The Better Bodies Buddy (her friends call her B3) is a flying superhero, and she gets you moving for fun and exercise. In B3 Goes to the Playground, the first book in what will eventually be a series, B3 meets EJ, a little frog who doesn’t like exercise. She teaches him that exercise is fun, and he makes new friends in the process. The book was written by education entrepreneur Charleszetta Smith Ford and illustrated by UNC Charlotte student Teresa Deanne Lopez.
Charleszetta is a licensed physical education teacher and certified personal trainer. She founded Better Bodies 4 Us in 2007 after working in public schools for six years. The company’s focus is a custom-designed youth fitness program that creates an environment where students can truly have fun while exercising. Charleszetta now visits elementary schools to present her program to the students and train teachers on her techniques.
We caught up with her (figuratively speaking, that is—we can’t really run as fast as she can) to ask a few questions about her publishing journey.
Charleszetta on working with SPARK Publications
SPARK Publications exceeded my expectations as my publisher. From the beginning to even now, the SPARKlers have always spoken the truth in love. Even if their advice was not something I wanted to hear, I always appreciated their honesty. Fabi and her team are professionals and truly experts in this field. I am so thankful that I chose SPARK Publications to publish my first book. It’s beautiful! I can say, without a doubt, that SPARK Publications will publish all books that I write from now on.
What inspired you to write this book?
Honestly, God inspired me to write this book. In prayer, God showed me that my book would go places that I could not in order to encourage and motivate children to get excited about exercising.
What is your primary goal for the book?
My primary goal for this book is to get children excited about exercising and courageous enough to try new things. The goal is to have parents get on board, and families will get moving together.
What surprises did you encounter on the road to writing and publishing the book?
I had no idea how difficult it was to write a thirty-two-page children’s book. I had a broad idea, yet I didn’t have a problem or a solution. Once my story was written, I thought it was great. To my surprise, I had to endure a BIG chop and major revisions in order to become the beauty that it is today. As for publishing, I was surprised by the length of the process and the many details that were involved. Creating a children’s book is a specialized art.
What role(s) did SPARK Publications play in publishing your book?
The SPARKlers held my hand every step of the way (manuscript, editing, illustration, direction, design, production, and marketing). They were my voice of reason, my ear when I needed to share my thoughts and/or frustrations, and my guide. They also mentored my inexperienced illustrator, taking her work from good to great. SPARK Publications is the reason my book is so beautiful and the reason why I am so very proud of it.
Do you have any advice for other authorpreneurs?
Have patience. Be certain of what you want but be willing to hear some ugly truths to make your book better. Save money for your project as its an investment for future business.
What’s next for you?
I know that my book will be a series; however, right now my focus is getting this book into the hands of many public libraries, school libraries, K-2 classrooms, and children near and far.
If you would like to publish a children’s book (or a business book or memoir), contact us.