Indie Authors Inspired by Life Experiences

Obviously, since I’m a mom I’ve spent several years perusing children’s books, trying to find the ‘good ones’, the ‘funny ones’, the ‘popular ones’, the ones that my kids would respond to. During the first handful of years of motherhood in reading all the many books that we have, I never expected at this point I would be a children’s book author, much less a self-published one. Two years ago, I didn’t even know what ‘self-published’ meant. In a nutshell, it means that you manage the ENTIRE writing, development and publishing process yourself without the support or guidance of a publishing house. An indie author is someone who has an idea and then pushes it through to completion – they decide to write the story, find the editor, find an artist, collaborate on book design, find a printer who can print within their budget, decide the sales channels, then market or promote their new book to get it in the hands of the people who what to read it. It’s a lot of work.

And in this journey over the course of the last two years, I have come across so many different indie authors with so many different stories influenced or guided by their life experiences. For example, in my case, in 2016 we lost our triplet son Benjamin who was special needs. After we established the Ben Smiles Memorial Foundation, I felt driven to do more. The idea for the Ben’s Adventures books was born.

Because there are so many different impactful stories, I wanted to do what I could to highlight some of these books by other indie authors – these books were created out of a motivation to develop a message that impacts a life. Enjoy.


Ben’s Adventures: A Day at the Beach by Elizabeth Gerlach (Cerebral Palsy, wheelchair)

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“Ben’s Adventures: A Day at the Beach” is about a young triplet brother who loves to dream up fun & exciting adventures using his imagination. He’s a joyful little boy who loves his family, friends, being outside and he can find the joy in everyday situations. And he uses a wheelchair but that doesn’t define him. It’s a sweet story of inclusion, acceptance, friendship and joy. When Ben is playing with his friends and creating his adventures, one can quickly realize that kids are more similar than they are different. Ben shows that ALL kids can play and dream.

Inspired by my son Benjamin, Ben’s Adventures books are available at or on Amazon.


Hannah’s Down Syndrome Superpowers by Lori Leigh Yarborough (Down Syndrome)

In Lori Leigh Yarborough’s second book, “Hannah’s Down Syndrome Superpowers”, you’ll meet Hannah, a little girl and superhero princess with Down Syndrome. In this sweet book, Down Syndrome is explained in a way that kids can easily understand. Hannah leads us through all the magical superpowers she possesses including Compassion, Kindness, Trust, Love and several more…. All the things that make her special. The book is also chock full of helpful hints on how to be a good friend to someone with Down Syndrome. It’s nicely written, easy to read and is paired with such sweet illustrations. Throughout the book, it becomes apparent that kids are more alike than they are different.

“Hannah’s Down Syndrome Superpowers” is a One Three Nine Inspired book, and is available on Amazon. Also check out “Nathan’s Autism Superpowers”.

Aidan the Wonder Kid by Colleen Brunetti (Food Allergies & Intolerances)

Food allergies are incredibly common in today’s world, affecting 1 in 13 children. Brunetti’s first children’s book, “Aidan the Wonder Kid”, tackles this topic head-on and provides a new type of children’s book that many kids will be able to relate to. The book follows young Aidan as he and his mother are determined to find out what is taking away his superpowers. Aidan is normally a very energetic, spunky kid – but sometimes he feels sick and his energy (aka superpowers) gets zapped. His mom, a whiz in the kitchen and a very determined advocate, works hard to find a way to help Aidan feel better. It is an important book that also touches on the social acceptance of child food intolerances, and the importance of adhering to a special diet that enhances a child’s comfort and success.

“Aidan the Wonder Kid” is available on Amazon. Collen Brunetti is also author of “Defining the New Normal: A Guide to Becoming More Than Your Diagnosis”.


Unicorn Jazz by Lisa Caprelli (Social Emotional Well Being)


“Unicorn Jazz” is a fun story about the importance of being yourself and loving what’s unique about you. The story follows Jazz who moves with her family to a new magical place, where she has a difficult time making friends. At first, she doesn’t feel she fits in (especially with her gold horn and musical note tail!) but she meets a friendly crow named Woof who helps her see that what makes her unique also makes her beautiful. The story embraces the importance of loving yourself, showing acceptance, being brave and believing in others.

“Unicorn Jazz” is available on Amazon. Look out for “Bee-ing Happy”, the followup to “Unicorn Jazz”, which releases later this month.


My Happy Place by Amy Crockford (Deafness)

“My Happy Place” is an inspiring story about 10-year-old Amy who is deaf. She loves spending time with her friends, loves having fun and loves swimming! One day at the pool, her friends choose to play Marco Polo, a water tag game where you close your eyes and rely on your HEARING to tag those close to you. Amy and her friends realize she can’t play that way since she is deaf. Amy’s friends learn a valuable lesson on deafness and come up with a way to embrace it, proving the meaning of true friendship.

“My Happy Place” is available on Amazon.


Aiden McGee Gets a Case of the Actuallys by Aaron McGinley (Gifted, Asperger’s, Autism)


Do you know a child who always needs to be right? Who has a bad habit of correcting others? Or who sometimes needs guidance on their manners in social situations? If so, then “Aiden McGee Gets a Case of the Actuallys” will provide some tips on how to handle and redirect your gifted child. In this book, Aiden just cannot help himself in correcting others on the most trivial of facts. So much so, that he often hurts and offends his classmates and teachers.  After a ‘prescription’ from his doctor mother and a talk with his teacher, Aiden finds new techniques to guide his manners.

“Aiden McGee Gets a Case of the Actuallys” is available on Amazon.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these new books by fellow Indie Authors. Stay tuned - next week, I’ll share six new books. Enjoy your week!