The Story Behind the Book
In 2016, I traveled to visit my mom in Ecuador, where she had settled for a new chapter in her life. She was teaching English at the time and, in typical Judy fashion, took it upon herself to write her own alphabet book to engage her students. She really wanted to get the book edited, illustrated, and printed. I tried to help her, but the project never came to fruition.
Sadly, Teacher Judy passed away from cancer in 2019, and as I made my way to Ecuador to seek closure, I remembered my mother’s book that she did not complete.
I knew immediately that I had to finish it for her.
Upon returning to the United States, I called my cousin, Ryan Scott Tandy, and asked for his help to create a children’s book inspired by his aunt. He accepted my offer and was with me every step of the way, for which myself, and the quality of the book, are grateful.
When you open “Journey from A to Z,” know that it has captured my mother’s essence—a fiercely independent woman who was caring, funny, and energetic. And when you read this book to children, know that you are sharing that magic of Teacher Judy with them.
For that, I am forever thankful.
The Indiegogo Campaign
A few months into 2020, I decided that I should try to run and Indiegogo campaign to help support funding the book and getting other people involved. Running a crowdfunding campaign is a challenge in itself, and it was a success! Over 185 people from around the world contributed to the creation of the book. I decided that the "First Edition" would be called the "Sustainers' Edition", which can be seen in the copyright page near the front of the book.
You can check out the campaign here if you are curious.
And here's the video that was used for the Indiegogo Campaign that tells the story and shows some of the early artwork and phases of the project.
Creating the Book
Self publishing a quality book is difficult. It took about 1.5 years for the work to be completed. I also wrote a quite detailed post on the many pieces of the process here, if you are interested! However, here are some highlights from the experience.