Asheida Arruda says it all started with an email to her sister wishing a happy birthday to one of her pet ferrets. Two years later, she's published her first book for elementary school children: Peach and Pun The New Family Ferret.
Arruda says the first draft of her book morphed out of the email to her sister. Before she realized it, it had grown exponentially.
"The next thing I knew, the email had become a couple of pages long," says Arruda.
The children's book is about two ferrets named Pun and Peach. Pun is introduced to a new home, which Peach had already claimed to be her own. In order to find a place in the family Pun overcomes obstacles and finds common ground between them.
Arruda, who has worked at Lord Byng Secondary as a school support worker (SSW) for the past five years, says over the course of her career in education she has interacted with a range of students from elementary schools to secondary schools including some inner city students. She says the themes of her book were inspired by her experiences working with these children, particularly those who have had difficulty adjusting to a changing environment.
"I want to tell children how they can adapt to a new environment and foster relationships based on similarities rather than differences," she says.
The book was a big surprise for her family who didn't know of its existence until Arruda trotted them down to Chapters and the book shelf holding her newly published work.
"The anticipation from my family's reaction was exciting," she says. "I also loved how the story really came alive during the creative process. The highlight of creating a story is being able to get into the personality of the characters."
Click here to purchase the book online. It will also be available through Authorhouse, Chapters and Barnes & Noble.