As a little girl, I escaped to some amazing places through my short stories. I often wrote stories about purple bunnies with floppy ear and other fluffy friends who kept away scary feelings.
In my studies of psychology, I began to understand and appreciate my own childhood memories and emotions. Beginning to write about characters who experienced common issues to provided a supportive, uplifting, and encouraging place for kids.
My love for kids is actually what prevented me from exploring a career as a child psychologist – I just couldn’t bear to see kids hurting. It wasn’t long before I realized I could provide the same loving, supportive, and healing place that I turned to in my stories as a child, and give that to other children. And from there, the Tulvia Lane book series had begun.
Like adults, children feel helpless and anxious in the midst of tragedy. However, unlike adults, kids have little experience with handling these types of emotions. My books reassure school-age children they’re not alone, and that it’s okay to cry and talk about their feelings. I create relatable, loving, and supportive “friends” who walk children through the healing process. For example, the lead characters in my first and second books, Gammie and To the Moon and Mars, experience the five core stages of grief after loss and illness: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Gammie is a very close representation of how I felt when my grandmother passed away. The book’s main character, “Ally,” experienced the same anger, distress, and anxiety many of us feel when losing loved ones. Yet she finds ways to cope with her emotions, and live happily.
The second book in the series, To the Moon and Mars, discusses my personal battle with bilateral Optic Neuritis, an illness that can causes loss of vision. This story was particularly hard for me to write because I wanted to keep the main character happy, independent, and carefree. Yet this condition left Cody helpless, afraid, and dependent on others … much like how I felt when I was diagnosed.
My life has certainly been full of ups and downs, and yet I continue to push forward. I grew up with the wisdom and teachings of my grandmother and family, who always told me “If you’re going to do something, do it right.” So I do my best to never give up, and to do what I set out to do while attending Ohio State – help children through their most difficult times. And that’s why I continue to share my stories with the world. I am so proud of my work and hope that you and your loved ones will enjoy the books together.
Nakeshia Nickerson is a children’s book author who writes sympathetic short stories to help school-age children cope with the emotions of losing loved ones and experiencing other tragic events. In 2005 she launched Tulvia Lane, a book series that guides parents and children through the five stages of grief and its healing process.
Nakeshia penned her first of many stories while studying psychology and Japanese at The Ohio State University. Since, she has published two children’s books, Gammie and To the Moon and Mars.
When she’s not writing, you can find her spending time with her nephews and twin sister.