Monday, March 18, 2019

It's Not Easy Being a Superhero by Kelli Call, Tony Pham (Illustrator)

*Don't forget to enter my two YA Giveaways*

The Book-
Unlike most superheroes, Clark’s superpowers aren’t a secret. And instead of just one, Clark has five superpowers he must learn to control: super hearing, super sight, super smell, super taste, and super feeling. He uses his five superpowers to defeat sensory triggers, and his arch nemesis Igor Ance.  This beautifully illustrated picture book helps parents, teachers, students, and friends understand what it’s like for these superheroes who have sensory processing disorder and the tricks they learn to control their powers.

The Interview- Kelli Call
1. Tell me about your book in your own words.
It’s Not Easy Being a Superhero is about a little boy with sensory processing disorder who sees himself as a superhero whose super powers don’t always do what he wants them to. This book opens a way for children and those around them to better understand their behaviors and needs in a fun relatable way.
2. How do you think your book will relate to kids in today’s world?
This book was inspired by my two sons, both of each have sensory processing disorder. Many children have sensory processing issues, this book is helpful to children, their caregivers, and teachers to understand what is happening to them and the best way to help them cope.
3. Is there a message you wish to convey with this book?

I really just wanted to convey awareness and understanding of the disorder and how strong and great the kids are that have it.
4. Tell me about your writing process.
Funny enough, this book started as a college finals project, it was the first time I had written a children’s picture book and I discovered that I loved it. With pictures books I just start writing what I want the book to be about, general ideas. Then, I start putting those ideas into a sequence of beginning, middle, end. Then I start getting into particulars about the characters, plot, movement. Once the book is written, that’s when I start slashing for word count. I mean, you are always aware of word count with picture books, but this is when I get my trusty red marker and slash away. Then, I do a dummy layout. Since the word count is down, I need to know if the sequence of the book is representing itself on the page and if the flow of the book is working. A dummy is the perfect tool. Next comes critique and beta readers, more editing, more moving pages around, until I am satisfied with the story.
5. What were your favorite books to read as a child or teen?
Ronald Dahl’s Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach were books I read over and over as a child. As a teenager I read a lot of R. L. Stein Fear Street, Victoria Holt’s Gothic mystery’s, and classic literature. I liked a weird hodgepodge of genres and authors, still do.
6. What advice would you give to up and coming authors?
Be open to constructive criticism, your book isn’t going to be perfect the first, fifth, or even tenth time you or others read it, fresh eyes can change everything. Also, find your audience and search for the publisher that can get that book to your target audience. Not every publisher works for every author, even self-publishing.
7. What was your path to publication like?
My path was interesting. You are always told, “you just need one yes to get published”. Well, I had that one yes years ago for a YA trilogy that ended up not working out. So, I was published, but not really published. Then, I went back to school and was going to get my degree in English, but I hated being told what to write. So, I changed it to a minor where I got to take all of the fun classes and none of the stuff I hated. It was in those creative writing and children’s literature classes that I learned, that although I was an avid reader, I knew nothing. I learned valuable insight, and made great professional connections and developed networking skills by going back to school. Now, I couldn’t be happier with Pink Umbrella publishing for the publication of this book. It took a while to find the right publisher for the right book, but it was completely worth it.


  1. This looks like a great one to share with teachers and students. Thanks for the interview.

    1. I think so too. Perfect for teachers and understanding students.

  2. I love this book! My wife and several of my kids experience SPD and this was super helpful.

  3. Wow, I didn't realize that this was a PB until your second paragraph. And then to discover it is about a boy with a sensory processing disorder, is very intriguing. As I was reading his super powers, I was thinking, "I'm not so sure I'd want those powers." Then it made sense. Perfect book for my website. Will check it out. And, I enjoyed the interview and the fact both her sons have SPD. I can relate a bit, because I had a brain injury years ago, and I have to be careful of sensory overload.

  4. My daughter has some sensory issues along with her connective tissue disease, so this sounds like a book we would love! Thanks so much for the interview and for sharing!

  5. What an interesting concept for a book. I will try to check this one out. Thanks for telling me about it.