Monday, January 13, 2014

Christy E. Bykowski, author of Beckmin Goes to School, a Book for Celiac Kids

Author Bio: Christy is an award-winning public relations and marketing practitioner, as well as a wife and mother. She lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, Benjamin, raising their three boys and spreading awareness about celiac disease and the need for a gluten-free environment for individuals diagnosed with celiac disease.

Title: Gluten-Free Me
           Beckmin Goes to School, a Book for Celiac Kids
Author: Christy E. Bykowski
ISBN: 13: 978-1-61244-229-7
Page count: 20
Genre: Children               
Price: $11.95

Tell us about your book:
“Beckmin Goes to School” is my first children’s book, and was inspired by my middle son, Beckmin, who was diagnosed with celiac disease at 18 months, after extensive sickness and a series of hospital visits. Since then, I’ve worked with Beckmin through the everyday challenges of being a kid with this disease, dealing with his frustrations and his own learning cruve as to what celiac disease is, how to explain it and what it means in his day-to-day life.

How long did it take to write the book?
I got the basic concept down for the book in less than a day, but then spent 1-2 months working with the copy and editing it.

What inspired you to write the book?
I was inspired by my son, Beckmin, who was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 1.5. Watching him grow up – how he’s had to explain his disease to other kids and parents; how he’s to make very adult decisions all day, every day – led me to write this book.  I’m hoping it’s a tool that will help him, and others, easy explain what celiac disease is and how someone with it has to cope.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
This book really documents Beckmin’s everyday life, so the research I did was just to watch him interact on a daily basis. I tried to write it from a child’s perspective, and go through the many decisions Beckmin faces in his regular routine.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
Beckmin's stories are written to help children define, understand and explain celiac disease. They are meant to be both empowering and educational for kids and their parents. 

Excerpt from book:
Five-year-old Beckmin headed off to kindergarten for the first time.
Beckmin climbed on the bus and waved goodbye to his mom.
Beckmin’s new teacher Mrs. Frederick said, “Let’s start our day with breakfast.”
The kids lined up to get their cereal.
Beckmin looked around.
“Here, you can share this cereal with me,” said his new friend Ellie.
“No, I can’t eat that,” said Beckmin. 
“Why not?” asked Ellie. “I like it a lot.”
“It has wheat in it. See…” he said, turning over the box.
He pointed to the ingredients and spelled, “W-H-E-A-T.”
“So?” said Ellie. 
“I can’t eat wheat,” said Beckmin. “I have celiac disease.”
“Silly what?” asked Ellie. 
“Celiac (SEE-lee-yak) disease,” said Beckmin. “It means I can’t eat wheat.”
“That’s silly,” said Ellie. 
“It’s not silly. It’s special,” said Beckmin.

Where can we go to buy your book?
The book is available at Halo Publishing International, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
You can find out more about me and the book at

The World of Ink Network will be touring author Christy E. Bykowski's kid friendly celiac disease awareness picture book, Gluten-Free Me: Beckmin Goes to School.

You can find out more about Christy E. Bykowski, her book and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

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