Executive Assistant – aka my Dad
My dad Marcel is a retired Principal and Program Officer of Special Education. He works hard to make sure the business is running smooth. He handles most of my emails and bookings, and on top of all this, he goes to my presentations and is my personal driver. I like to think I get my sense of humour from my dad and I know I’m the person I am today because of him.
Creative Director – aka my Sister
My sister Kaila is a Creative Director at a design studio in Toronto called RallyRally. She discovered my journal writing and has helped me make this book a reality. She is responsible for all communication and marketing materials. She handles the production and a lot of the behind-the-scenes work. She always tells me she’s my biggest fan and I couldn’t do this without her.
Virtual Assistant – aka my iPad
My iPad means a lot to me. It allows me to document my experiences and make new ones, and it let’s me to stay in-touch with people in ways that most would take for granted. Even if it does get the odd word here or there wrong, it helps me to connect with the world in ways I would never have imagined.
Making the Book
& The Creative Team
Let me start from the beginning. I began writing this book when I was twenty-one and I finished at twenty-six. I used my iPad’s speech-to-text function. Many authors have their own ways of writing—for me, I like walking and pacing around while speaking to Siri. Sometimes Siri doesn’t always understand what I’m saying, but that’s why I asked for support from a friend. Her name is Meghan and she is the editor of my book. I appreciate all the guidance she gave me during the back and forth process. She made it easy and fun to work on crafting my story.
My sister Kaila and her husband Chris worked on the design of the book. We wanted it to be very visual so it would help me remember the stories I talk about. We asked our friends to illustrate divider pages for the chapters to guide me through when one chapter begins and one ends. We included small pictures throughout the text to help me follow along. In the end my book turned out to how I would like to read books, with lots of visuals.
I have learned so much while making this book. I learned that not only is it okay to ask for help, but you can achieve much more than you could imagine when people work together. This also supports my message of focusing on your strengths. I can’t draw so I asked illustrators to help, I can’t read or write so I used my Ipad (Siri) to help, and now I have a book! I have lots of people to thank but I’m also proud of myself for having the courage to share my story and believing I can make a book despite not being able to read or write.
Book Edited by: Meghan Greeley
Book Designed by: Kaila Jacques & Chris Lynn
Illustrations in order of appearance in the book by: Kaila Jacques, Flavia López, Raylene Knutson, Mariana Nemer, Katherine Ross, Ben Lory, Adrian Forrow, Tristan Marantos, Odran McAtamney, and Chris Lynn