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Barrie author says real-life experiences pass the ‘smell’ test


‘I just felt it was necessary and a calling to get this done,’ says first-time author Cindy Lane

With a degree in psychology, an established career in human resources, and experience as a public speaker, Cindy Lane can now add published children’s author to her resume.

The Barrie resident launched her first book, Smelly Begins, late last year and already has her sights set on continuing the series with another two books that follow the character’s adventures, which are scheduled for release in the summer of 2025 and spring of 2025, respectively.

“When I was raising my kids, I would always tell these stories and create lessons out of everything,” she told BarrieToday from her home in the city’s south end.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, following the death of a close friend, that Lane decided to take this leap of faith into an unknown industry and attempt to share some of her stories with a wider audience.

“I was actually at Georgian Mall when I got the call. My daughter saw me crying (and) asked what was wrong. I said ‘my friend Angie died’ … and she said ‘from the stories.'”

Lane says she knew right then and there that she had to do something.

“You can’t let life go by without sharing. The woman who died was such an inspiration for my kids through her life and her zeal … and, of course, my kids have their own life experiences that also become stories,” she said.

“But I just felt it was necessary and a calling to get this done.”

Described as a first tale in the adventures of Smelly Rogers, Smelly Begins boasts three books in one which she said encompasses infant, toddler and children’s stories with rhyme, rhythm and humour.

Smelly Begins celebrates the themes of love and joy within a family, which is conveyed through relatable stories, said the author.

“These stories will last for many, many years. I wanted to create timeless stories but also a book people can value financially as well,” Lane said.

The series is illustrated by Beeton resident Mimi Hong.

Lane says she opted to pull from her own family’s experience for the book simply because she felt it would allow a much more authentic story for readers, and it helps give children a voice.

“I did a lot of research before I went into this arena and one of the things I learned is that when authors try to instill values, sometimes they can come across as preachy. That is the last thing I wanted to do,” she said.

“I felt if the kids are learning through these experiences then I could give a voice to the kids,” Lane added. “Anyone can buy this book and be comfortable, knowing that these values are universal.”

The character’s names were simply silly monikers her sons made up when they were children, she noted.

“I had no idea they called themselves ‘Jelly’ and ‘Welly’. It was the boys,” Lane said of her sons.

“This is probably reflective of my bad parenting, but apparently they watched a lot of TV. For whatever reason, they came up with ‘Jelly’ and ‘Welly’, but the last name came … from Rogers TV.”

When her daughter, Victoria, was born, she was then dubbed ‘Smelly’ by her brothers.

For more information, visit smellyrogers.com.




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