Moods, Emotions, and Social Distancing (How to Connect without Connecting)

Moods, Emotions, and Social Distancing


Dr. Valerie Allen

It’s difficult to manage your moods and emotions while adhering to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Coping with any unusual situation tends to increase stress which leads to anxiety and, in some cases, depressive symptoms.

                Families are out of their routines and typical social interactions. Additionally, in this situation, the external world looks the way it always has and this creates a disconnect between what we see, hear, and experience. Most disasters create a strong visual sense of things gone wrong. Our feeling of worry and distress are validated by the obvious destruction— floods, winds, fires, injuries and damaged property—but not so with a virus. Those stricken with the virus are in care or quarantined—hidden from view.

                Still, cognitively and emotionally, we are aware of the danger we all face. We listen to reports and see videos of overworked hospital workers and first responders. We hear the names and details of those stricken with this virus. Children are especially unprepared for this level of change in their daily routines. Here is some information to consider during this time of social isolation.

You Should Know

                The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly caused major disruptions in your life. If you normally relieve stress by going to the gym, shopping at the mall, or getting together with friends, you might feel isolated and lonely while adhering to social distancing.

                Without access to your usual coping tools, it might be more difficult to manage stress and control your mood while experiencing high levels of distress. Social distancing is counter intuitive to your basic need for connection with other people. This connection not only soothes your nervous system, but also strengthens your body’s defenses to stress.

                The forced separation due to the COVID-19 pandemic might increase your distress and anxiety as you become more focused on yourself and perceived ‘threats’ around you. Here are suggestions to track your moods and cope with them in positive ways during social distancing. You may need to contact your therapist or physician if your distress is interfering with daily functioning.

What to Do

There are number of things you can do to cope with stress and manage your moods and emotions in healthy ways – while observing social distancing. It will be helpful to organize your day into time blocks of work, virtual/electronic social connecting, and fun or relaxtion activities.

Reach Out

  • Connect with friends and family by phone,  email, or  text.
  • Share your concerns and feelings with people you trust.
  • Use Face Time to have a video chat with a group of friends or family.
  • Play board games with your children.
  • Play with your pet..
  • Commit to at least one phone call, email, or text per day.

Physical Activity

  • Many gyms are offering free virtual fitness coaching and exercise videos.
  • Stream a  fitness video on YouTube.
  • Go for a walk, a jog, or a bike ride.
  • Lift hand weights or soup cans.
  • Practice deep breathing or meditation, using an app or online video.

Express Your Creativity

  • Journal, write poetry, your memoir, or the Great American Novel.
  • Express yourself through arts or crafts.
  • Cook a healthy meal or a special treat.
  • Take an online class or watch an instructional video.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Attend free online virtual museum tours, live streams of concerts (including the Metropolitan Opera), and other entertainment venues.
  • Catch up on all those magazines and books you’ve been waiting to read.

Do a  Project

  • Start a project.
  • Complete something you’ve been putting off.
  • Reorganize the basement, attic, garage, or storage area.
  • Paint a  room, clean out the closets, rearrange the kitchen cabinets, wash the curtains, clean the windows.
  • Finish a do-it-yourself home repair project.

Observe Your Spirituality

  • Attend services at houses of worship via television, streaming services, and online videos.
  • View free classes on mindfulness and meditation through Kripalu, Shambhala Mountain Center, and other retreat centers’ websites.
  • Practice Yoga.

Adapted from Between Sessions Resources

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Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She  has published two children’s chapter books, ‘Summer School for Smarties‘ and ‘Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends‘ and  a  picture book  for beginning readers, ‘The  Sun and The Moon.’ Her books can be found at Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

An Interview by child author, Tejas Mathai, of a Poet

Hi everyone,

Today, I’m bringing you something a bit different. One of my favorite child authors, Tejas Mathai, who is working on a wonderful series, has branched out to interview a poet. Below is his interview. While not children’s poetry, I believe her message of helping others is definitely one we need to hear about in today’s world, so take it away, Tejas!

Authors in Conversation

By Tejas Mathai

His books are available on Amazon

Hi, this is Tejas. I am a fourteen-year-old freshman living in Modesto, California. I am an author of two published sci-fi novels, Infinity: The Secret of the Diamonds and Infinity: The Rise of the Mandroids. I have been writing stories ever since I was six years old.

Since my last article for Wanda Luthman’s magazine, I have made much progress on my writings. After the completion of my second book, I immediately began to work on my third book in the series. And in January of this year, I completed the first draft for my third book. Outside of my writing, I also earned my Red 1 belt for karate in February.

I am very excited to feature my conversation with Dr. Nivedita Lakhera, who I met in San Jose, California. Dr. Lakhera, or Niv, as she prefers to be called, works as a physician at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose. She is considered to be a leader in contemporary poetry and an advocate for gender equality and human rights. She is an award-winning author of two poetry and art books. Her first book, Pillow of Dreams,is an award-winning and best reviewed poetry book on Amazon for three consecutive years. Her second book, I am Not a Princess, I am a Complete Fairytale, has been included in the syllabus of Peace and Justice at Michigan State and Wayne State Universities.

Her books are available on Amazon


Tejas: Hey everybody, today I will be interviewing Dr. Niv Lakhera. She is a poet and an author of two best-selling poetry books on Amazon, and I will be asking her a couple of questions, so would you like to tell us more about yourself?

Niv: Hi everybody, I’m Niv, and I’m with the amazing science writer, who has written two books already. How old are you?

Tejas: Fourteen

Niv: By the time he’s fourteen, he has written two books, I mean…yeah, but he is interviewing me. So yes, I have written two books. I’m a full-time physician, full-time writer, full-time foodie, full-time fashionista, full-time friend, full-time…sleep-lover, what not.

Tejas: So, my first question for you is “what inspired you to write?”

Niv: So, I cannot not write. I think we all are here for a purpose. We are designed to do certain things in this lifetime, and when we do those things, it makes us very transcendental and it’s a different kind of high. I call it, “making your peace with the soul of the universe”. So, I don’t say that writing makes me happy. It’s the other way around. If I don’t write, I’ll be very restless, and I won’t be happy. So, I’ve been writing since I was a child. I started writing because I read literature very early on because we didn’t have comics for some reason; my parents looked down at them, so our house was full of these big, big books that my uncle used to bring; he was studying his bachelor of arts, and my dad was a scientist, so there were a lot of journals. So what I grew up reading was science journals and beautiful literary works, like a lot of Russian literature. So I started writing very early on, and then it stopped when I went to med school. So I’ve been writing since before I was born, I think. (laughs)

Tejas: So when I read your books, I saw that you did a lot of artwork. And I think that their mostly abstract works.

Niv: Yeah. It’s really easy. You just put a broom in the picture and then people are like, “Oh, she’s trying to talk about the cleansing of the soul”. No, it’s a broom. (laughs). Abstract is really easy. I think artists have an open interpretation, unlike science fiction, right?

Tejas: Yeah

Niv: And so is poetry. I think people find art and poetry very safe spaces to be whatever they want and find a comfort of, like, someone else knowing them. So I think that’s why. Every artwork that I’ve created, I’ve had my own meaning behind it, like what I wanted to convey, but again, it’s open to readers and people looking at the artwork how they want to interpret it, and I think that freedom is very intoxicating, comforting, and at times, therapeutic.

Tejas: So when I was looking through both of your books, I saw that the first one was sort of based around your story and the second one was about people in general and about human rights.

Niv: I think the first poetry book I wrote was definitely after an event in my life. I was recovering from my heartbreak, and I had so much inside of me that was “breaking the dam”. So that was what happened. So the first book was born out of this intense necessity of what I was experiencing, and also not just my personal experiences, but the experiences of others. And people would contact me and share their stories after they read my first book or if they had heard about me. So, yeah, my first book was about my words and my life, and the second book was shining the light on other people’s stories and making them the heroes of their journeys.

Available on Amazon

Tejas: So for your third book, how did you come up with the title the lifecurrency?

Niv: You know, most of the things I have written is based off of something I told someone. So what I think happened was that I was in my apartment sitting with some friends. One of my friends brought their mother, who was going through some tough times, and I began to talk to her and comfort her. And I said, “You need to know where you’re going to spend your life currency”. And that was how I came up with that title. And that phrase really spoke to her. There are millions of words and phrases around the world, but only a few can click in one’s head. I think that that phrase really connected with my friends. So, the book is about your life currency, about where to spend it, when to spend it, and who to spend it on.

Tejas: What is your main message throughout all of your poems and books?

Niv: I think that if I die tomorrow, I want to have some satisfaction that I did something to make a difference. I want to pursue my purpose and my passion to help others in life. I think somewhere a word can help change someone’s life forever. So that is what my message is, to fulfill your purpose on this Earth and to help your fellow humans. And even the simplest things like poetry can help make a difference.

Tejas: So that is all the questions I have for today, so thank you for your time.

Niv: Thank you Tejas!

You can visit Niv Lakhera at and follow her on social media. Please follow me on social media and visit to support my cause and charity.

Thank you so much Tejas and Niv for joining my blog today and sharing your artwork and poetry!

Thank you, everyone, for reading my blog today. As always comments, likes, and shares are encouraged!

Have a blessed day everyone! And stay safe!

Let’s Get Physical: Fun and Fitness With Kids

Let’s Get Physical: Fun and Fitness


Dr. Valerie Allen

Back in the day, kids ran home from school, grabbed their bikes, and hit the street looking to play with other kids. The excitement of skipping a stone across a puddle, watching a worm inch its way across the sidewalk, and chasing butterflies were part of the big adventures of childhood. Today, it’s hard to find children playing or walking outside. Various factors are involved in this, including safety concerns, planned school, church, and community activities, electronic devices, and time constraints of working parents, to name a few. The importance of physical activity and communing with nature cannot be understated. Here is how some of these activities can be reclaimed in this new age.

Fine motor skills develop eye-hand coordination and is used in tasks such as handwriting, working with hand tools, art, and threading a needle.

  • Outdoor activities to enhance these skills include: ball games, Frisbee toss, golf, and tennis.
  • Indoor activities include jigsaw puzzles, dot-to-dot, mazes, shuffling and dealing cards, checkers, chess, drawing, painting, jacks, pick-up-sticks, ping-pong, sewing cards, knitting, and arts and craft activities.
  • Chores can include help preparing meals by mixing ingredients and cracking eggs. Children can fold the laundry, wash dishes and pots and pans, set the table, clean pet areas, dust furniture, and water the lawn or garden.

Gross motor skills include the use of large muscles which improve balance and build strength.

  • Outdoor activities include, swimming, running, walking, bike riding, skating, jump rope, hopping, skipping, hop-scotch,  follow the leader, Pogo sticks, Hula-hoops, skate boards, and scooters.
  • Indoor activities include using the stairs, stretching, toe touching, marching in place, and bending from the waist.  
  • Chores also can be incorporated such as washing the car or house windows,  sweeping the sidewalk, pulling weeds, and walking and washing the dog, washing the floor, collecting and taking out the trash.

The wonders of nature include an awareness of the beauty and serenity in the natural world. It is important for children to understand the cycle of life in its many forms and the symbiotic relationship of man and the environment.

  • Outside activities include a quiet stroll observing natural things in the environment as opposed to man-make objects. Identifying plants and animals. Watching the habits of birds and small game and listening to their vocalizations. Seeing the color, shape, and height of grasses and flowers. Noticing the different smells in various areas. Feeling the change in temperature while in the sun and in shade, and with the change of time.
  • Inside activities can include planting a windowsill garden, having a fish tank, having and caring for a pet.
  •  Chores can include planting, weeding, watering, and mowing grassy areas. Tending to lawns and gardens with fertilizer and insecticides. Safeguarding animals with shelter, building a bird house, and providing food and water.

There are many simple ways of encouraging your child to be fit and have fun whether inside, outside, or with daily chores!

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Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She  has published two children’s chapter books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends”   and  a  picture book  for beginning readers, “The  Sun and The Moon.”  Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Matchbox Dreams, A Children’s Book

Hi, everyone!

I came across an exceptionally cute book that I thought you all would like to hear about. It’s written by Douglas Schwartz. Below he tells us about the importance of reading with children (I believe this is very true) and about his book…

According to Candace Kendle, co-founder of, “As a scientist, I have learned that recent research tells us that by age 3, the gap is showing up in early brain development between children whose parents read to them and those who do not. Reading shouldn’t be a silent task, it should be engaging and animated. Children learn words through interaction.”*

Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and The Wizard of Oz Series, Douglas created a new world called Dreamland which is inhabited by colorful, mischievous, and funny characters who contribute to adventures found amongst the pages. Unlike other children’s books, Matchbox Dreams does not have witches, dragons, monsters, nor any evil villains which may scare children and cause nightmares. 

“Douglas has a wonderful gift of storytelling and will stand out wonderfully in the market! I have read many children’s books, and this one has been by far one of the best children’s books I’ve seen in ages! Matchbox Dreams is amazingly well written. It’s easy to fall in love with the main characters. They are easily relatable from a child’s point of view. The book is also very appealing as an adult/parent/caregiver, to become part of a shareable nighttime ritual to induce a relaxed, creative sleep within the youngsters they care for. I can also see older children reading this willingly. Overall this is an amazingly charming book by a wonderfully charming author! I can see the possibilities of cartoons and movies as well,” stated Jennifer, a mother of five and book reviewer.

About the Author:   

Douglas graduated with a degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Mass Communication. He writes stories, inspired by the tales he used to tell his daughters during their childhood.  Now, with his daughters grown up, and each with three children, he has been enlisted again to start creating stories to be read to their children.

Matchbox Dreams is available as an ebook at Kindle, Google Play and Barnes and Noble, and a printed book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Matchbox Dreams is specifically designed for parents to read to their children before bedtime or for young adults to read to themselves.

Thank you, Douglas, for sharing your book, Matchbox Dreams, with us today.

And thank you, everyone, for stopping by my blog today. Likes and shares are always appreciated.

Marcy Pusey, a best selling children’s book author

Hi everyone,

I’d like to introduce you to a talented children’s author that I have met recently. I first discovered her children’s book Willy and the Weirdo and I just loved the story behind the story. I invited her to share more about herself today on my blog.

Welcome, Marcy, tell us about you and your writing…

Have you ever wondered where children’s book ideas come from? Sure, there are whole months dedicated to help authors find ideas—poor ones, great ones, publishable ones—like Tara Lazar’s Story Storm each January.

In fact, a number of my published books have come from events just like that, or the notions they inspire. For example, one might look for ideas in nature, in art, by eavesdropping on conversations with kids and adults alike, reading other books, a TV show, etc.

But what I’ve learned through the years is that these idea-hunts often leave us on the surface of where good ideas come from.

The reality is, good stories come from deep within us. From our own childhoods, the joys and the wounds, the celebrations and sorrows—the moments that made us feel.

These moments, the feeling moments, are where great book ideas come from. Something in nature, or art, or the private-public conversation, the show, or the book, made you feel something. It resonated with you on a deep level. Cognitively, you might just think it sounds nice, but deep down, something in your soul was stirred. And that stirring grows, and grows, and grows until you birth a book.

Take my book Weirdo and Willy for example. Willy is a kid who is bullied each day for being… well, weird. He’s different. He eats strange foods, plays unique games, wears interesting clothes. His classmates tease him, calling him a weirdo each day. But one day, a Weirdo actually shows up. And he wants to play. Thus begins a crazy tale of a creature who wants to play, and the kids who find him terrifying. You’ll have to read the book to know how it ends. 🙂

This idea first came to me from a blog post encouraging authors to think of childhood stories that they would re-write if they could. Maybe with a different ending or different characters.

Immediately I remembered being in fourth grade in P.E. on the softball field. It was time for my team to line up to bat after our stint outfield. I returned to my original place in line, but the kids around me said we were forming a new line. So I headed to the back of the line. But the kids there said we were lining up in our original spots. I had nowhere to go. I asked the teacher for clarification which led to an all-class chant in my direction: Nark! Nark! Nark!

As I re-imagined how this moment should have gone, I pictured a big, huge  Nark, a creature, showing up and eating all of the kids chanting at me. After many revisions, the Nark became Weirdo, and I became Willy.

Someone commented on how the bullies in Weirdo and Willy don’t have a major “aha!” moment. Initially, this bothered me. Weren’t the bullies supposed to be repentant and changed? But then I realized something even better… Willy didn’t need the bullies to change. He needed to change—and he did. He needed to know that he was valued, lovable, and perfect just the way he was. He didn’t need the affirmation of bullies to make him worthy of friendship. He found that inside of himself and with this unique, unexpected connection to the creature Weirdo.

This was my story, too. It’s many of our stories. Most bullies don’t come around transformed and repentant. We have to discover that our worth and value are not tied to their treatment of us. And so, Weirdo and Willy, without my even knowing it, was a wrestling with my own childhood “demons” of bullying. Thirty-seven drafts later, I went from needing the creature to eat all of the mean kids, to realizing I don’t need mean kids to be nice… I need to love myself.

This is true for each of my books. Speranza’s Sweater came from my experience as a foster and adoptive mama and therapist, journeying with kiddos in between families and homes, wanting them to see their story and feelings reflected on my pages. Tercules, the sweet, wild turkey chick who feels “too much” was a reminder to myself that I’m “just right.” According to Corban and Bath Time Magic both feature my son, Corban, and his vivid imagination. However, with a careful eye, you’ll see that mama has a story too, in the artwork. (Corban has been asked if his mom really turns into a dragon sometimes. The answer is yes!)

These are the deep things that inspire us, even when we don’t realize it. Kids are especially good at digging deep and expressing their inner struggles creatively. Sometimes we adult lose that gift along the way. Together, through our stories and theirs, we can experience those feeling moments anew, with hope, redemption, and inspiration for stories to come.

Marcy Pusey loves her family, exploring the world, reading, the ocean, and looking for castles to visit. She also loves sharing stories that encourage and inspire others. Marcy is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, speaker, coach, and the best-selling author of books for adults and for children. Learn more about her work, writing, and other resources at

Marcy’s books are available wherever books are sold, including Amazon, Target, and Barnes & Noble.

You can also find her on Facebook:




Thank you, Marcy, for sharing your story and helping us understand where books really come from, from deep inside of us. It’s so true. I can attest to that as well.

And thank you blog readers for stopping by today. As always likes and shares are encouraged and appreciated!

Screen Time vs. Serene Time

Good Monday Morning everyone,

I’m bringing your our favorite school psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen, with some very wise words on an important topic for our children…

Screen Time vs Serene Time

Dr. Valerie Allen

The current generation of  children and young adults have been raised during the electronic age. Computer screens and robots (Bots) are an everyday part of life to the point we can hardly conceive of  life without them. When computers go down, stores close, government agencies and banks are at a standstill, people become locked inside various conveyances, and airports grind to a halt. When our electronic devices function properly, we are in awe with such a powerful tool that can facilitate our daily tasks, broaden our education, and increase our social contacts. Used effectively, computers bring the world within our grasp.

Parents must consider the risks vs the benefits of computer use and screen time for their children. Here are some basic suggestions to guide parents in this critical area.

  1. Remember, you are the parent, you make the rules. Allow discussion and suggestions but the final decision rests with you.
  • Set a good example for phone etiquette. Go to another room to speak on the phone and modulate your voice. Excuse yourself from the phone promptly when others are waiting for your time or  attention. Turn off your phone and keep your conversation private while in public places.
  • At home, two hours per day in half hour increments with at least a half hour between each electronic session is reasonable. Keep in mind your youngster will likely be using computers at school. They will also use their devices when with friends and may have considerable computer time which is unsupervised.
  • Develop a routine about computer time and use. No one should use their devices during meal time, in the bathroom, or after bed time. Consequences of misuse should be clear, fair, and consistent.
  • Have a specific place in the home where all electronic devices are kept when not in use. Each child is to turn in his or her device at the appointed time. The first violation of the rule results in missing the next half hour of approved time. The second violation results in removal of the device for the remainder of that day and the next day.
  • Parental controls are available to monitor allowable content. This may depend on the age of your youngster, as some items are appropriate for one age but not another. Be sure to screen apps, games, and social media. Their passwords should not be kept secret. You should be able to access your child’s social media.
  • There are also locator controls to tract your child’s whereabouts. Teens may consider this a violation of their privacy and/or a trust issue, but should they be in danger or have an emergency, tracking may be a lifesaver. It is a parental obligation to know where your  children are at all times.

Youngsters need to be physically active and socially engaged in positive ways and not limited due to their use of electronics. Parents must take control of all electronic devices to ensure their children have a healthy life balance interacting with the “bots” and the humans in their life.

# # #

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She has published two books for children ages 7 to 12, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends” and a picture book  for beginning readers, “The Sun and The Moon.” Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Groundhog Day is Approaching

This book is adorable! Check it out and purchase one for your favorite little one and enjoy Groundhog Day even more!

FotoBoek Lieve Snellings

If you know which books I have published, it will not surprise you that February 2 is a special day for me. For many Americans, February 2 is Groundhog Day. An old folk tradition says that if Phil the groundhog comes out of hibernation and sees his shadow, he gets frightened and returns quickly to sleep, as he sees this as a sign of bad weather. If the woodchuck does not see its shadow, spring is close at hand!

But now, I have first-hand information by Margot the groundhog, and this is what she thinks about this story.

    Does this mean that Groundhog Day is not reality, but a legend?

I think, today, everyone is convinced that this is just an old legend, probably invented by the first settlers who were eager for spring to begin. In the Old Continent, Europe, February 2 is celebrated as the moment…

View original post 427 more words

Gus’ Big Adventure by Traci Howell

Hi everyone,

Welcome to my blog, Lilacs in Children, where we grow children with character!

Today, I have a special author who has written several books that I know you’re going to love.

Her name is Traci Howell. Let’s hear from her…

I currently live in Missouri with my husband, Charles and two Labrador Retrievers, Dakota North and October May. We will be welcoming our first little one into the family around March. I am a fan of hiking, the outdoors, crafting and quilting, reading, and of course, writing!

I get my inspiration by everything around me. I grew up in a small town in Western Nebraska. I happen to be the youngest in my family, so I grew up watching my older sister’s interactions, as well as listening to everything going on around me. I also grew up listening to bedtime stories that my dad would read to me or make up for me. My mom was constantly giving me paper to write down stories or ideas or to draw my characters when I was younger. Today, I have a notebook I keep in my purse for that random idea that pops into my head. I love observing the world around me and taking in the small things that others may not even notice.

Gus’ Big Adventure is about Ruby and her little dog, Gus. They love going on adventures together. In this particular story, their adventure takes them to The Zoo. They get to see all the animals and enjoy the noises that go along with it until they come to the giraffes. Gus gets so excited he decides to take this adventure one step further by going into the giraffe pen causing a big stir within everyone watching. He talks to the giraffes and gets to take a ride on the little giraffe’s back before the Zoo Personnel come to get him. Ruby, Ruby’s mother, and Gus all learn that adventures at the Zoo require dogs to be on a leash.

Gus’ Big Adventure can be found on Amazon

Rudy is fun story about Santa and his reindeer. Rudy takes a look at what happens when Santa’s original reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, and Rudolph become too old to continue pulling Santa’s sleigh for him. We meet all of their children and watch as they learn what it takes to become a team and pull Santa’s sleigh. We watch as Rudy, Rudolph’s son, learns to take his place at the front of Santa’s sleigh through all the lessons they have with Santa.

Rudy is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Rudy is also available in paperback or hardback cover.

You can find me at my website or on social media. I’d love to connect with you.

Facebook – traci.howell.77

LinkedIn –

Instagram – traci_howell22

Thank you, Traci, for sharing your wonderful children’s books with us. They sound delightful!

And thank you, everyone, for reading my blog today. Comments and shares are always welcome!

Tejas Mathai and Infinity-The Secret of the Diamonds

Tejas Mathai Article

          My name is Tejas Mathai, and I am fourteen years old, living in Modesto California. I am the author of two published sci-fi novels on Amazon. My first book, Infinity: The Secret of the Diamonds, was published in 2018 and my second book, Infinity: The Rise of the Mandroids, was published in 2019. I have been writing stories ever since I was six years old. Some other hobbies I have are practicing martial arts and playing the piano. All of the profits from my books are being donated to Valley Children’s Hospital because I want to give back to my local community and to help kids feel better to pursue their dreams and passions.

          I started writing when I was six years old, and what inspired me to write was my younger brother. When we were younger, my brother and I would use toys, like Legos, to make up stories. Over time, as we made more and more stories, I began to write them down in notebooks to preserve the memories we had made together. This was the beginning of my passion for writing. When I gained more and more experience in writing stories, I began to drift away from what me and my brother came up with, and I began to make up stories on my own, drawing inspiration from movies and TV shows that I watched.

In 2015, I came up with my first draft for Infinity: The Secret of the Diamonds while I was on my trip to New York City. When my third draft of the story was completed, my grandma read it, and she told me that it was worthy to be published. The seed planted in my parents’ mind about having my story published was only further nurtured when my mom’s friend, a published poet, heard about my writing. She helped us make several contacts with editors and book designers, and by December of 2018, my first book was published, Infinity: The Secret of the Diamonds. The story takes place in present times in New York City, and is about an eighteen-year-old named Jack Stone, who lives with his dad and his uncle in the city. Jack’s father, Sam, is a scientist who creates a machine that can access different dimensions called the RTM. After Jack discovers the invention, circumstances lead him to meet the Infinity Corps, a special ops team from space whose job is to protect the five Infinity diamonds. When the tyrant Tarvin Genesis looking for the diamonds comes to Earth, Jack, his family, and the Corps have to fight against him in order to save the city.

But ever since the idea for the book came to me, I didn’t plan on making just one book. I had planned to make five of them, all part of the same series. And in October of 2019, I published my second book, Infinity: The Rise of the Mandroids. In this sequel to the first book, Jack and his family are reunited with the Infinity Corps three years after the first book’s events. With Tarvin still in power, they must make their way to the planet of Krynosh in order to stop Tarvin from amassing an army of mandroids (robots).

Through my writing, I hope that people, kids and adults alike, are inspired to make a difference and to follow their passions. My main message is that you are not too young or too old to pursue your dreams. I also hope all aspiring writers will be inspired by these books and my story. I wish all future authors the best of luck! Follow me on Instagram (@tejasmathai), Twitter (@MathaiTejas), Facebook, and my LinkedIn. My website is