be fair, the “plot” in “From Chewing to Pooing” was predetermined.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Nothing as far as the writing process goes, but I would strongly advise any aspiring self-publisher to take the time to research best practices including professional formatting, editing, and detailed pre-launch and post-launch marketing plans. Coming from someone who wishes she had.
I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it?
I’m really excited about this one! Powerful You! The Wonderful Healing Your Body Can Do celebrates the body’s resilience. Playful, expository rhymes explain its inherent strength, so young readers can feel confidence and pride in their bodies despite global focus on our vulnerability. I think it’s really important to value the inner-workings of our bodies beyond the parts we can see; the earlier in life the better.
Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet?
I’m most active on Instagram, @From_Chewing_To_Pooing; flailing on Twitter, @LaurenEFG; neglected website, www.chewingtopooing.com; full reading at, https://youtu.be/MahPBPujWdA , and available to buy on Amazon at, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1092184724/
Lauren Gehringer lives in Northern California with her husband, two kids and dog, Lola. Prior to being a primary caregiver, she was an entrepreneur. Highlights since launching “From Chrwing to Pooing” include festival readings, tv appearances and an opportunity to host an event at Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. Her favorite thing (pre-COVID) was visiting classrooms throughout the Bay Area for author readings.
Thankyou so much for sharing your answers! Looking forward to seeing your new book- and excited for our copy of chewing to pooing to arrive next week 😉