We had the good fortune of connecting with Colorado children’s book author and illustrator Lisa Blake and Nadine Rebrovic and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lisa & Nadine, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” — Henry Ford

This quote is a beautiful reminder that mindset is everything. If we consistently set our intentions and remind ourselves of where or what or who we want to be, it will come to life. We create our own realities. Nothing can stop a strong mindset dialed in to our true self.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

Nadine and I met while working at a destination management publisher in Denver. We created vacation and visitor guides for cities like New Orleans, Las Vegas and Austin; she was an ad manager and I was an editor. It was a very demanding company with long hours, travel, meetings and high-profile clients. We were both really dedicated workers and kept our noses to the grindstone, met challenges and deadlines and learned a lot about the publishing industry during this era. Years later, after we both had shifted away from that company and into freelance writing and art roles, we connected on Instagram. I had written a children’s book with my five-year-old son and pug Mojo during COVID shutdowns and I was on the hunt for an illustrator when I came across Nadine’s delicate pet portraits. Her portfolio on Instagram was so impressive, I reached out and we began working on our first children’s book together.

We’ve formed an artistic partnership and spent 2020 navigating the world of children’s books and self-publishing. There’s SO much to learn! From marketing to book reviews to bookstore consignment deals to printing and distribution. Woo. We make a great team, checking each other, spinning creative ideas off of each other, working as a team, knowing the children’s book industry is a hard one to break into and find success and still persevering with positivity.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Breakfast at Lucille’s or Onefold, museum hopping with a stop by Denver Art Museum, pop into Bookbar on Tennyson and shop that sweet row, stopping for beers, wine and coffee as needed. Dinner at Jerusalem’s and a concert (once live music returns!) at the Ogden or Red Rocks. Day trip to Breckenridge for hiking Peaks Trail or Mount Royal in Frisco and mountain biking the Blair Witch Trail. Rafting on the Blue River or the Arkansas River near Buena Vista. A yoga class at Meta or Bhava followed by stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Dillon and Mai Thai’s at the Frisco Marina beach (with the dogs, of course!) Live music and yard games at RMU.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Credit for our children’s book series goes out to the dogs and children in our lives, past and present. The unconditional love and inspiration that you graciously pass along to us motivates these stories and illustrations. Thank you for teaching us to live with our whole hearts, to be present and have gratitude for all the love that surrounds us.

Website: howtoloveyourpet.com

Instagram: @howtoloveyourpug

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/howtoloveyourpetchildrensbooks

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.