Buffy, Sissy and Colleen: Traveling author writes adventure stories for children | New

WHATCOM – Colleen Chapman has always loved animals. Especially cats.

However, the author of children’s books fondly remembers his first book, which was not about cats.

“I wrote a children’s book in third grade about an owl and a skunk who became friends,” Chapman said. “I still have this book. I guess it’s always been in me to do that and it’s just come out now. “

After a career in the pharmaceutical industry, Chapman decided a few years ago that she was tired of her corporate job.

“I lost one of my best friends to cancer in 2018 and it made me reassess what I was doing with my life,” Chapman said. “We are here for a short time. The future is not guaranteed, and neither is our health.

Today Chapman writes about the traveling adventures of Buffy and Sissy – her cats. She’s written three books: Buffy & Sissy Go To Italy (2020), Buffy & Sissy Go To Hawaii (2021), and The Buffy & Sissy Go On a Road Trip, which Chapman said she hopes to bring to the public. the end of the year.

Growing up in Custer, Chapman attended Mount Baker High School in Deming before moving to California to study at Sonoma State University. In college, Chapman majored in English.

“But my career over the past 20 years has not been one where creative writing has been encouraged,” she said.

Before Chapman entered the pharmaceutical industry, she created a parenting publication in the mid-1990s. However, her responsibilities were more about production management than writing.

As an author of children’s books, Chapman said she had “a great deal of respect for writers and found the genre of children’s books to be more difficult than I thought.”

“Keeping the word count was tough,” Chapman said. “Producing a children’s book isn’t just about writing history. I also provide full details of what will happen on each page until the cats wear the expressions on their faces. You need to be very specific in describing each scene so that the illustrator can capture your vision.

In some ways, it’s ironic that Chapman is now an author. Little, she wanted to be a teacher. Now, in a way, Chapman thinks she teaches through her books.

“The Traveling Kittens shows kids what it’s like to travel, and they even learn a few words in different languages ​​as well as geography,” Chapman said. “Each book has a language page if it is in a country with a unique language. I am also including a map of where the kittens visited.

Live the ‘journey kittens brand

It wasn’t just the writing aspect of his career that got Chapman hooked. It is also the journey.

“Seeing a part of the world is important to me, and I didn’t want to wait until I was 70,” Chapman said. “I’m traveling full time now, and it’s exhausting. It would have been even better if I could have done it in my twenties. I know I would have been a digital nomad if these opportunities had been available as they are now.

Living a life of writing and traveling, the way Chapman saw it, meant being more minimalist than in the past.

“It meant selling everything,” she said. “It wasn’t hard for me psychologically to do that, and I feel so much better. We’re so busy owning things, but those things tie you up. I guess that’s why so many retirees are downsizing.

But Chapman has kept his place at Birch Bay, which provides a place to remember him.

“My hope for the future is to travel part of the year to support and promote the books and actually experience the walking kittens brand,” Chapman said. “Then I would like to spend the rest of the time in Birch Bay near my family. I will always keep some sort of home in Whatcom County.

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