When Anya was a baby, I worked on several children’s books to read to her during our year long “term” as mother and child. The year I stayed home with Anya brought many ups and downs for both of us, yet I am so happy that seventeen years after I first imagined this character I see her in reality. Esmeralda has had so much to do during her imagined childhood that she should be ancient by now. As her first book is illustrated, I feel that I am few steps closer to seeing her in bookstores for many other children to enjoy. Poor Anya has been my guinea pig for more than just my writing. She had to live through my learning to be her mother.