Raise your hand if you have had children on your caseload who simply could not manage their time. Exactly! There are many of these in speech therapy. What better way to work with parents in dealing with this than a delightful book for great discussion. Please check out Mindy Hudon’s book, Kodi’s Adventures, How I Learned to Defeat the Time Snatcher and the accompanying clock, Bee a Time Keeper Clock®

1. Mindy, I began following you some time ago when you had, I believe, only one product out, Bee a Time Keeper Clock. What was the inspiration for this clock? 

 In both my personal and professional life, I have seen children struggle to comply with their teachers’ and parents’ requests around time—whether it’s completing an assignment, getting out the door in the morning, or tending to any number of other daily tasks.  In my practice as an SLP, I realized that young children could not comply with adult requests around time, which caused havoc and frustration for both the children and adults. I developed my children’s clock, the Bee A Time Keeper® clock, to provide children with a tool to see and feel the passage of time. I am so proud that my clock was awarded the Creative Child’s Magazine’s 2019 Educational Product of the Year. It has been successfully used by therapists, classroom teachers, day care center providers, parents and grandparents to help children learn to develop time management, planning/organizations, transition, and emotional regulation skills. 

2. Then, some time after you produced the clock you came out with (I must say an excellent theme and illustrated book – having read it) the book, Kodi’s Adventures, How I Learned to Defeat the Time Snatcher.  This book seems to be a good accompaniment to Bee a Time Keeper Clock. What were your goals in writing this book? 

Lavalle, thanks so much for reading my book and for your amazing review! Time management is a much-needed life skill that is expected, but rarely taught. Through this story, I hope to present characters that children can relate to as well as help them improve their lives through simple strategies that feel achievable to them. The ability to manage our time is just one of the many executive function skills that our brain continues to develop until our mid to late twenties. One reason that some children have difficulty with time management is because they may not be able to “feel” the passage of time and self manage accordingly. If children can learn to “see and feel” the passage of time, then they can become better self managers. I often discussed Time Snatchers with my students to help them become aware of distractions that can impact their ability to complete a task. “Kodi’s Adventures How I Learned to Defeat the Time Snatcher” is a graphic novel for late elementary to middle school aged students that uses executive function strategies as a tool to help children better understand how they can be successful with time management—a critical life skill. There are supplemental materials at the end of the book that include easy, functional strategies to implement both at home and in the classroom. 

In my book, the main character Kodi is time challenged, which is causing havoc both at home and school. Kodi learns about the Time Snatcher and knows that he is the cause of all of his troubles, so he seeks help to defeat him. “Time snatchers” are anything that distracts you from completing a task, causing you to lose track of time. Some well-known “time snatchers” for children can include video games, television, toys and games, a person’s own thoughts, looking for lost possessions, and even spending time with friends. The goal of this book is to help children identify their personal “time snatchers,” then learning how to defeat them using strategies.  Kodi’s Adventures has received some amazing reviews that just makes my heart grow. My first review was a Kirkus Review that was so very exciting to receive (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/mindy-hudon/kodis-adventures/). It received a Mom’s Choice Award and aReader’s Favorite 5-Star review. The best reviews have come from children. I have been hearing from children using some of the strategies I share in the book. I was so excited to receive a review from a 14 year-old who described how relevant the book was for his time management challenges. This is why I wrote the book!3. Can you please give some information on the authorship, publishing, and marketing that you (or as you feel others may have to do) in order to have publishing success?  Did you self-publish? If not, how did you find a traditional publisher? What are some of the marketing techniques you use or you feel could help other SLP authors?

This is actually an interesting story about Kodi’s Adventures journey. My clock led me to write a children’s picture book to support children to identify their time snatchers. When I introduced my clock to my students, I felt like there was a story to be shared. My first “book” was actually a Powerpoint that I shared with my students and they loved it. That led me to joining a children’s book writing course and joining writers groups. I learned so much about writing children’s picture books, publishing, and connecting with other published and unpublished authors. I completed my children’s picture manuscript about time snatchers and started submitting it to traditional publishers. Although I received great feedback from the publishers, they all said it was not what they were looking for. That experience made me feel a bit defeated so I placed the manuscript in a file and moved on; however, I was always hearing that little voice in the back of my mind saying to keep moving forward. One night, I was reading an email I received from ASHA about the first children’s book they published by one of the members. It ignited a spark in me as I remembered I had a manuscript on my flashdrive. So, as an ASHA certified member, I attached my children’s book manuscript file and submitted it to ASHA Press. I was so pleasantly surprised when ASHA contacted me the next week and said that they loved the time management concept of my book, but would I be willing to write it into a graphic novel for middle aged children. I was ecstatic and of course I said YES, without even knowing how to write a graphic novel! But, this opportunity was what I was looking for, so I turned my efforts into reading and learning all I could about writing a graphic novel for middle schoolers. I have learned to absolutely love this medium. As a struggling reader myself, comics were always the medium that I felt most comfortable reading.  Comic books are a powerful medium to teach visual literacy with traditional narrative components. I am beyond grateful to ASHA Press for introducing me to the idea of  writing a graphic novel.  I am new to the marking life of a published author. ASHA has been so amazing by providing beautiful graphics and marketing my book to members, as well as on social media. But, as we new authors learn quickly…marketing your book is hard work! I am grateful to my friends and family who have supported me with sharing my book on social media. I am fortunate to have been a contributor for 30Seconds.com for more than 20 years and have had great exposure provided by my tribe of contributors. My son is a marketing specialist and has guided me with some great ideas for social media and my website development. As they say, it takes a village! If you have any questions or just want to connect you can find me on my website MindyHudon.com, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and 30Seconds.com. My Bee A Time Keeper® clock is available on Etsy and “Kodi’s Adventures How I Learned to Defeat the Time Snatcher” is available at the ASHA Store and on Amazon. 

If you have any questions or just want to connect, you can find Mindy Hudon on her website MindyHudon.com, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and 30Seconds.com. My Bee A Time Keeper(R) clock is available on Etsy and “Lodi’s Adventures, How I Learned to Defeat the Time Snatcher” is available at the ASHA Store and on Amazon.
If you have any questions or just want to connect you can find me on my website MindyHudon.com, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and 30Seconds.com. My Bee A Time Keeper® clock is available on Etsy and “Kodi’s Adventures How I Learned to Defeat the Time Snatcher” is available at the ASHA Store and on Amazon.
Mindy Hudon – SLP Author/Product Developer