Poetry was a constant passion for Pamela Brogden, OD, (P.D. Brogden) who began journaling almost every idea she had when she was young. With optometry school and work consuming much of her time, she didn’t have time to feed this creative outlet until a special parenting moment inspired her. Reading bedtime stories to her daughter ignited her to start writing again. “I wanted to give her a unique experience and make bedtime stories more eventful,” she says.
WHERE HER INSPIRATION LIES
Family is important to Dr. Brogden, and the driving force behind her first book was to incorporate the fond memories shared by both her grandmothers over the years. If My Tennie and I Were Ten follows the tale of a young African-American girl on her magical journey with her beloved “Teenie,” someone she describes as her best friend.
Dr. Brogden was under a time crunch – the deadline was her grandma’s 87th birthday. She spent many sleepless nights trying to complete the book while juggling daily tasks as an optometrist. “It was difficult work, but I can’t forget seeing the joy this gift brought to her. This was an unforgettable moment for her,” she says.
Originally, Dr. Brogden didn’t have any publishing plans. The books were gifts to her family, but a friend’s encouragement gave her the courage to self-publish. “It wasn’t all smooth sailing. The hardest part was working with the illustrator because I had to convey my ideas perfectly to another person. It was the most time-consuming process because I ran into some difficulties trying to convert my imagination into words,” Dr. Brogden says. Yet, despite the obstacles, seeing her work bring a smile to her family and readers is a unique, gratifying experience, she says.
Following her first book, she closed the chapters to her second book, Queen Alora and Winter Ease: A Queen and Her Crown, which she hopes to extend into a five-part series in the nearby future. It also has a fantastical element with the story of Queen Alora as she prepares for her kingdom’s big festival and the challenges she faces along the way.
Using her previous experience as a stepping stone, she took more time to shape her ideas and shared her manuscript with fellow authors and friends for feedback and advice. “I’m definitely undergoing a thorough step-by-step process this time around.” For example, she’s writing a description of how she envisions the printed page should look as she’s writing, minimizing the time and effort she’ll have to spend later to dream up the actual look of the book. “It makes it easier for the illustrator to follow my thoughts,” she says.
“I wanted to write a book for my daughter that focuses on the challenges and stages in life to show that it’s great to be different. I want my daughter to have the courage and imagination to overcome any obstacle, and I hope my books inspire her to do that,” Dr. Brogden says.
Dr. Brogden’s books are available for purchase on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.