Thursday, April 20, 2017

In the Spotlight...Chynna Laird

CHYNNA LAIRD – is a freelance writer, blogger, editor and author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, Ryan, three daughters [Jaimie (fourteen), Jordhan (twelve), and Sophie (eight)] and beautiful boy, Xander (ten). Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder and other special needs.


You’ll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain.

In addition, she’s authored two award-winning children’s books (I’m Not Weird, I Have SPD and Don’t Rush Me), two memoirs (the multi award-winning, Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With SPD and White Elephants), a Young Adult novella (Blackbird Flies), an adult Suspense/Thriller (Out Of Sync), a Young Adult Suspense/Paranormal series (Dark Water) and a contemporary New Adult novel (Just Shut Up and Drive).

She’s also working on a sequel to Not Just Spirited and Dark Water as well as a few other projects in the works for Middle Grade and Young Adult readers. Watch out for her next Children’s Picture book, Don’t Rush Me, coming out late spring 2017.

To stay on top of her work, you can find her writing snippets, book information, and chat about important issues at her author blog at www.chynnalairdauthor.ca.



WHERE TO FIND CHYNNA IN CYBERSPACE

 

Main author website/blog: www.chynnalairdauthor.ca
Join Chynna’s Author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Chynna-Laird-Author-203311629699211/
Catch her on Twitter: @ChynnaLaird

JUST SHUT UP and DRIVE
(CleanReads, LLP)

One teen, one cranky old man and the open road. What could go wrong?

Eighteen-year old Wil Carter can think of more than a fistful of things he’d rather do than go on a road trip with his ninety-five year old grandfather. But when Gramps Wilf barks an order, you listen or get an earful of grief.

Wil lost his parents in a horrible car accident when he was five. Gramps has been the only parent he has ever known. Now that he’s ready to go off to college, the old man says he has things Wil needs to learn to be the man he’s supposed to be. But the trip turns out to be more than he bargains for.

Along their week-long road trip across the Canadian Prairies, Wil not only learns tidbits about his own life, but realizes the grandfather he thought he knew has mysteries of his own. With each stop they make, a new layer of emotional truth is revealed…for each of them.

Will Gramps teach Wil what he needs to know before the journey ends? And is Wil strong enough to hear it?

DARK WATER
(CleanReads, LLP)


Sixteen-year-old Freesia Worth has a mystery to solve—the disappearance of her mother at their family lake house. Her traumatized sister Sage hasn't said a word ever since that day. 

After almost a year, Detective Barry Cuaco has found nothing but frustrating dead ends. Soon he'll have to let the case go. But Freesia isn’t making it easy for him. She needs answers. Now. 

With the help of her secret crush, Rick, and a mysterious Goth girl named Mizu, Freesia learns about an ancient Native legend and a man known as the Watcher of the Lake. 

Will Freesia finally uncover the truth? Or will the lake keep its secrets far beneath the dark water?

WHITE ELEPHANTS

(Eagle Wings Press)

Elephant in the middle of the living room.

That is one way of explaining how a family walks around the invisible presence of huge problems. Hindsight is what brings the elephant into focus.

Somehow, Chynna T. Laird began to see at age five the bulky creature crowding her family. And from that time as the child, Tammy, she took on a sense of responsibility to her mother far beyond expectation for her age. Her mother was different than other mothers. Family life in their household was not pretty. No one seemed to notice. No one did anything about it, and Tammy wanted someone to do just that.

As an adult, Tammy took on her first name, Chynna, and took up the challenge to find out what might have helped her mother fight her battle of self-destruction.

She couldn't help her mother, but she would consider it worth everything if her family's story helped another.

OUT OF SYNC

(Melange Press)
Cheyenne McCarthy has two fears: Our sensory rich world and the man who killed her husband. Cheyenne's gift helps her catch serial killers.

But will it save her when the man comes for her and her unborn child? And will the secret he knows about her past be what finally breaks her?

BLACKBIRD FLIES
(CleanReads, LLP)

Fifteen year-old Payton MacGregor is a musical prodigy. To him, though, his music is merely a way for him to escape from the chaos that surrounds him. All of his life, he’s had to care for his mother, who copes with her bipolar disorder with booze instead of turning to her own musical talents. He refuses to become a statistic. Then he’s thrown a curve ball.
                                             
His mother suddenly dies, leaving him to be cared for by his aging grandparents.  As much as they love him, they decide to send him halfway across Canada to live with his father, Liam—the man Payton always believed abandoned him and his mother. Payton isn’t making the relocation easy on anyone until he finds out he's going to attend the prestigious School of the Arts for musically gifted youth. Any second thoughts he has about his new life are erased when he meets Lily Joplin. Their connection is instantaneous.

Lily is a talented singer, but her struggles with drugs and bipolar disorder hit too close to home for Payton’s comfort. And when her issues become all-consuming for Payton, he wonders if his music will be enough to carry him through.

 I’M NOT WEIRD, I HAVE SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (SPD)
(Loving, Healing Press)

Do you have any idea what Sensory Processing Disorder is and how it affects people who have it?

Alexandra is a young girl who has a problem. Noises, even whispers, hurt her ears.

Smells bother her nose, and her food doesn’t taste good. Lights in stores bother her eyes. Things feel bad on her skin. As a result she often screams to block out these frightening things. Sometimes she also spins around or squeezes into tight places. Some people think that she’s weird. What is causing Alexandra’s problems, and what can she and her parents do about them?

An Occupational Therapist tells Mama and Daddy that Alexandra has Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD for short. Her brain doesn’t process things the same way that everyone else’s brain does. When she smells something or someone touches her, her brain gets the message but doesn’t understand how to read it. Her brain jumbles up the messages that it receives and gets confused. So she gets scared and screams. They also learn techniques that will help Alexandra to cope with her disorder. When I was on the board of the Greater St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo, one of the frequent requests we received was to choose special needs speakers who would help homeschooling parents deal with sensory processing issues in their children.

I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD was inspired by author Chynna Laird’s daughter, Jaimie, who struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) every day. The book, for which Kindle and ePub editions are also available, was written to show those with SPD that there are other children who feel things the way they do. It can help youngsters with SPD learn how to explain their disorder to others; help peers understand what children with SPD go through; and also help therapists, teachers, and/or counselors learn how to talk about it. The new 2nd edition includes some suggested activities which teachers or caregivers can do with children to help develop a deeper understanding of how SPD "feels" plus an interview with Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, director of the STAR Center at Denver, CO, and a recognized expert in the field. Alexandra learns that she’s not weird, she just has Sensory Processing Disorder.

NOT JUST SPIRITED: A MOM’S SENSATIONAL JOURNEY WITH SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (SPD)

(Loving, Healing Press)

What would you do if your child suffered with something so severe it affected every aspect of her life?
And what if your cries for help fell on deaf ears at every turn? You'd follow your gut and fight until someone listened. And that's what Chynna Laird did. When she was just three months old, Jaimie's reactions to people and situations seemed odd. She refused any form of touch, she gagged at smells, she was clutzy and threw herself around and spent most of her day screaming with her hands over her ears and eyes.
By the time she turned two, Jaimie was so fearful of her world they spent most days inside. What was wrong with Chynna's miracle girl? Why wouldn't anyone help her figure it out? Jaimie wasn't "just spirited" as her physician suggested nor did she lack discipline at home. When Jaimie was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) at two-and-a-half, Chynna thought she had "the answer," but that was just the start of a three-year quest for the right treatments to bring the Jaimie she loved so much out for others to see. With the right diagnosis and treatment suited to Jaimie, this family finally felt hope. Not Just Spirited is one mother's journey to finding peace for her daughter, Jaimie. As Chynna says often, "Knowledge breeds understanding. And that's so powerful."

About Chynna

Chynna Laird is a Psychology graduate and Criminology student. She is also a freelance writer, blogger, editor and multi award-winning author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, Ryan, and her three daughters [Jaimie (fourteen), Jordhan (twelve), and Sophie (eight)] and beautiful boy, Xander (nine). Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder and other special needs.

Education:

Athabasca University                                                   Current
            BPA Criminology

Athabasca University
            B.A. Psychology
(Minor on Children and families
with special needs)                                           December 2011

Long Ridge Writers Group
            Novel Writing Course                                      March 2007

Writers’ Digest
            Advanced Article Writing Workshop               November 2006

Long Ridge Writers Group
Breaking Into Print course                               2006


Published Work:

You’ll find my work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain. In addition, I’ve contributed to several anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parents with Special Needs Children, Cup Of Comfort For Special Needs, Dear Nana and Sensational Journeys.

Books:

I have a passion for children and families with special needs, which inspires my writing and authoring. In addition to contributing to the above anthologies, I have also authored:
  • An award-winning children’s picture book called, “I’m Not Weird, I Have SPD,” 2nd Edition released in August 2009 (Initially with Outskirts Press, Inc., taken over by Loving, Healing Press);
  • A multi-award winning memoir, “Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)” detailing living with and raising a child with SPD (Released November 2009 Loving, Healing Press);
  • A memoir, “White Elephants” about living with a mother who had untreated bipolar disorder (Silver Boomer Books, January 2011). This book was a finalist in the CAA Exporting Alberta Award.
  • A young adult novella, “Blackbird Flies” (Astraea Press, LLC, March 2011).
  • An adult thriller/suspense, “Out Of Sync” (Melange Press, March 2012).
  • A young adult suspense/paranormal, “Dark Water” (Imajin Books, July 2012).
  • A new adult contemporary novel, “Just Shut Up and Drive (Astraea Press, June 2013).
  • A children’s picture book, “Don’t Rush Me: A Tribute To Siblings of Children With SPD”, coming out later 2014;
  • A collaborative project writing a children’s picture book for selected families for the Ronald McDonald House.
  • Currently working on a sequel to “Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)” called, “Not Just Spirited: The Journey Continues” as well as several Middle Grade and Young Adult projects.

Please visit my website at www.chynnalairdauthor.ca, to get a feel for my work, clips and article samples as well as to learn what inspires me.

 

Professional Experience and Affiliations


I began as an Intern with the women’s writing ezine WOW (Women On Writing) in Spring 2007 and was then promoted to Contributing Editor. I wrote for two columns (“In The Trenches With Chynna” and “Write On, Mamas) in their Premium Green Markets newsletter as well as interviews with freelancers, editors or novelists for the “Meet Your Mentor” column.

Through WOW, I assisted with judging quarterly writing contests, editing/proofreading articles, reviewing queries and submissions and other editorial duties as required. I also interview writers, authors, editors, publishers and celebrities for the eZine as the opportunity arises. Currently, I work for WOW as a Contest Manager.

I am a member of the PWAC (Professional Writing Association of Canada), and The Writers Guild of Alberta with Press Cards through both organizations. Other memberships include Writers-Editors Network, Christian Writers Guild, the Canadian Authors Association (Professional Member), Crime Writers of Canada Association and the International Women Writers Guild.

Editing/Blogging

In addition, I offer freelance editing and marketing services with regular clients including:

  • Clean Reads, LLC – Content Editor/Proofreader/author
  • Imajin Books – author
  • Melange Books – Editor/proofreader/author
  • Loving, Healing Press – Author/Virtual/Administrative Assistant and Marketing Coordinator
  • Sucker Literary Magazine – acquisitions/editing
  • Red Sage Publishing – editing/proofreading
  • Editing/proofreading for individual authors

My blogging work, aside from my personal author blog, includes:

  • Author’s Den
  • PsychCentral
  • Recovering the Self
  • Guest posts, as requested (see personal blog for details)






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