Author, Barbara Studham

Creator of memoir, fiction, and the children's picture book, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Under the Shanklin sky, book series by Barbara Studham. www.barbarastudham.com


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Beat stress through writing, by Barbara Studham

All you need: pen/paper/laptop/imagination!

I have to admit, I have more confidence in my non-fiction writing as opposed to my fiction. Reviewers are tougher on my fiction, possibly because they are unaware of the equal amount of tears I shed over my fiction manuscripts as my memoirs. I wrote fiction during my chaotic days of raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, an FASD diagnosis. If things went well during bedtime, with no child wandering the house, sleepwalking, or having a screaming meltdown, I would sit at my laptop and release the day’s stress through writing. Due to my homesickness for Britain’s south coast, I created stories around a fictional retiree who moved from London to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. It was my way of being there at least in spirit.

Beat stress through writing!

Though written several years ago when my grandchildren were youngsters, I enjoyed writing the Under the Shanklin Sky fictional series. There are six books in the series: Under the Shanklin Sky, The Faring Foxglove, The Bathing Beauty, A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, and, Mann Overboard. All are available from AMAZON in ebook format for 0.99 usd cents.

Under the Shanklin sky, book series by Barbara Studham. www.barbarastudham.com

Under the Shanklin sky book series by Barbara Studham. http://www.barbarastudham.com

Contained within each story is my tears, fears, and mood of the day. Raising children with FAS is stressful; escaping into a fictional world was essential for my well-being. As you read each story, you’ll connect with my highs and lows of the day; sometimes frivolous, other times dramatic. Either way, I accompanied the main character, Milly Mullan, a retiree who moved from London to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, as she sleuthed her way around the scenic seaside town.

I still parent grandchildren but they are now teens and more independant which gives me time to create my Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FASD picture book series (see my FASD blog, http://www.challengedhope.com), but when I think of my fiction, I am reminded of my struggles, challenges, fears, hopes, and dreams when the children were small.


Barbara Studham’s bio:

Barbara Studham, the memoir writer — I wrote my first #FASD memoir titled Two Decades of Diapers in 2014; my second #FASD memoir titled Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years in 2016. Both cover the twenty years I parented four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Barbara Studham, the fiction writer — I also write fiction, including the English seaside series, Under the Shanklin Sky Barbara Studham, the children’s FASD picture book creator — My latest creation is a children’s #FASD picture book series titled Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. See, THE SCHOOL DAY, FIDGET! and ADVOCATE! on AMAZON. Soon available: The Birthday Bash, The Twins Learn Of Their Disorder, and, The Twins cause Havoc.

Barbara Studham’s books are available from AMAZON.
Author blog: http://www.barbarastudham.com
FASD blog: http://www.challengedhope.com
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham


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Children’s Picture Book Illustrator

Strawberry & Cracker, Book 2

Heather Lamb, illustrator of the children’s books Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is seen here sketching the pictures for book #2 titled FIDGET!

It was my recent pleasure to visit Heather Lamb at work. Together, we share a vision of creating picture books specifically designed for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Hence, the recent release of the first in the Strawberry & Cracker series titled The School Day.

Heather Lamb, children’s picture book illustrator.

As author of the books, I am amazed how seamlessly Heather transforms my rough mock-ups into works of art. Her pictures capture the essence of children with FASD and the challenges they face on a daily basis. She is currently working on the second in the Strawberry & Cracker series titled FIDGET! The story and pictures emphasize hyperactivity in children with FASD, situations that cause fidgeting, and how people can offer support. The following is a blurb outlining FIDGET! 

Book Blurb

The two main characters in the book titled FIDGET! are Strawberry & Cracker, twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The twins live with their grandma and her dog, Thunder. The twins also struggle with fidgeting. All children fidget, but a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome frequently over-fidgets, thereby annoying people who do not understand impulsive behaviors. Fortunately, there are strategies to calm the child enough to control fidgeting.

The storyline of FIDGET! introduces the reader to Strawberry & Cracker’s typical fidgeting scenarios. While no one strategy to avoid fidgeting will work for every child, Grandma realizes the importance of discovering which ones work for the twins. By discussing those strategies with other adults, she hopes people will apply the calming methods and lessen the stress of fidgeting.

As with the first in the series titled The School Day, FIDGET! is designed to fulfill several needs:

  • To offer children with FASD a fun picture book highlighting daily challenges they can relate to.
  • To help children with FASD accept their diagnosis with dignity and self-respect.
  • To encourage children with FASD to read.
  • To offer caregivers a tool with which to introduce their child with FASD to the disorder.
  • To bring public awareness to FASD.

Where to purchase.

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The School Day

is available in print and eBook from Amazon, and from the following link

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

Genre: Family and relationships/special needs children. Glossy front and back cover. The picture book includes twenty-six inside pages with color images and large print. Size: 8.5” x 8.5”.

Price: $9.99 USD for print. $4.99 USD for eBook.

Coming in 2018!

The second children’s picture book in the

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, series,

titled,

FIDGET!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Self-Publishing

One joy of self-publishing!

Self-publishing—the very words arouse visions of independence, control, and yes… even sole proprietorship. Having self-published memoirs, fiction, and recently a children’s picture book, I had come to see self-publishing as speedy, inexpensive, and totally in my control.

Oh, how the proud fall.

With copies of my children’s book titled, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in hand, I arrived ten minutes early at an agreed upon place, at an agreed upon time, to meet up with a person with potential to influence the local board of education to consider my book for their libraries. After all, my children’s picture book depicts a typical school day in the life of a child with FASD, so I imagined schools falling over each other to grab one, and even better, several. Ah, life was good.

We met up, drank coffee, talked a reasonable amount of small talk, and then, just at the right moment, I produced the book from my bag. His eyes lit up; always a good sign. He leafed through the pages and smiled. “My contact will enjoy this,” he said. He took a pen from his inside jacket pocket. “Do you have another copy?” he asked. “I’d like you to sign one for my personal use.”

Red-faced horror!

Red-faced horror!

Mentally patting myself on the back for remembering to carry extras, I pulled another from my tote. Taking the pen, I opened the book to write. Horror struck! The pages were out of order. Page 13 was where page 1 was supposed to be; my introduction was located in the center of the book, the copyright faced page 7, the end was at the beginning, and so on and so on. I was mortified. My cheeks blushed. I felt small, and no longer in control. How could my POD service have done this to me, and, worse, to my customers? People are buying: from Amazon no less! I imagined purchasers trying to make sense of the arse-about-face pages; their expressions creased, my reputation ruined. I wanted to run home, click on the POD website, and give them a piece of my mind.

My guest smiled. He understood, or so he said, but the atmosphere had changed. He appeared less excited about the book. Would he still give a copy to his contact? Okay, so it’s a learning lesson. I know that, but I don’t want to hear it. I’m 70 years of age; I’ve learned enough! What I do want is for my POD service to GET IT RIGHT!

Barbara Studham has written FASD memoirs, fiction, and is currently working on the second in the

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol series, titled, FIDGET!

See her on Amazon at the following link.

http//:www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

Twitter: @barbarastudham

Also on: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn,

Barbara Studham’s blogs:

www.barbarastudham.com

 www.challengedhope.com