Tell us a little bit about yourself. You just released your book, “Honeycake: A Family of Spices”. What can you tell us about this book?
Firstly, I would like to say thank you for featuring me on Find Your Inner Geek. I’m so honoured and grateful to be given this platform to discuss the importance and the valuable lessons my books will give families around the world.
I immigrated from Georgia U.S.S.R and came to Canada when I was 4 years old. I live in Ontario, Canada and have been married to my husband Esfandiar (who immigrated from Iran to Canada in 1987) for over 27 years. We have two beautiful children together: Shanaz and Jean-Diar. Our family is growing as Shanaz and her fiancé, Brandon, just welcomed our first grandchild Lukenzo Kal Correia, while Jean-Diar and his fiancée, Reilly, are planning a wedding for this September.
Book 1; Honeycake – A Family of Spices introduces readers to a diverse, multi-cultural family that is full of love. A grandmother explains why she calls her grandchildren “Honeycakes” while she teaches her granddaughter, Nala, how to bake a honey cake. Through imagination, the grandmother details how each delicious ingredient represents a different family member and his or her unique ethnic background. This charming book also includes a recipe and step-by-step instructions on how to bake your own delicious batch of honey cake with your Honeycakes!
This book is the first in a series of Honeycake books. What can readers expect from the rest of the series? Do you already have a roadmap in mind?
With more lovely stories to tell, Honeycake will be followed by a series of books. Each one tells valuable life lessons and gives parents and children the tools to overcome obstacles in their everyday lives. These books will teach children how to do random acts of kindness, have honest and open communication, and practice gratitude. Children will even discover how to meditate and manage their emotions when things don’t go their way. My passion is to help young readers count their blessings and to share positive messages.
Book 2; Honeycake – “Help I Swallowed A Butterfly” * is about how to deal with nerves, anxiety and those pesky butterflies in their tummies through meditation, mindfulness and setting their intention for a positive outcome.
Book 3; Honeycake – Special Magical Powers * is all about compassion and sprinkling a little magic by random acts of kindness wherever we go.
Book 4; Honeycake – A Circle of Trust * is about teaching your kids about honesty and open communication.
Book 5; Honeycake – Counting All my Blessings * is about how to focus on all the wonderful things we do have in our lives and that being grateful can make those icky feelings of jealousy from the “Green-Eyed Monster” go away.
This book even includes a recipe with instructions on how to bake your own honey cake. Do you plan on including these fun little guides in each book?
Here is a Sneak Peak on Book Two: (in production, release date is May 2019) “Help I Swallowed A Butterfly” is the second book in the delightful Honeycake series. In this sequel, Nala gets stage fright at school. But with the help of her mom, Nala learns how to get rid of those pesky butterflies in her tummy. This charming book empowers young readers to practice mindfulness and meditation so that they are able to meet life’s challenges head-on in a healthy and balanced way.
“Help I Swallowed A Butterfly” is clearly written and incredibly relatable, with step-by-step instructions and guided meditation exercises for young readers. This book is also a valuable resource for caregivers who want to provide a positive introduction for children to the world of self-care and managing those butterflies. Life can be stressful at any age, but with the right tools and mindset, we can overcome any obstacle!
I understand you were inspired to write these books when you learned that you were becoming a grandmother. What was it about this life event that made you feel like it was time to take on this endeavour?
When I found out I was going to be a Grandma It was a full circle moment for me, so I started to bake a honey cake in honour of my Grandmother who was my moms’ mother may she rest in peace. My Bebi taught me how to bake a honey cake when I was a little girl. As I was making the cake, I realized all the different spices the cake had, like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, brown sugar, and honey. It made me think of all the different ethnic mixes my new grandbaby would have and how they would be just like this honey cake I was baking. That’s where the title of the series came from and the idea for the first book that would introduce the readers to our entire family. Hence, Honeycake: A Family of Spices. The words and stories started to pour out of me. I wrote five books in four days.
How important is it to fill children’s lives with positivity and teach them about how to overcome obstacles in life with so many negative things so readily available in this day and age?
With all the negativity in this day and age, I feel it’s very important to create books with positive messages to help caregivers teach children to accept others, help children to become more balanced, kind, grateful and honest. Books to help children manage their emotions when things don’t go the way they hoped. I always say there is no such thing as winning or losing, there is only winning. You win when you reach the goal you wanted to achieve or you win by learning a very valuable lesson. It’s all about perspective and how you look at things. Giving children these tools at an early age will help them grow into happy and fulfilled adults that aren’t stressed out, but live in harmony with a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Just be yourself. If you truly are passionate about what you’re writing about, the words will just flow out. Enjoy every moment of your journey, the ups and downs because life is a gift, so live in the present.
What’s your life like outside of writing the “Honeycake” series?
Outside of writing my Honeycake Books, I’m a new grandma to a beautiful little boy. I’m a wife to a wonderful partner and a mother of two amazing human beings who are both getting married this year.
I’m also a Reiki Master and Practitioner with a home-based studio. When I got the calling to change my career path to become a certified Reiki Master and Practitioner, I knew that this is what I was put on earth to do. As a Reiki Master, I pledge to honour and embody the Reiki Ideals.
THE FIVE REIKI PRINCIPALS ARE:
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will not get angry.
Just for today, I will be grateful for all my many blessings.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind.
Because of my Reiki training I am committed to my personal growth, healing and living my best life and to inspire others to do the same. This is what I teach my clients on a daily basis. So, transitioning into a writer and sharing the same lessons and tools to children was seamless for me.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
Please check out the amazing rewards and support this great children’s book about family diversity with my Kickstarter campaign.
Honeycake Book Series Website