Local author uses literary talents to help children in need
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 11:23

Alexandra writes therapeutic books for kids

by Nicole Rodman

    Since her graduation from the University of Maryland, College Park years ago, Dundalk resident Deborah Alexandra has worked with children in need, both in her career and as a parent.
    Now, she is using her expertise to create a series of therapeutic books for children.
    The aim of the books, which Alexandra both uses herself and sells,  is to teach children coping skills and anger management strategies in a fun, interactive format.
    “Therapeutic books are books that can be used in therapy,” Alexandra told The Eagle last week. “They are not quite as fun and imaginative as other children’s books, perhaps.  But, they are educational and teach therapeutic concepts.”

Alexandra’s career with children began as a caseworker with the Baltimore City Choice Program.
    As a caseworker, Alexandra spent each day traveling to schools and homes across the city, offering resources and counseling to children with a variety of difficulties and disabilities.
    After her time with the Choice Program, Alexandra went to work with a prominent Maryland nonprofit organization, where she served as a counselor for children with severe behavioral problems, counseling them and aiding them with daily tasks.
    When her son was born with his own set of difficulties, Alexandra continued her work with children at risk, albeit on a part-time basis.
    In her work with the nonprofit group, Alexandra often found herself unable to afford supplies, such as therapuetic books, that she needed for her young clients and their parents.
    Undaunted, she decided to create her own.
    According to Alexandra, she originally set out to write a book for parents but quickly turned her talents to children’s books.
    In books such as Kody Gets Angry: An Anger Management Story, Alexandra offers tips and discussion questions that allow the child to interact with the book.
    “They are geared towards getting kids to talk about their difficulties and to make progress towards improvement,” Alexandra explained.
    An independent author and publisher, she writes, illustrates, edits and publishes her own material.
    All of Alexandra’s books are currently available for sale on Amazon at www.amazon.com/
    According to Alexandra, though she uses the books with her son and clients, so far sales of her books have been slow.
    “When my books go through free promotions through Kindle, they usually end up on the top of whatever lists Amazon puts them in. But, times are hard,” she explained, noting, “I am strongly considering donating some to the library, though.  I really want them to be used.”
    Having gone back to full-time hours this month (her son is five and now in school), Alexandra expects  that it will be more difficult for her to continue publishing new books at her former pace.
    “I have my son and three stepdaughters, my job, and the writing to juggle. The illustrations alone can take 4 hours a picture,” she explained, adding, “I am hopeful that I will figure out a way to get it all done.”
    In the meantime, Alexandra is hoping that her therapeutic books will continue to find an audience with children and parents locally and across the world.
    For more information on Deborah Alexandra, visit her website at http://fairydustwitch.wix.com/deborahalexandra#!home/mainPage.
    Alexandra is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/author
deborahalexandra?ref=hlauthordeboralexandra?ref=hl and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/fairydustwitch.