Sam's Three What-Ifs
For nearly 20 years, Manoj S. Abraham worked in the fast-paced world of Information Technology. As a Product Manager in the field, he enjoyed a successful career bringing to life Internet applications for both businesses and consumers. However, the birth of his first child in the summer of 2011 set him on a new career path: children's book author.
"Becoming a father changed the way I saw my life," said the New Jersey native. "Watching my son experience the world for the first time reminded me of how important it is to pursue your passions in life. My passion is writing."
Manoj started his blog, 'Surfacing', in the spring of 2012. Initially a collection of anecdotes about fatherhood and poetry, the blog was met with good reviews and built up a small but loyal following of readers. Published on the blog, his poem 'Precious Treasures' - written in light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut - gained widespread attention on Facebook and Twitter. The success of the blog encouraged Manoj to try his hand at a different type of writing - one that was even closer to his heart.
"Sitting on the train riding into New York City each morning for work, I found myself thinking a lot about my son and the future. I see a lot of young people today who don't seem to have their priorities right, and I don't think it's their fault. So I thought about how I could help shape my son into being a good person above all else," Manoj said. "Seeing how much my son enjoyed being read to by my wife, I thought I would try to write a children's book that conveyed some old-fashioned values that I don't think kids get enough of today."
After weeks of writing small portions of the book during his train rides to New York City and working with Michigan-based artist Sherrie Molitor on the illustrations, Manoj utilized his knowledge of HTML and graphic design to self-publish "Sam's Three What-Ifs" in December of 2012 on Apple's iBookstore as an eBook. To his amazement, the book began to quickly rise in popularity and visibility on the store. It rose swiftly on the list of Featured New Releases in the Children's Books category. By the end of January 2013, the book was included in Apple's Beautiful Kids' Books promotion as one of their Favorite New Releases. By February, the book was listed as one of the top 5 favorite titles in the Learning To Read category of the same promotion, and even started to appear on the store's bestseller list.