Alumna publishes first children’s book, launching full-time writing career
For Natasa Zoubouridis ’12, family is a choice. A writer whose career in television pivoted at the onset of the pandemic, Zoubouridis’s experience nannying her best friend’s children led her to write her first children’s book, “Mommy, Who is This Lady?” (A Love Letter from Your “Kind Of” Aunt).
The book began as a love letter to her best friend ’s children. Realizing that the 1- to 2-year-olds she adores could not read, she added illustrations to the letter. From there, the letter naturally developed into a full-fledged children ’s book.
“I’m best friends with their mom, ” Zoubouridis said. “The book explains who I am and why I am always going to be there with them. What I would really love for everyone to take away from the book is that family can be chosen. The message is: ‘Your mom and I chose to love each other just like I choose to love you. ’ It ’s for life. ”
After partnering with professional illustrator Katie Williams, Zoubouridis navigated the process of self-publishing through Amazon. She learned about the process by watching YouTube videos and released the book on December 21, 2021. The book has been well-received; over 500 copies have sold, and Zoubouridis is now focusing on life as a full-time writer.
“I wrote this first book with full love and inspiration, ” Zoubouridis said. “I ’ve trained for years in writing, and to finally write from the soul again felt so gratifying. I turned the book around in only a few months. ”
Zoubouridis journals daily as a way of cultivating her writing practice. She majored in English with a focus in creative writing at Lake Forest College, and she credits her professors and the education she received with helping her gain the confidence, writing skills, and expertise needed to develop a career in writing.
“I loved all of my English professors because they each taught me something different, ” Zoubouridis said. “The training I got in creative writing has always stayed with me. It made writing the book feel easy. What you get at Lake Forest is a higher education, so I felt very prepared for writing and publishing this book. ”
Zoubouridis currently runs the YouTube channel Everything House with her boyfriend Marco. Her second book, My Day with Dad at the Hardware Store, is about a father and son and will be released around Father's Day this June. Zoubouridis is also developing a series of Greek-to-English translation books for kids and infants.
“I have taken the leap to become a full-time author. The biggest thing to learn is marketing, ” Zoubouridis said. “I post on social media, and I have been on podcasts. ”
But success can also be attributed to what Zoubouridis ’s friends refer to as “inspired action. ” Zoubouridis ’s determination has helped her make an impact and reach children and (chosen) families: “You write what you know, make sure it comes from the heart, and kids will like it. ”