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MEET MICHELLE SHILLINGS

When watching her then 2½-year-old son struggle with his parents divorce became too much, Michelle began searching for ways to help him. She was certain there were books that would help him understand visitation. What Debbie found surprised her. There are plenty of books for adults, but there weren't any that spoke to kids at their level.

That's when she decided to write a book. I Can't Want To was inspired by her son's emotional struggles. What began as a catharsis for her, suddenly became a children's book! Because of that personal connection, writing the story came easy. Next came putting together the rhyme to make it work.

Michelle knows first-hand how important it is to help young kids connect with their feelings - especially for things they don't understand. By giving kids a voice through her book, she helps parents remember that the kids are hurting too.

Michelle and her son currently live in Seattle, Washington. She is a technical editor and a single mom.

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