By AML Publisher
Photos courtesy of Belle Vie Photography
In 2007, Kristie Finnan’s one-year-old daughter would start crying every morning when she watched her mom slipping on her high heel shoes-heading out the door as a pharmaceutical sales rep. “She knew that meant I was off to work and she wasn’t going to see me the rest of the day. She would say, ‘No shoes mommy!’” explained Finnan. Some quick research looking around for a picture book online that explained to children why their mom had to leave for work each day turned up some interesting stats-but no book. “What I found was approximately seventy percent of moms work in some capacity and sixty-two percent have children under six. There are a lot of moms across America who are probably facing that same dreaded morning scenario. But, everything I was coming across with children’s literature talked about daddy coming home or leaving for work, but no mention of mom. It started me thinking,” said Finnan.
A few chats with her husband and the 37-year old Bucks County native, and current mom to three children five years of age and younger, decided she would start pondering penning her own. Two years passed, she gave birth to a son and continued with her career. Then came her daughter’s third birthday in September of 2007-and a life changing moment. “My daughter got a frou-frou princess outfit and some plastic matching shoes for her birthday and she put everything on. She started walking around the house and came around the corner, looked up at me and said ‘Bye mom, I’m going to work!’ My husband turned to me and said, ‘That’s it, you have to write your book.’ Then I just got this one track mind about it and refocused on the idea of writing a children’s book,” explained Kristie.
Finnan’s days as an (outside) BioOncology sales rep gave her a lot of time in the car to start developing the book concept. She started scribbling her ideas for the character’s names and the storyline on little pieces of paper while sitting in traffic. Finding a publisher proved difficult and costly so Kristie formed her own publishing company, Mommy Workshop, and sought out talented illustrator Pat Achilles (achillesportfolio.com).
Mommy’s High Heel Shoes, published in September of 2008, has sold over 2,000 copies to date. Recommended for children three to eight years old, Mommy’s High Heel Shoes is a story about a little girl nicknamed “Cakes,” because of her love of cupcakes. After Mommy leaves for work, Cakes plays in Mommy’s closet with her brother and imagines she is Mommy. Cakes discovers that Mommy wears so many different shoes because Mommy has lots of jobs. The story explores the topic of parent-child separation, why mothers work outside the home and the many important jobs moms have inside the home.
Future plans for Finnan include further development of realmommyreviews.com, a website where moms can reference product reviews of affordable products. The dynamic Finnan is also interested in working with local companies across the Delaware Valley as a guest speaker to address work/life/balance issues. An ardent promoter late at night when her children are asleep, Finnan keeps her blog kristiefinnan.com going and is very active on Twitter with an impressive 1,200 followers.
Kristie has garnered press in dozens of local newspapers and magazines and has sent her book to ‘mom’ celebrities like Kelly Ripa. She is currently trying to get it into the hands of actress Tori Spelling. “Eventually something is going to stick. I am keeping at it-I think if I can just get my book in front of the right publisher things will happen. But, it’s not so important to me. I used to cry every day on my way to work leaving my children behind, it’s a constant emotional struggle. So many moms are in this situation-they can never go to the playground during the week or afternoon play dates and the guilt sets in! I hope they find Mommy’s High Heel Shoes something they can in the same boat. The majority of moms out there have two careers now, especially these days, so its my hope in some way I can make it a bit easier,” said Finnan.
Kristie Finnan’s children’s book, Mommy’s High Heel Shoes (mommyshighheelshoes.com), can be found across the Delaware Valley including O’Doodles Toy Store in Chestnut Hill and other locations. She can be found online on her blog at kristiefinnan.com. Be sure to follow Kristie on Twitter @mommyshhshoes.