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Autor llena el vacío en libros para niños militares

photo of Sarah Doran

A lack of contemporary books for military children led Sara Doran, an Army veteran and daughter of an Army chaplain, to become an author. It would also lead to self-publication and forming her own business.

During her military service, she met her husband. After the military, Doran studied Elementary Education at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

“I was going to school, after we had our first son (they now have two), I was actually studying to be an elementary teacher. One of the assignments that we had during my undergraduate schooling was to evaluate a specific type of children’s book and study the authors and are these stories written authentically. Growing up a military kid I thought ‘Oh I’ll just pick military children’s books for this project.’ I was kind of astonished at the lack of stories that were available,” said Doran, pictured. “The few that I did find were outdated or poor quality or just not written from a place of authenticity. I was shocked by the lack of quality resources available in this genre. That’s really where the seed was planted in my heart for military children’s stories. I knew I could speak truth about military childhood having lived it myself.”

Doran published her first book, The Peppered Sky, in March 2023. “It follows military children Haleigh and Mason as they adventure into a world of airborne drop zones, military aircraft and paratroopers!”. The Peppered Sky drew from her experiences of watching her dad perform Airborne training jumps.

picture of military children's book The Pepperd Sky book cover. Illustration of children looking up a sky peppered with parachutesShe wrote the book; but to get it to her audience it had to be published. Doran said she was not successful in finding publishers “who value these types of stories.” So, she is self-published. “I wear many hats as an author-publisher. From writing the story, to hiring an illustrator and designer, to sending files to the printer, to distributing and marketing the books, I do it all!” said Doran. “What I didn’t realize when I began writing my children’s stories was that I would become my own small business, and that’s exactly what it is.”

Since starting her own business, Doran has discovered TVC’s Veteran Entrepreneur Program. “It’s an entity that I am familiarizing myself and my business with. I’m excited about the services and support offered by the program such as the Veteran Verification Letter, Veteran Owned Business Logo, and connecting with other business professionals for my own professional development.”

In addition to publishing her book The Peppered Sky, Doran has branched out to produce activity kits and unit study sets for her book. “Having pursued a degree in elementary education, I truly have a teacher’s heart,” she said. “I’m dedicated to providing parents, teachers and librarians high quality educational resources to help aid in a subject that may be unfamiliar for many civilian educators. Extending beyond the story with activity kits and unit studies will foster critical thinking, reading comprehension and retention, empathy, promote STEM learning, broaden students’ world view and instill a sense of national pride for our country’s service members and families.”

Photo of Sarah Doran in military fatigues by helicopterDoran is already at work on her next book slated to be published in 2024. “My next story, Sleeping Giants, imaginatively explores army helicopters and represents military children and women in aviation,” she said. Again, Doran brings authenticity to her books, having been a Blackhawk helicopter mechanic in the Army and later gaining experience as a crew chief.

Her future holds even more. “Once Sleeping Giants has been published, I will begin publishing my next story, The Fearless and the Fallen, a tribute to U.S. military veterans past and present.”

Military Childrens' book Sleeping Giants book cover depicts helicopters asleep under night skyDoran’s target audience includes children, families, schools, school teachers and librarians, “both military and civilian alike.” Her books are available at in-person events, her website https://authorsarahdoran.com, on Spousely.com, Etsy.com and Amazon.  The books can be found in premium hardcover editions, paperback mini editions, and ebook.

“I am always writing and working on more stories, both children’s stories, as well as some adult projects I have in mind. Military children and families are very near and dear to my heart, so I plan to continue working on creating more, high-quality military children’s stories.”

Listen to Doran and other Texas veteran entrepreneurs talk about their experiences on TVC’s The Voice of Texas Veterans podcast The Boss is Me.

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