Why She’s Amazing
Beth Cimler doesn’t want to be a princess. She wants to be more.
Beth began her career as a reading specialist. However, she put her love of writing into action after being motivated by two personal experiences – first watching her dad battle a severe illness and then witnessing her son endure relentless bullying. From there, the My Amazing Monster book series was born.
Her first book, My Amazing Monster Goes to the Hospital, is a story about Gobble, a monster that gobbles children’s worries away. The book comes with a Gobble plush toy, into which children can “feed” worries, and parents can remove them. This way, the child sees that his or her worries are gone, and parents know about the child’s specific worries.
Beth’s second book, My Amazing Monster Meets the Bully, approaches anti-bullying from a unique perspective for, unlike other books with anti-bullying story lines, this book focuses on the bully rather than the children who are being bullied and spreads a message about the power of kindness.
While promoting powerful messages within her books, Beth also has a strong desire to give back to the community. She supports non-profit organizations, including Gold in September® and the Pnut Fund.
We had a chance to ask Beth a few questions. Something tells us that this modern day trailblazer’s innovation and creativity will change people’s lives.
“Thoughts about quitting or giving up are actually magical signs that something amazing is about to happen” – Beth Cimler
Q & A
Q: When you were a young girl, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
A: Like everything in my life at that time, the desire to be a certain occupation changed with the wind. I wanted to be a mommy, a teacher, a vet, an actress, an Olympic gymnast, a bakery owner, and many more. I was easily influenced by the wonderful women I’ve had in my life, and I envied those who were really talented at something. I never saw myself as having any talent, so I would pretend and imagine myself as them. The funny thing is…the one thing I was truly talented at was never even on my radar. I never recognized “writing” as an asset until I was much older. Today, I couldn’t be more proud of my talent and love having the opportunity to share it with the world.
Q: What did people think when you told them that?
A: I remember them mostly encouraging me to be a mommy and a teacher, which I believe are two of the most important jobs in the world. I think they recognized my creativity and love of children early on, and figured that was my calling. The other occupations triggered many conversations like, “Why do you want to be that?” or “How are you planning to reach that goal?” When I told my oldest brother that I wanted to be a Broadway actress, he challenged me on the spot by asking me to sing a song right there in front of him. His point was well taken when I blushed, made excuses and refused to do it each and every time he asked. I think it’s okay to dream big things, but true empowerment comes from getting to “know yourself” and becoming the best at your natural talents.
Q: Did people call you “princess” when you were a little girl and, if so, how did that make you feel?
A: Ha! No! Definitely not. My two best friends in life were my two closest siblings who were two and three years older than me. I wanted to look and dress like my sister. She was always perfectly put together and had great fashion sense and I was jealous for the attention she got for that. But, when it came right down to it, I didn’t like being neat and put together, so I ended up hanging out and behaving more like my brother. He was always getting dirty and doing something crazy and fun. So, I basically grew up as a tomboy; riding dirt bikes, catching frogs, and playing a bunch of sports. But, over the years, I found a happy medium and that’s where I felt most like me.
Q: How did you become interested in becoming an author?
A: My best friend and I would create pretend worlds in our backyard, by literally raking the leaves into the shape of an entire town and filling each area of the town with the needed props. We spent weeks outside simply living the life of the characters and families we created. We only stopped to eat and use the bathroom. When it became too cold outside and the leaves were all gone, we decided to write the stories down ahead of time, so they would just be ready for later. It never even occurred to us at the time that we were being “authors”. We thought we were just planning and preparing, but my mom seemed to recognize it right away. I will never forget the very first hard cover journal she gave me. It was bright Kelly green with the cutest embroidered frog in the lower right-hand corner. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened it up and saw an entire book of blank pages. She looked at me and said, “I think there is a story that needs to be written.” I filled those pages, along with many others, over the years. Unfortunately, I have no idea where any of those are today because I just didn’t understand the value of them at the time. I guess they served their purpose in my life…. and then they were gone.
Q: Did you have a mentor or role model who inspired you?
A: My greatest mentor was most definitely my mom. I was the youngest of five children and because of that I spent a lot of time as a passenger in the car. I would have to ride along, as we’d drive my siblings from place to place to all of their activities….that is, before I had any of my own. I never complained about going because my mom and I would always kill time between at the library…it was our favorite thing to do. We would curl up in the children’s section of the library and read a stack of books together until it was time to hit the road again. Sometimes, she would drop me off for story time when they had a librarian or author reading books aloud. I remember my mom making me feel like getting my own library card was as important as passing my driver’s test or enrolling in the armed forces. At age four, I had my very first ID card and I cherished it with every ounce of my being. I kept it safe in my very fancy purse and pulled it out with great pride when it was time to check out the books. Each trip to the library would end with me checking out a stack of book that was so high that I could hardly see where I was walking and those books would keep me company in the car until it was time to get some more.
Q: Did your family and friends support your aspirations?
A: When I wrote MY AMAZING MONSTER GOES TO THE HOSPITAL, I never intended on publishing it. It was written in honor of my dad, who had just passed away and I only planned to, one day, share it with my children. It took eight years to write because I would just pull it out, make some edits, and put it away for a few weeks again. I was in no hurry because I had no plan for it. But one Christmas, when we were all talking about my dad, I decided to share it with all of my siblings and my mom, for the fun of it. They were the ones who convinced me to move forward with publishing it and have been nothing but an incredible blessing along the way.
Q: Did you think about being called a “trailblazer” for choosing this path?
A: No, not at all. I hope I can see myself that way one day, but I don’t feel it quite yet. Maybe it’s because, right now, I feel like I’m cutting down my trail with a pair of nail clippers. Don’t get me wrong….it’s definitely a start!! But, if I can do all of the things that I hope for this series, then I will soon be graduating to scissors, hedge clippers, a weed whacker, until finally I’m so hot that my trail is safely (…and 100% compliant with OSHA’s state and national regulations) fully ablaze!! I will get there, because I’m determined to make an impact in the lives of families.
Q: What motivates you?
A: I am extremely motivated each time I receive a heartfelt email or hear a heartwarming story from a family that has benefitted from using Gobble the way he was intended. The ones that tell me how their son’s chemo treatments no longer hurt him because the nurses now apply a numbing cream to the skin around his port. Or the ones that say their daughter’s nightmares have subsided because she writes her worries down right before falling asleep. Or how an entire family shared their feelings with each other as they coped through the illness of a youngest sibling. There isn’t a better day or more motivating words than hearing that my vision for helping others is actually working.
Q: Of what are you most proud?
A: Taking a risk. This journey has required me to listen to my gut instinct like never before and to find strength and stamina that I never knew I had. But, more importantly it has given me a new purpose in my life – one that is worth taking that risk for. And obviously, it helps that I have Gobble to gobble those worries away for me, too.
Q: What would you like people to learn from you?
A: How thoughts about “quitting” or “giving up” are actually magical signs that something amazing is about to happen and the only way to witness it is by pushing through the doubt and resistance. It took me 40 years to see that magic, and I hope to inspire others to learn that lesson faster than I did.
Q: What three words would you like people to use to describe you?
A: Compassionate. Determined. Grateful.
Q: What do you want people to know about you outside of your My Amazing Monster accomplishments?
- I have four amazing children that make me laugh like no others in the world.
- My husband and I are best friends, but fierce competitors….at every game possible.
- We have a very well-behaved Golden Doodle, named Hadley, and a ridiculously funny Great Dane named Tilly….or Silly Tilly.
- I credit my creativity and my ability to think outside the box to being blessed with ADHD. It isn’t always easy to live with, but sure can make life interesting.
- I love going up north – water sports, campfires, doing puzzles and playing games.
Q: Who do you follow on social media that shares your passion for entrepreneurship and helping others?
A: Annie – G9, Chellee Siewert – Capture Marketing, Beckie Thompson – I Don’t Want to Be a Princess, Boston Store – Stomp out Bullying
Q: If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be?
A: My dad, Robert Sullivan. Not only would I give anything to be able to spend another hour with him, but he was the greatest entrepreneur I’ve ever known. I’d love to get his opinion and advice and show him what our little game has turned into.
Q: Which woman would you choose to have on U.S. currency?
A: Ahhhh… there are so many and I definitely don’t like ranking them in any particular order. But, I think Harriet Tubman would be my first choice. She was extremely intelligent and incredibly brave.
Q: What advice would you give to a girl who right now wants to be just like you?
A: I would tell her to read as many books as she possibly can. The best writers are those who read a LOT of books and write a little every day! I would tell her to start a notebook of ideas. Write down events that are happening in her life or things she witnesses at school, at the park, at home, wherever. I would advise that she pay close attention to the events that make her extremely happy or incredibly sad because there are usually really good stories hidden in those moments. Finally, I would tell her to be herself every day. There is no one else like her out there, and we need her to be perfectly her.
Bonus Question: What question would you ask the next Modern Day Trailblazer we interview?
A: What is the most important lesson you learned from making a mistake?
- Beth is currently reading WONDER by Raquel Palacio.
- She absolutely does NOT sing karaoke.
- Beth functions best when she has a routine.
- Her favorite quote is “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- She loves house renovation shows!