Last winter, I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote a children's book.

This was not something I planned or had ever put much thought into. I had always admired my mom’s way with words and would playfully tease her about how she went to college to get an English degree so she could fill up books with poems that no one would ever read.

In early November 2021, I woke up one random Wednesday night, around 2:00am, with my head full of ideas for all kinds of children’s books. I started to jot down the ideas in a notebook. I sat there that night and selected one of those ideas and wrote almost the whole story.

Over the next few months, I worked to find an editor and an illustrator. I explored all my publishing options. It was really scary (still is). I would wake up in the middle of night, but instead of more book ideas, I would be full of doubt — sweating, questioning myself. Why am I doing this? How am I doing this?

I was lost, but determined to take this challenge on. All by myself. Not a soul to help me — this was by choice. I awkwardly turned away very knowledgeable friends and family who could have laid out the exact path I could have taken. I didn’t quite understand at the time why I needed to stubbornly do this alone. I pushed forward without hesitation.

About a week away from finalizing the book and I finally realized the reasons I needed to do this.

Something felt empty, unaccomplished, stagnant. I needed to prove something, but I was still not really sure on what that might be.

A bit of backstory to give some insight: In 2016 my perspective on life, career and priorities shifted after we suffered the loss of three family members. One of them was my mom. She was my best friend.

I left my hectic job at an ad agency and settled back into my hometown roots working as a secretary at the school that my twin daughters and their older sister were attending — the same school my mom and I both attended.

I felt at home.

Being “at home” is comfortable, definitely enjoyable. That was the right decision and I have zero regrets.

However, as my girls are getting older, I felt I needed to demonstrate other examples of success. Parents' every word and action can affect the future version of their kids. For all the comfort and community, my girls — fifth generation Huntington Woods residents — also needed to see some grit, determination and drive.

I want them to take chances. To tap potential that they never knew they had. To take scary risks on their own and see what happens.

I wanted to show rather than just say be independent, don’t rely on others, see what you can accomplish on your own. The results will be phenomenal.

Most of all, I want them to understand that life is short and ever changing — they should always follow their passion and to never settle just because.

We should practice self care, take breaks and get plenty of rest. But when you are lying in bed and an idea wakes you up in the middle of the night, take a chance and follow that dream.

I am hoping whomever purchases my book will remember that this is not about profit for me — quite sure there will be no financial gain — but about exemplifying success to my girls.

Trouble with being a Double is currently on presale for $17.99, you can contact Erika ( to order until July 7. It will be for sale on Amazon and other book retailers in late July for $22.99.