Author of Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts, Happy Thoughts Are EveryWhere & Actually I Can, Nicky Johnston is a passionate advocator for helping educators understand the effects of mental health issues on children.
Nicky not only believes that more support is needed for parents of young children dealing with anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders – she is actively working to help provide that support. Nicky is an amazing woman – it truly has been a real pleasure to work with her.
Tell us about you in 25 words or less.
I am a very proud mum of 4 boys, a primary teacher, an artist and a make-up artist! I wrote and illustrated my two children’s books to help my son manage his anxiety. My books have helped thousands of young children who are also ‘little worriers’.
What makes you happy?
I love a Sunday afternoon, going on an adventure with my husband and boys. Sometimes we go riding, skating or scootering, sometimes we find a playground to investigate, and sometimes we go antique shopping! It involves us all laughing and having fun! That is what makes me happy.
Where have you always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to … yet?
I studied History of Art at school and would just LOVE to visit Egypt to experience the amazing pyramids in real life. On my ‘around the world’ art trip, I was unable to visit due to political unrest in Egypt at the time.
Where is your favourite place to write? Describe it to us.
I would love to say that it is my art studio situated at the back of our house block. It has a beautiful serene outlook, bright, airy and peaceful, with a lovely garden outlook. However, most of my writing occurs on scraps of paper, scribbled down as the ideas come. Sometimes this is in the middle of the night, while cooking, even doing the housework. The “Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts!” skeleton was written on a parking ticket while sitting at traffic lights!! Of course all of the editing and artwork is completed in my beautiful art studio.
What’s the best thing about being a published author?
Last year, I attended the YABBA Awards (Young Australian Best Book Awards) and I was seated alongside the fabulous authors and illustrators like Jeannette Rowe, Andy Griffiths and Felice Arena. It was a real privilege and an honour to be amongst my favourite writers, to actually have been invited as an author myself!
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by my mum. She is confident, hard working, and creative and she has an honest, loving soul. I am who I am because of her.
Your favourite word(s) and why?
I really like please, thank you but most of all “I LOVE YOU”….I love to say it, and I love to hear it. We all should say it more often.
Tell us about your next projects.
I have created my new business “Happy Hero” – the philosophy of Happy Hero is to equip children, parents, carers and teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain healthy emotional well-being.
The main focus is to raise awareness of mental health issues in children and provide valuable information, support, books and resources to help little worriers find happiness.
I am currently working on three separate “Happy Hero E-books” (for children, parents and teachers) as well as developing new resources to support the new handbooks. To register for pre-launch BLOG subscription, contact me via my website.
Did we forget anything?
Oh, something completely random for you …in my ‘spare time’ I am a 1st Dan Black Belt with Ishinryu Karate. An important qualification to help me keep my four boys in line!
Just for fun
Tea or coffee? Tea
Paper books or e-books? Definitely Paper Books (nothing like the smell or feel of a real book)
Vegemite or Marmite? Vegemite for sure
Write or type? Write – I still use a paper phone book and diary!
Poetry or prose? Poetry
Beach or bush? Beach
Hot or cold? Hot