Recently I had the privilege of sitting down with a local husband and wife writing team to interview them on the release of their second book.
They have written a series of chapter books for children about trolls and the adventures that ensue when the troll dolls get separated from their humans. The first book in the series is titled “Winnie and the Mystery of the Missing Moonstones” which stars a little girl, Winnie, and her troll dolls who get lost out the window thanks to her pesky brother. The trolls end up on an adventure of their own while Winnie and her brother try to find them. It has all of the twists and turns a young reader is longing for and relatable notes of sibling rivalry that eventually leads them to work together to solve the mystery of the missing troll dolls.
As a mom and wife myself, I sat in awe of this husband and wife writing duo, JP Coman, who have raised three successful children of their own and now have four grandchildren with one on the way. I began to think about the sheer perseverance it has taken them to fulfill this dream since conception in 1992. It takes an act of congress just to get a load of laundry done or the dishwasher empty most days, let alone follow through with writing a book amidst the everyday chaos that is family life. I was left wondering how did this happen?!
Like, logistically who was taking care of the kids and keeping up the house and getting all the work done to keep the bank account flowing while these dreams were being realized over the years?
JP Coman stands for John and Phyllis Comeaux with Coman being a combination of their two last names (Phyllis’s maiden name being Alleman). Phyllis spent her career as a pediatric therapist helping kids physically develop through imaginative play and John spent his career successfully in the oil and gas industry. At the end of our interview for the book series, I had to take a deep dive into how they made this book writing dream become a reality. I think back to the times over the two short years my husband and I have been married and the dreams we have brought to each other. Sometimes it is hard to say your dreams out loud for fear of rejection or criticism from your partner. John and Phyllis both said that respect for each other is what has kept the hurt and fear away when offering and receiving criticism. Respect isn’t a new concept, but it is learned and grows between two people.
I think it is second to what remains constant in a relationship only behind enduring love.
Phyllis had dreams of writing in some form or fashion since she was a child as well as John. When John and Phyllis got the idea for this book John was the one who originally wrote it as a screenplay and shopped it around to Hollywood. Spoiler alert- you haven’t seen or heard of it as a major motion picture because as John likes to say “it turns out it’s really hard to break into Hollywood.” All the props are given to you John for even trying, especially in 1992 before social media could get something #trending in two seconds or less. Phyllis reminded me that this dream became theirs over the years, emphasizing how they lived differently than most of their peers by not allowing their kids to watch T.V. and playing make-believe regularly. John likes to point out here that he had no hobbies that kept him tucked away in the garage or piddling with a car on the weekends but instead fully engaged in child’s play with his children.
As a parent now, this sounds like some disruption to my daily life.
It sounds like the kind of sacrifices and adjustments I had to make when my husband and I moved in together, learning to merge our worlds into one. Admittedly, I am a work in progress at this part of motherhood. I am daily learning how to rearrange my life to merge our world together and learn a ‘new’ life with our 11-month-old son. I know for some of you reading this, adapting to motherhood might have come as a breeze, but it just hasn’t for me. It has been a conscious realization that this is my new ‘normal’. There have been bouts of grief for my single life and then overwhelming gratitude for God blessing little ‘ol me with my sweet baby boy and husband. It is a daily choice in figuring out which dreams are worth my brain space to live on and which ones will be deferred or die because I don’t have the passion to bring the project to life. I think this is also God’s way of guiding me to learn to let go of ‘my way’ and follow His way for my life.
I see that in John and Phyllis.
They each came into their marriage with passion projects on their hearts from their single lives and allowed them to morph into a dream to work on together inspired by their children and a tool to keep their marriage working towards a goal. As mothers, our personal goals (and lives) mostly seem to take a backseat to what is happening in the day-to-day activities with our families, but don’t give up mommas because your time is coming.
I guess in a way “Winnie and the Mystery of the Missing Moonstones” brought these realizations to my attention and gave me the opportunity to learn from a veteran married couple who have been through the parenting trenches where I stand now. Thank you John and Phyllis for the opportunity to interview you for your book and this article.
You can purchase a copy of “Winnie and the Mystery of the Missing Moonstones” online retailers, bookstores, or directly from the publisher Crimson Dragon Publishing. You can watch the entire interview on JP Coman’s Facebook page here.