Photo By Jill BlazekAuthor Lauren Ackerman with her recently published children’s book
How a Hurricane and Rare Bird Visit to Wisconsin Became a Children’s Book
By Jill Blazek
What was first intended as a special gift for a family member quickly became a number one new release in Children’s Books on the U.S. on Amazon when Oconomowoc resident Lauren Ackerman published Flingo Flies to Wisconsin.
Growing up, Ackerman always wanted to write a book. For most of her professional career, Ackerman has been in Marketing Communications as a writer and designer, including writing articles for Woman Bowler magazine. But, until now, has only had a greeting card published.
“When my children were young, I started writing children’s stories. I sent a couple off to publishers to see how the process worked and got rejection letters. But I continued to write stories, joined a children’s writing group, took some writing courses, and attended a conference for children’s book authors,” Ackerman shared. “So, I’ve always wanted to publish a children’s book but never did, and my stories were hidden away in a folder in a closet.”
A self-described flamingo fanatic, Ackerman had an idea for a children’s book about a flamingo in that folder. When American Flamingos were spotted for the first time in Wisconsin in September, blown off course by the strong winds of Hurricane Idalia, it was the inspiration she needed.
“Just a few days after the flamingos came to Wisconsin, I woke up early in the morning with this idea in my head about Flingo flying to Wisconsin with his family and had the first draft written in about an hour,” Ackerman said.
She continued to work on the story and illustrations, which she created with the assistance of online design tools, for the next two weeks and printed a few copies locally as a special gift for a family member.
After sharing the story with friends and family and seeing their reactions, Ackerman knew she indeed had something special. “I got a lot of positive feedback, so I thought, why don’t I just publish it and see what happens,” said Ackerman.
Ackerman worked with Kindle Direct Publishing, which then pushed it to Amazon. First available on November 11, the book has earned the New Release badge from Amazon. “The self-publishing process was really pretty easy. I secured the ISBN number, uploaded a digital copy of my book, and added a description and keyword tags,” Ackerman explained. “It was less than 24 hours before the book was available on Amazon.com.”
The book’s description reads, “Flingo the flamingo loves living in Florida. Flingo loves playing on the sandy beaches, splashing in the warm waters and climbing up and down trees. One day, a bad storm hit Florida and Flingo and his family were forced to leave their home. Where did they go? Wisconsin. Come join Flingo as he travels north to a place unknown to flamingos. Follow Flingo as he explores a new world that is shockingly similar to his Florida home in so many ways, except one. And what could that be? Come frolic with Flingo as he discovers that Wisconsin is as much fun as Florida.”
Ackerman shared, “I’m thrilled that something I wrote just for fun ended up being the book I’ve waited so long to publish. It’s something that makes people smile, and that makes me happy.”
“What’s next? I would like to start working on more children’s books, and I have lots of ideas!” Ackerman exclaimed.