Welcome to The Quick Six Interview with Rachel Brace!
Rachel Brace is a registered psychologist and co-creator and founder of steppingthrough.com.au, an educational and support web-based resource for stepparents and their partners. She has worked extensively with children and families over many years across a variety of settings in New Zealand, United Kingdom and Australia. Rachel currently consults privately from The Relationspace in Sydney’s CBD to parents and families on issues relating to separation and divorce, family conflict, post separation parenting, co-parenting and stepfamily living. Originally from New Zealand, Rachel now lives in Sydney with her family, which includes her beloved pet schnauzer, ‘Maxie’. She has hopes of further stories to come in the future.
You can find Rachel on Instagram @kinshipbooks or visit her website www.kinshipbooks.com
Who wrote, illustrated and published this book?
What is it called and what is it about?
‘Max’s Divorce Earthquake’
This beautifully illustrated book is about a little boy called Max and his emotional experience of his parent’s divorce. When his parents tell him that they are divorcing it feels like an earthquake. There are so many changes for Max to deal with and lots of big feelings. The story follows Max and his feelings, as he begins to move and live between his two homes, learns about his emotions and adjusts to life after the ‘divorce earthquake’.
When is its release / launch date?
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
Inspiration for this book came through my job as a psychologist, where I provide support and advice to families, parents and children experiencing divorce and separation and family conflict. I also love reading and truly believe that books can be a tremendous help in explaining significant life events such as divorce and separation to children and in supporting children as they confront (and cope with) emotional challenges in their daily life.
Whilst there are children’s books out there about family break-down, I struggled to find a book that focused primarily on the child’s emotional experience of not only parental divorce but the moving and living between two homes that comes when parents establish separate residences. After another frustrating search for a book that would fit the needs of my clients, I put pen to paper and Max’s Divorce Earthquake came to life.
Why is this book meaningful to you and why would its message resonate with readers?
This book is something I’ve been working on for some time and has been in my head for even longer. In my experience children often struggle to identify and make sense of their thoughts and feelings after parental divorce, (especially if there is parental conflict). Parents and family members can also struggle with knowing how to even begin discussing such a sensitive issue with children – not least because they may be feeling emotional and grappling to understand what has happened.
Given that about one in five Australian children (about one million) will experience parental separation before the age of 18, my hope is that Max’s Divorce Earthquake isn’t just a nice story with pretty pictures, but that it encourages awareness in children and in adults of the various emotions that children might feel when their parents separate. And, ultimately, sparks conversations between children and parents that helps pave the way to improved emotional expression, adjustment and resilience.
How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?
I’ve been tapping into the various author/illustrator networks I’m aware of such as SCBWI, Just Write for Kids and people I know through professional connections I have made after 14 years working in and around the Family Law system. I am also using social media to promote and market the book and there is a fabulous book trailer being produced by Michelle Wanasundera and Netmek Digital Services.