Tuesday, January 7, 2020

St. Lucy student, 8, publishes book about unicorn princess scientist

From The Journal Times.com:

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Click to enlarge

RACINE — Creating the concept for its main character was a family affair, but the book “Flippy the Scientist Dreams Big!” was penned by 8-year-old Mya Gillis.
Gillis is in third grade at St. Lucy Parish School, 3035 Drexel Ave., part of Siena Catholic Schools of Racine.
Her book follows the adventures of Flippy, a unicorn scientist princess working to create a robot bug to cure all the animals in her kingdom so they will never be hurt or sick again.
Together, the Gillis family — dad Parker, mom Heather, Mya and her sisters Savannah, 6, and Gianna, 4 — created the character of Flippy to decorate a blanket they designed to sell online.
Then Mya set to work writing a book about Flippy to sell along with the blanket. With the help of her mother, Mya wrote the entire book in two weekends.
She had the whole story figured out in 15 minutes,” Heather said. “I just couldn’t even keep up with her.”
Although Heather worked with her to perfect the book, “It was all Mya’s ideas,” Heather said.
The blanket that features Flippy in reverse sequins is sold on Amazon and the e-book comes with it as a free bonus. The family began selling the blanket and book in mid-November. A soft cover book is in the works.
The sisters and their mother worked together to form the princess scientist character for the blanket before Mya wrote the story.
We wanted something empowering and fun,” Heather said. “Because we have three girls, I kind of am really big on having empowerment and independent females.”

The family business

The family has been selling on eBay, Poshmark and Mercari for years, but the Flippy book and blanket are the Gillises’ first attempt at manufacturing and selling their own brand of merchandise, called Exclusive Elegance.
The Gillises had been selling on eBay as a side business for a while, but started getting serious about it in 2013. At that time, Parker was training to be a police officer but with Heather working as a physician assistant they decided those schedules would not work for their family.
Parker decided to stay at home with their daughters instead of pursuing a career in law enforcement and he and Heather turned their eBay work into a six-figure business. Then, about a year ago, they decided to create their own brand and began working on the Flippy character and blanket. They plan to continue making new products with different characters and for Mya to write a book about each of them.
The Gillises are not sure when they will begin selling their next product, but the character that will be featured on it, Pugsley, was introduced in the Flippy book.
Mya started asking to use her mother’s computer to write short stories a few months before they began working on the blanket and book concept. Since she wrote the Flippy book, Mya has been spending hours at a time writing short stories.
Then she’ll print them out for her sisters and they’ll read them,” Heather said.

Modest about success

Mya is not much of a talker at school, so she hasn’t told many of her classmates that she’s a published author.
I felt happy,” Mya said, of when she saw the book finished.
Parker and Heather agreed that their decision to ramp up their online sales was all about the kids.
Honestly, the whole business and eBay has always been inspired by having my girls,” Heather said.
Even though she has a master’s degree and would like to continue her work as a physician’s assistant, Heather said she ultimately plans to shift to part-time work to spend as much time a possible with her kids.
I’d much rather build something for them and some kind of business and then work with my family,” Heather said.
From: https://journaltimes.com/news/local/education/st-lucy-student-publishes-book-about-unicorn-princess-scientist/article_603bfaf9-3bbe-5abd-a835-2542b9343f9a.html

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