Check out my visit with Trey on the podcast. I’m also posting the Questions and Answers in case you’d like to read about our visit:
What sparked the idea to write a book?
I’ve loved writing since 7th grade and been published a few times but have always dreamed of being an author. I write poetry, and journal, but this was a bedtime story I told to my girlfriend while I was out of town on a business trip. She loved it and encouraged me to get it published.
Tell us about the concept of the book.
It’s about a Panda named Starr who has a unique talent, Singing, that she loves sharing with her family and friends. One day she discovers another Panda who loves to sing but he is living alone at the top of a mountain following his passion to sing because other pandas made fun of him for his talent and passion. His name is Shine. Starr convinces Shine to sing with her and they sing only their names. Starr and Shine. She guides him back down the mountain as they are singing and her family and friends welcome him into their lives because they fit so well together. Starr finds Shine and Shine finds a home.
What do you hope readers take away from this story? I hope readers and children realize you can find your happiness and strength I your uniqueness. You should also be willing to share that uniqueness with others as a way to find those you fit with.
It seems like you have alot going on. What do you do to recharge (relax & unplug)?
I’m an outdoorsman, fisherman, hunter. I journal and do home projects with my girlfriend.
What is a favorite quote you have? Why is it your favorite?
Be a simple man. It is the title to one of my favorite songs and has a strong message that I try to remember when I have too much going on.
You also have a blog called, The Simple Cowboy. How did that come about?
I journal and when I was going through some rough times of my life I began writing the journal entries and sharing them. My girlfriend suggested I start a blog because I had some good messages to share.
Tell us about your career, what you do and why you decided to branch out and write a children’s book.
I work for NexGen Restoration & Roofing as a Sales Manager. I enjoy my job because it enables me to educate new sales people for our company and customers on the process of rebuilding their homes. I’ve always enjoyed educating and sharing knowledge and insight with others and have found a way to do so with my career in sales. My book is really an extension of my passion for educating and sharing knowledge and insight on a different level.
What do your kids think of the book? My kids are excited about it. They like the story and enjoy the illustrations. They have told me they are proud of what I did and can’t wait to see the next book.
How has perseverance played a part in your life?
It’s been sort of a mixture of perseverance and procrastination. The book took about two years to get published from when I first wrote it. The first year, it was my procrastination. I figured it would be a cute story that I printed and shared with family and friends. One year after writing it I was introduced to a children’s book author who explained the publishing process to me and at the same time I was introduced to a retired children’s book editor who did the first round of edits for me. Then I began working with my publisher and the process was a lot different from what I thought it would be. From additional edits cutting word count, to spread edits separating the story into spreads for illustrations, then choosing an illustrator from looking through a multitude of illustrators, and working with the illustrator on storyboard mock ups to final drawings. I expected the process to be much quicker and for my first book it took over a year from start to finish.
What it looks like to fail and how did you overcome that failure?
I fail daily. Failure does one of two things depending how you receive it and deal with it. If received well it becomes a learning experience. My second attempt at writing an article for a mom’s blog was rejected. At first it stung and I thought maybe the first one was a fluke, but then I reread the second post and realized I had written it for the wrong audience. The topic and approach was written for my audience not the audience of the mom’s blog. That’s one of the reasons I started my own blog. The second way it can be received is in a destructive way, it leaves you feeling defeated and identifying as the failure rather that someone that has failed. This is where I’m so thankful for the support around me that picks me up and helps me see the truth that I’m not a failure but someone who tried.
What’s next for you?
I have my second book in editing right now and have already received the storyboard mock up from the illustrator. I’m super excited. I have three more books right behind the next one and can’t wait to see the finished product.
What are you passionate about right now?
I’m passionate about sharing my story, experience, and expertise and hearing about others. I love listening to, speaking to, and sharing ideas with other people, to mutually grow. It’s part of why I’m writing children’s books and the blog.
Click HERE to read Trey’s Blog, The Simple Cowboy.
Find him on Instagram HERE.
You can find a copy of his book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Mascot Kids!