Shannon Gross says she always dreamed of becoming a children's book author, but never pursued it until a few years ago. She's a wife and a mother of two who works as a client support manager for a communications company, but she can now add "author" to her list of titles. It all started with a bedtime story she told her 4 year-old son.
Shannon says, "I was telling my son stories at night because I didn't want to turn the light on. I wanted him to sleep. He said, 'Mom, would you tell me a story?' I said, 'What do you want to hear about?' He said, 'mom, would you tell me about a panda and his momma?' I said, 'sure!'"
She made up a story and told it often. She says she'd always wanted to be a children's book writer.
Shannon says, "I was like, I should actually do this, put pen to paper and see what happens!"
Two years ago, Shannon started the self-publishing process for her story "Parker Panda." She describes the character as a curious little cub who tests his boundaries. Now, 'Parker Panda Makes His Lunch' is a book!
Shannon says the book shows what families deal with every day when it comes to food allergies and aversions. She knows about it because her son has a peanut allergy, but she says the book also addresses character values like friendship and love.
The book is $11.99 and you can find it online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Shannon says her son, now 7, loves the book and both of her boys are looking forward to her next story. She says she's working on the next Parker Panda story and hopes to have it out next year.
She's also hoping her own story can inspire someone else.
"Just follow your dreams. Find your gifts and talents. Do what you need to do to get it done. You can make the impossible happen.