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Children's book author, Catherine Farley, writes more than just a story

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

What inspired you to write your first book?

As a family, we have always enjoyed picking up books about the places we visit. When the children were smaller, we enjoyed spending time on Seabrook Island in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Our girls, who were 10 and 8 at the time, noticed there was not a children's book about Seabrook Island. Little doors and windows began to open as we explored the idea of writing a book. We knew that we were called to share a story about Seabrook Island. Now, our “deer” character, Mimi has blossomed and continues to explore in the Charleston area.

I also draw inspiration from God and my faith. I truly savor learning and teaching about the importance of conservation of our natural world’s gifts as well as exploring ways of the past.

Why is writing a children’s book so important to you?

Some of my most cherished times with our children have been enjoying books together. I am passionate about children being able to turn pages in a book. Through fun adventure stories, I want to educate children and their families about coastal conservation, historic preservation, sharing and helping others, friendship and faith.

What are the titles of your first two books?

How were your children involved with your book writing?

My daughter’s Madeline and Mary Catherine, contributed a lot of ideas and creativity to my first book, Mischievous Mimi Explores Seabrook Island. My son James, as well as my nephew Gray, helped develop the characters in my second book, Mimi Discovers Sullivan’s Island.

How did you honor your children’s contributions to your two books?

With all the thoughts and ideas, character development, and plot they earned their rights to be listed on the covers as contributing authors.

About Mischievous Mimi Explores Seabrook Island:

In our first adventure story, Mimi is a newborn fawn just “getting her legs” exploring and learning about coastal conservation, the importance of family, friendship, teamwork, and the beauty of God’s amazing creation of the nature around us. Children will enjoy the story of Mimi getting stuck in the pluff mud and finding her way out.

About Mimi Discovers Sullivan’s Island:

In this second adventure story, Mimi is growing up and exploring another barrier island in the Lowcountry, Sullivan’s Island. On Sullivan’s Island, Mimi and her brother Ray meet a new friend, Poe the crow, who introduces the concepts of historic preservation and living resourcefully. In this delightful story, the “deer” characters discover a mysterious light which ultimately guides them. This light happens to be coming from the historic Sullivan’s Island lighthouse, but symbolizes the light of Christ in the story. My hope is that this book inspires children and their families to “let their lights shine” brightly!

How are your books educational? How do they create dialogue with readers?

Throughout both books, readers are introduced to vocabulary relating to the setting and characters. In the back of each book, I included a learning section that includes vocabulary definitions, tips on conservation, maps, and a wordsearch.

How can we have the chance to name one of your characters in your upcoming book?

Promising Pages, in conjunction with Share Charlotte, is holding a raffle for the the opportunity to name a character (the cardinal) in our next children’s book. When a person donates $25 to Promising Pages, they will be entered into a raffle drawing for this “prize.” From Nov 14-28, Share Charlotte will match every donation so lots of opportunity to raise funds for Promising Pages.

What is Promising Pages?

Their mission is to get books into the hands of underserved children in our community and to provide literacy enhancement programs to inspire a love of reading. They are making an enormous impact with over 350,000+ upcycled books distributed to 43,000 children since 2012. Promising Pages provides innovative classroom programs and more than 100,000 free books annually, making us Charlotte’s largest and most efficient distributor of upcycled books aimed at addressing this critical – and solvable – community need.

Family stats?

Trey and I have been married for 18 years and have three children, Madeline, age 14, Mary Catherine, age 11, and James age 9. We have an energetic dog, Jasper as well as several beloved deer that visit our backyard frequently!

Originally from?

Up the road! I grew up in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Before you became an author, what was your profession?

I have been a practicing physical therapist for 20 years and interestingly feel that this background plays a huge role in my evolution as a writer. Observation and awareness are two important components in the practice of physical therapy and have guided me in the development of the themes for the books. I believe there are no coincidences in life, divine providence is always at work. I am a creative and love to share ideas in unique ways. I hope that my books are one of the fruits of this creativity.

How do physical therapy and creativity relate?

Believe it or not, physical therapists are typically quite creative. Once you have the foundation of the medical sciences of anatomy, kinesiology, and physiology, a physical therapist works with the WHOLE person to help them achieve movement goals. Every person is uniquely created and therefore requires an individual approach to healing. Creativity is vital in helping each client or patient in their journey toward wellness in movement. I have been quite blessed to be able to walk this healing journey myself and alongside others as their physical therapist.

How can we connect with the character Mimi and your writing?

I will be at Park Road Books in Charlotte this Saturday, November 18 from 11-1, for a book signing and interacting with readers. I hope to see you there!

Instagram @Southern Sole Goods



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