The book, Lilian is Alright, was created after an incident where a parent of a child burn survivor reached out to me. Her daughter was young and was having a hard time adjusting to her scars. Recalling my own experience as a burn survivor in the beginning stages, I could not even fathom how it may have been if I experienced this as a child. I sympathized with her and my heart tugged at the idea that many other children out there was suffering as well. In further communication with the family I soon came to recognize the similarities in our journeys despite the great age difference. As an aspiring author, I believed this was my call to action!
Writing a piece of literature with the sole purpose of giving children a similar voice, Lilian! Lilian was all young children going through something tragic. I made her character a burn survivor because of who I am, but I felt like her character is inclusive to all children going through a storm. To make sure I was gauging the emotional depth of Lilian’s age properly, I watched the children who were in my classroom at the time. I was teaching third grade and I loved the adult-like maturity majority of them mirrored. I was always pleased to see how they dealt with real life issues and comforted each other when it was needed. I wanted Lilian is Alright to be as realistic as possible.
In the book, Lilian is burned in the same way that I was. I felt it was important to give her something that I could truly write about as far as her injuries. Me being able to relate to the pain she endured from the oil would make the words more impactful. The degree of her burns was also a way of paying homage to myself. Although, I adopted the emotional level from the students, a lot of the cycle Lilian went through was honestly how I felt. Knowing that my feelings can be shared with fellow survivors was even more motivation to complete this book.
I hope to have Lilian is Alright in the hands of survivors in major hospitals. The idea of them being able to see in the midst of their storm that things in the end will be Alright is very comforting. I am honored to know that I play a major role in the recovery of a child. Through the pages of the book I hope they find a reason to smile and move forward.