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Getting Personal

Author Ilene Lieber on writing a children’s book, loving reality TV and her passion for animals.

1. My first job was as a babysitter and camp counselor, so life has really come full circle for me from taking care of kids to writing for them.

2. I recently released my first children’s book called Zoey’s Adventures to the Ice Cream Shop. It is a really sweet story about my “doggy daughter” Zoey eagerly anticipating her visit to the ice cream shop on National Ice Cream Day.

3. I was fortunate to find two very talented illustrators, Scott LaFortune and Zohreh Riyahi, to work with on this book. I had a specific vision of wanting a very bright and colorful book, and they really brought my vision to life. The whole process from writing the story to completing all the illustrations and finally having it printed took about two years. It was a labor of love.

4. Outside of being an author, I run a boutique public relations company for entertainment and hospitality clients. I have a degree in public relations from the University of Florida, and I got my big break in public relations working as a publicist for E! Entertainment Television.

5. Zoey is the star of my children’s book, and she has always been a star to me. She is the sweetest, happiest, quirkiest girl. She makes me smile and laugh all day. She absolutely loves people, especially kids, and so she is certainly loving the extra attention now.

6. I am a big reality TV show junkie. My DVR is loaded with Bravo, E!, TLC and Lifetime. I love Hallmark movies too.

7. I love to travel and visit new places and I look forward to being able to do that again. I fulfilled a dream visiting Australia and Italy. Traveling to England was amazing as well.

8. I’m very passionate about animals, and I wanted to support animal causes through this project, so a portion of proceeds from my children’s book will be donated to different animal charities quarterly, starting with Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

9. It has been so exciting to hear kids’ reactions to my children’s book—my favorite part for sure! It’s so fun having them come along on our adventures, hearing stories and seeing photos of them with their Zoey book.

10. Zoey’s Adventures to the Ice Cream Shop is the first book in what I would love to be a series. I’m one of those super devoted dog moms, who takes their pup with them everywhere, and so the idea was to do a series based on our real-life adventures. Each story will have a lesson in it for kids and grown-ups. This first one is about patience and how good things come to those who wait, which I think is a very valuable lesson for all of us. Next up for Zoey’s Adventures Books will likely be our favorite place, the beach.

This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s December 2020 issue.