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The City of Shreveport can now add the name of another published author to its list of local dignitaries! A lot of people don't realize this, but many writers have called Shreveport home, like William Joyce, James Dobson, Kevyn Aucoin, Judy Christie, Tom Logan, and more! 

The latest published author residing in Shreveport is Brooke Schafer, a Speech Language Pathologist, who works with kids at Pediatric Therapy Partners LLC in Bossier City.

Not only does Brooke work with kids, but she's also an avid equestrian and an all-around great human being. I know her through our mutual love of riding horses. When I found out she was writing a book, I'll admit, I was intrigued. What's the process like? What's the book about? How do you even get started? Her new book Gumbo NO! is the first in a series and is available via Amazon. Gumbo NO! is a children's book that she's using with her clients in her practice. Here's what she had to say about the process.

What are all of the fancy letters behind your name and what do they mean?

I have a Master's degree in Communication Disorders and a Bachelor’s degree in Cellular & Molecular Biology. The letters behind my name represent that I am a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in Louisiana and Kentucky. I have worked with all ages and in various settings but my current setting is with early childhood (mostly 1 to 5 years old) specializing in Autism.

What made you think of writing a book?

I’ve written many books in my head over the years but ever since I acquired my dog Gumbo, I have always thought he would make a great book character. I use books frequently in therapy and I’ve been able to see the patterns that kids enjoy and thrive on reading. I used that knowledge to help structure my Gumbo NO! series.

Tell us about the writing/publishing experience:

Writing the book was the easy part! Finding an illustrator and navigating the publishing was more challenging as a first-time author but I did a lot of research along the way. My illustrator was able to bring my story to life and help me with formatting the book for print. Once the draft was completed, I was able to publish my story directly to Amazon and it was available for purchase within 72 hours.

Who is the real Gumbo?

Gumbo is my 2-year-old black and white spotted dog. He is very much still a puppy and is always getting into trouble. The book was written around real things that he has done - and the phrase “Gumbo NO!” is spoken on a regular basis in my home. Gumbo was a rescue dog given to me by my mother. He quickly became my other dog Joey’s best friend and provides me with constant entertainment (and new stories!).

Do you plan to share more of Gumbo and Joey’s adventures?

I do! I have already written the next story for the Gumbo NO! series and plan to feature my horse in a future book as well!

How will you use your book in your practice?

My coworkers and I have been using Gumbo NO! daily in therapy. It is used for reading comprehension, listening comprehension, prepositions, yes/no questions, WH questions (what, who, where, etc.), inferencing, and various other literacy skills. The kids at work love the story and many of them will say, “Gumbo NO!” when they see me in the clinic. Gumbo is quickly becoming a family favorite.

Can folks find the book locally or just via Amazon?

Currently, they are only available for purchase on Amazon but I hope to expand to local businesses as the demand continues to grow.

Any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

Write the book! There are so many options available for publishing and becoming a published author is easier than ever before.

FYI, your child doesn't have to be in speech therapy to read Gumbo No! I purchased several copies myself for all of the littles in my life to give as Christmas gifts this year. I look forward to seeing more from Brooke, Gumbo, and the gang!

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