Two U.P. creators draw interest with children’s book

Courtesy My Heart Smiles

Two Marquette area women are visiting schools and events in the U.P. and beyond to help promote their upcoming self-published book.

Students at the Powell Township School were among the first to hear a reading from “My Heart Smiles,” a new children’s book written by Diana Oman and illustrated by Colleen O’Hara. It’s an ABC book that came about through a unique and collaborative creative process.

“The process that started it all was a simple ABC process that I used to fall asleep at night by saying ‘A,’ and then a word that felt good to me,” Oman said. “From there, I would be waking up in the morning doing that process in my head before I even opened my eyes, and then that A-B-C process went from one word to two words, to three, and then eventually to sentences.”

“Last spring, Diana made a change in the writing from more of an affirmation book, ‘I am,’ to ‘I feel,’ and when she made that change, the drawings started to fly out of me,” O’Hara said. “We sat down and consulted, what does it feel like for some of the words, ‘awesome, brilliant, creative,’ and so we came up with ideas, and I began to sketch.”

The pair is self-publishing with help from a Kickstarter campaign designed to help pay for the up-front costs of producing the book.

“The campaign is for 16,000. We had thirty days to raise it. We’ve raised $11,400, so we’re really close,” added O’Hara.

People wishing to support the campaign have until Friday to help the duo achieve their goal. The book has already gotten some buzz, earning Oman and O’Hara the spot of keynote speaker at the Ameriprise Women’s Conference in May and an invitation to NMU Young Authors.

For more information on “My Heart Smiles,” visit their website.