Natalie McChlery

A warm Hello from the island of Guam!

Today, I am pleased to feature Natalie McChlery from another beautiful island of Barbados.

Hi Natalie, welcome to Empowering Stories! Why don’t you tell us more about yourself?

My name is Natalie McChlery. I am 36 years young, and I hail from the lovely, sunny island of Barbados. 🏝 I am married to my lovely, wonderful husband Iain, and I am mother to our two girls, Bethany and Mikayla.

I love children, being outdoors, art, history and storytelling. I love being creative in all forms.  I worked in hospitality and teaching from age 18 to 32 and left my job to full time homeschool my younger daughter (who is on the autism spectrum) . While I was happy being a mum and teacher, I wanted something to do that would be for me. I took an Author’s Course with one of my Mentors, Peggy McColl, and after taking the course,  I decided to write a book. Several books actually.🤗 As they say, the rest is history. 

A mom, a wife, and an author! I love it!  I love that you’ve decided to do something that would be for you. Motherhood is a tasking job and sometimes, we forget to do something fun and valuable for ourselves.

So, you’ve mentioned that you’ve written several books, you’ve been busy! Tell us about your book/books & what inspired you to write it?

Be Patient Circe’ is my first book. It is available on Amazon. 😉 Be Patient Circe’ is a story that follows a young Phoenix named Circe’ as she enters Magic School for the first time. She is worried about how the other children will treat her and if she will fit in. Her mother reasures her that everything will be ok and not to worry. Each day Circe’ comes home and tells her mother about different students who have remarkable abilities and talents and she expresses how she feels not good enough, jealous and maybe even confused as to why everyone else seems to have such an easy time having unique and amazing skills and she does not. Her Mother each time gives her the same advice of being patient and lets her know that we all have something special to give the world but sometimes if there is a trait in others that we would like to have in ourselves, we have to practise and be patient with ourselves. 

I was inspired to write my book by my 2 daughters and by the many children I helped teach and look after over the years. My youngest has a hard time with her speech and there were times she would come home from school bawling her eyes out and her teacher’s aide would tell me that she had tried to talk with some girls and school and they had made fun of her and said “Why does she not talk correctly? Is she a baby? Talking is not that hard!!” And because it is for her she felt  broken and not good enough. With all children, special needs or not, they all have trouble navigating their emotions. Jealousy, envy, low self-esteem, “I’m not good enough”, “So and so has it so easy and it is too hard for me so I am not even going to try!” and more I heard from these little sweet hearts and my advice to them all the time was, You need to be more patient with yourself!! You are good enough! If you want to get better at a skill it just takes practice. You can do anything as long as you can be patient, work hard and try your best!!  It is a message that even as adults we forget. I also wanted to low key teach the parents to be patient with their children. When they come telling their parents about a tough time they are having their emotions and how they feel should not be pushed aside or thought of as trivial or that they can handle it on their own. Parents also get reminded to be patient with their little ones. 

I have had the privilege to read Be Patient Circe’ and I think it conveys agreat and important message not only for the little readers, but also for the parents.

“I also wanted to low key teach the parents to be patient with their children. When they come telling their parents about a tough time they are having their emotions and how they feel should not be pushed aside”

I love this part of the book! I think sometimes we get too busy or too involved at so many things that  our patience go right out of the window. Thanks for reminding us to be patient with our little ones, well for me, not so little ones anymore, but it apply all the same.

What was the hardest part about writing it?

To be honest, I didn’t find it hard to write my book. I got inspired by what happened with my girls and I wrote my book over the course of 5 nights before bed. The hardest part was finding the right names for each of the characters, because I wanted names that described their talents or skills. For example Kaliope is a beautiful musical instrument but also means beautiful voice which is what the character, as a mermaid, is blessed with. 

That’s wonderful! Sometimes, when we’re inspired, we better be ready to write because we never know what amazing story we might produce.

What was the most exciting part of the process?

The most exciting part of the process honestly was getting the inspiration and getting it all down. Then drawing the sketches for my characters was fun also. 

I wish I could illustrate like you, I’m sure it was pretty exciting for you to put the story and the characters together!

Be Patient Circe’ was inspired by your daughters, tell us more about this inspiration and how it all came about.

My girls were my main inspiration. Along with the children I looked after. My girls love stories and fantasy. When it came to deciding how my characters looked I knew I wanted my characters to be from fantasy. I wanted as many children as possible to relate to the story and not be distracted by the fact that they didn’t have their skin colour or something like that. I wanted them to be extremely good at the talents they were going to portray and the best way to get that across I thought was that their talents had to seem almost magical. As another side note my daughters have nicknames like little mermaid and cheeky elf, while growing up. So it leant a little nod towards those characters to tell the story. I also like the thought that just like us Phoenixes have to rise from the ashes before they become majestic . So too should kids know that it may be tough at first when you are learning something new, but then it gets easier with practise and then you fly! 

What a beautiful inspiration, indeed! I love that you’d incorporated their own talents and nicknames in your book, that’s amazing. I’m sure they were excited to see their personalities come out of your book!

Was there a character that you’ve enjoyed writing about more than the others?

Circe’  and her Mum are the main characters and I really didn’t get to dive into the other characters so much in Be Patient Circe’. I loved writing Circe’ because whether or not anyone wants to admit it , we all have been her. Asking the same questions over and over again, and needing to be reminded  if not by someone else, we do it ourselves and think, ” Come on! Don’t give up!, I know it is tricky now but we got this!! 😁The fact that I don’t really explore the other characters so much in this book is why I am so happy to have “I wanna be what I wanna be!” as a follow up. We dive more into the other characters and have a bit of fun. 

I agree, I’m sure many have experienced Circe’s experience; I know I have. Oooh, “I wanna be what I wanna be!” sounds like another wonderful book!

Do you have a favorite part of the book, a dialogue perhaps?

There are many!! Almost all are from Mummy Phoenix . 😂 One of my favorites is when she tells Circe’ :

“Be Patient my little Circe’, and just remember to try your best.”

“If you want to get better, practice! and let time do all the rest.”

“For now, praise Kaliope and learn from her all you can.”

“So that soon, your voice will be renowned throughout the land.”

I love it! I can see that this book has a great message for children. Is there any other messages you would like to spread through your books?

There is!! Be Patient!! Be Patient with yourself. Be Patient with others. Know that you are good enough! You are unique! We all have a skill to offer. Some find it out early, some of us need to practice a few skills until we find our thing that we are good at. In all things Dream Big. Work hard at what you want, be patient and see what wonderful things can happen for you. 🤗

Patience and believing in yourself! What great virtues to have indeed! You’re a mom, a teacher and a writer among other else. As a writer, do you have any advice you would like to share to aspiring authors?

I would. Have fun with what you are doing! Be Patient with yourself!. If you ever feel a block in what you are trying to write, or do during the process, take a break and find something that brings you joy. Then come back and write. Set a time for when to write that makes you feel good. If you are an early riser, wake early and set an hour to write and when it is up, get up and walk away and come back to write the next day. If you are an evening person and want that the house is quiet and your family is asleep so they can’t interrupt you, set a time, write for an hour or two and then stop. Don’t over push or stress over the writing. It should always be in a comfortable environment and frame of mind. 

Great advise! Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers before signing off?

Thank you so much for supporting Be Patient Circe’. May you enjoy reading this story over and over.  Remember to Dream Big, work towards what you want to achieve, learn from others and most of all “Be Patient!”. You can achieve whatever you put your mind and heart too. Can’t wait for you to enjoy ” I wanna Be what I wanna Be!” very soon!! 😍💖

Thank you so much, Natalie for gracing us with your presence here at Empowering Stories! Your story and your book are definitely empowering!

To find out more about Natalie and her books, visit

https://www.instagram.com/be_patient_circe/

Don’t forget to get a copy of Be Patient Circe’

If you are an author or someone who have an empowering story to share with the world, would like to be featured on Empowering Stories Blog Page and my other social media, please head on to the contact page on this website and send me a quick email. I would love to hear your empowering stories!

Don’t forget to grab a copy of my latest book Wonder Mommy – a sweet tribute to mommies with chronic illness.

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