Characters fly around in Emily Lazur’s head all day as she teaches her students at Hucrest Elementary and her children at home. This year, she decided to get the ideas out of her head and onto paper.
She just published her first children’s book, Ava’s Ten Balloons, under her pen name Louise Paris Lazur. The 31-page story is based on her daughter, Ava. She meets bees, trees and lightning who all tell her she can’t keep going higher with her balloons.
“Really, it’s about all little girls just being brave and flying as high as you can,” Lazur said. “Essentially, it’s about flying as high as you can so that you don’t hear everybody else saying come back down.”
All of Lazur’s book ideas have some sort of lesson she wants to impart to her children and her students.
“I have all these kids every day and I want to instill in them all these lessons in my books; be happy with who you are, go as far as you can,” Lazur said. “It’s such an important thing for kids to hear. They grasp those messages, they can see them.”
Lazur said she wasn’t ready to commit to deadlines from a large publishing company, so she chose to self-publish through Amazon.
“It takes a while to write something that’s polished,” Lazur said. “I want my kids to go through school first before I have deadlines. I like having my own deadline because my kids are still small and I still like teaching. I’m not ready to have deadlines for writing deadlines yet.”
She wrote and illustrated the book over the summer while her children slept, drawing inspiration from their play. She plans to write a book for each of her three children at some point and chose to illustrate this book with digital art so it would reflect her daughter Ava better.
Lazur attributes a lot of the process to her family, the Paris family who helped her edit and perfect the book.
“I’m so lucky to have people who help me with everything I do and people who believe in me,” Lazur said.
Another big helper was the teacher in the next room, Janine Lopez who teaches second grade and helps Lazur with her marketing.
“Knowing Emily for a long time and getting to know her, I see this person who’s pretty special and has this gift,” Lopez said. “I have a lot of admiration for her because she’s taken this dream, this thing she’s been working on for years, and she’s taken that next step.”
Lazur said her husband encouraged her to start getting the ideas out and to take the next step. She’s confident that her story will connect with parents and children and find a valuable space in the library.
“I read books to my kids all the time. It’s one of my favorite things to do with my kids,” Lazur said. “This I feel has that message I’ve been searching for in a book. It’s the message piece that I think is special. I think a lot of parents will be able to connect with it. I think I’ve captured how parents feel about their children.”
To keep the kids engaged on the way up to her book signing on Nov. 20 at the Hucrest library,
Lazur is having a coloring contest with two winners and a scavenger hunt every Friday in November where she will hide books in Little Free Libraries around town and give clues on her Facebook page.
“(The book) ends with a book number two in mind,” Lazur said. “‘Always reach higher than you think you can go, be a dreamer and believe you are braver than you know.’”