May 13, 2009 Erin Smith Uncategorized
Heather Doran Fitzpatrick turned her personal loss into a story of hope and healing for children.
After losing her father and mother to separate illnesses, the 1990 Baker High School graduate wrote a children’s book, titled “The Day I Saw A Dragonfly,” to help young people cope with loss and to remember their loved ones are always with them. Fitzpatrick, whose parents lived on Seneca Street from more than 30 years, will return to Baldwinsville for a book signing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday May 16 at Shamballa Caf (c) & Coffee Roasters at 34 Oswego St. in Baldwinsville.
The Baldwinsville Messenger recently interviewed Fitzpatrick about her book and inspirations.
What inspired you to become a children’s author?
My father, John Doran, was a writer and loved to tell us stories. I have fond memories of him reading to me and telling wonderful stories to my sisters and I. It was his dream to someday have a book published. I believe I was fulfilling his dream for him.
How did you come to have a book signing in Baldwinsville?
My father passed away in July of 2002 of cancer and my mother passed away in April of 2008 of heart failure. This book is how I helped my children through the grieving process and is dedicated to my parents. I wanted to have a signing in Baldwinsville because it is where I grew up and where many of my parents’ friends still live. It will bring a smile to their faces as a part of my parents are in the book.
In a nutshell, what is your book about?
A mother and her two daughters are on a walk in the forest, when the mother, who had recently buried her father, spies a dragonfly. It is well known that dragonflies carry angels on their backs, she explains, that is why a dragonfly has an extra set of wings. The girls surmise that it must be their grandfather. A special habit begins in which the three know in their heart when a dragonfly nears, it is a very special angel visiting them.
What was your inspiration for ‘The Day I Saw A Dragonfly?’
It was inspired by my father’s death in order to bring peace to my family. After my father died, I was walking with my girls and the story came to me. I felt my father was with me that day, feeding me the story to help his granddaughters and me through the troubling time after his death. Filled with inspiration, we rushed home, I wrote down everything that had flooded my head, and [my daughters] colored pictures of dragonflies. All afternoon I felt a sense of peace because I believe he was with us. From that day on, we began to see dragonflies everywhere, in places you wouldn’t even expect. It still gives me goose bumps.
Is this your first published book?
This is my first book, but I do have others written that I am working on getting published. They are all children’s books.
What message do you hope children will take away from ‘The Day I Saw A Dragonfly?’
I hope that children that have experienced the loss of a loved one or beloved pet will carry on our tradition of the dragonfly in order to keep their loved one close to their heart. It has brought peace and happiness to my family, and I hope it can do the same for everyone.
Why do you think reading is important for children?
Reading is very important because it awakens the imagination. An outstanding imagination can write amazing stories.
Published in 2008, Heather Fitzpatrick’s “The Day I Saw A Dragonfly” is available for purchase at amazon.com and by request at bookstores such as Borders and Barnes and Nobles.
The children’s book “The Day I Saw A Dragonfly,” written by Heather Doran Fitzpatrick.