Making a Dream Come True

What’s Your Writing Story? #whatsyourwritingstory

Welcome to What’s Your Writing Story, where Indie Children’s Book Authors present their latest project’s writers journey. Find out the what, where, how, and/or why of the process that brought a children’s book into the world.

Today’s Indie Children’s Book Author is, Christina Dankert. Christina is the author of the Kindness Machine. Her husband, Chad, beautifully illustrated the book. Together, they made a fantastic author-illustrator team.

The Kindness Machine teaches children how to be kind to others and to themselves through easy to implement, concrete concepts. 

Making a Dream Come True

I had dreamed of publishing a children’s book for years. In March of 2022, that dream came true. When you read the word dream, what words pop into your mind? Magical? Glorious? Everything you hoped for and more? In truth, turning this dream into reality involved hours of frustration, lack of motivation, feelings of isolation and failure. So why do people put themselves through this process? 

We all have a story to tell, a message to share. To be honest, the passion seems to ooze out on paper or through the computer at the most bizarre moments. Authors have suggested having a notebook handy so that when those ideas pop into your mind, you can quickly jot them down, let them simmer and return to them when you are ready. 

One day, the title, The Kindness Machine, popped into my head. That weekend, I bought a little notebook and wrote down those three words. For a few years, the title lived in that notebook along with a few key phrases, characters ideas and story concepts. Life was busy—an elementary teacher by day, wife, and mother of two in the evenings. When was I supposed to find time to write? 

COVID affected us all differently. For me, I stepped away from my 2nd grade classroom and was fully present for my own family as we navigated a bizarre school year together. In the evenings and weekends where I would typically be lesson planning or grading, I was writing. I also learned about the writing and publishing process thanks to a local librarian and the virtual Women in Publishing Summit. It was through this writing conference that I met my writing community, and it is where I met the lovely Antoinette. I am beyond thankful to the ladies in my writing community for their unwavering support, guidance, cheerleading and honest feedback. 

As a teacher, we teach children how to determine the author’s purpose. We often use the acronym P.I.E. which stands for Persuasion, Information and Entertainment. I often joke that authors must really love pie and it has to be a tough job to decide their purpose for each story. I do love a good piece of cherry pie and I figure out that my purpose was to write The Kindness Machine to help spread kindness in homes and classrooms around the world. 

Some authors write their entire story and give it a title at the very end. For me, the story started with the title. I built concepts and characters around the idea of being kind not only to others, but also being kind to ourselves. Self-love and self-kindness can be challenging concepts for children and adults alike. I hope that the grownups reading the book to the children in their lives, really hear that message again and again and take it to heart. 

One of the best moments for me on my author journey, was reading The Kindness Machine to my students. The conversations we had about the story, the illustrations and what kindness looks like in their own lives was very rewarding. Reading it to my target audience and seeing them get excited not only made the difficult moments along the way worth it, but it also lit a new fire to continue writing. 

I will forever continue to learn in this space as a writer and I am beyond grateful to my writing community and readers. If I can offer a small piece of advice: buy that little notebook and never stop dreaming.

Christina Dankert is a children’s book author, elementary educator, and literacy enthusiast. As an educator, she believes books are a beautiful way to continue to learn and grow. She believes all children should be able to find themselves in picture books. It is through children’s literature and reading to the children in our lives, that will change the world.

Christina’s Links

Find the Kindness Machine at your local Indie Bookstore and

Interested in being featured in What’s Your Writing Story? 

eMail me at

Enjoy ❤️.   Like 👍.  Share 😊. 

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