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Lauren Sánchez Reveals Cover of First Children’s Book — and How Her Kids Motivated Her to Write It (Exclusive)


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There’s not a lot Lauren Sánchez hasn’t done, from working as a news reporter to learning to fly helicopters and launching her own aviation company. But she says her latest venture, releasing her first children’s book, is a dream at least a decade in the making!

“I’ve had this idea for a long time,” Sánchez, 54, tells PEOPLE of her first book, The Fly Who Flew to Space, which will hit bookstores on Sept. 17. “But it was a little bit different when I envisioned it all those years ago. Back then it was about a fly that got stuck in a helicopter. I was actually learning to fly helicopters at the time, and it happened to me. I was like, ‘Oh, look at this little fly…who’s flying.'”

That night, Sánchez told her kids about the little fly that she took for a joyride.

“Wouldn’t this be a great children’s book? The fly could see all of these incredible places when it’s up in the helicopter with me,” the Emmy-winning journalist recalls saying.

Over the years, the idea remained with her, but as her life changed alongside partner Jeff Bezos, so did the plot. “When Jeff went into space, I was like, ‘This fly needs to go into space,‘” she adds.

Still, the idea remained just that until New Year’s Eve several years ago, when she was making her annual resolutions and goals for the future.

“There’s always those, ‘I want to be kind, I want to be a good person,’ type of resolutions, but I was trying to think of something else I could do,” she says. “Then my son Evan goes, ‘Mom why don’t you write that book you’re always talking about?’ I said, ‘Okay, that’s going to be one of my goals!'”

She adds, “Once you say it out loud, especially in front of your kids, you have to put the pen to the paper. I wrote it within six months of saying I would.”

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The Fly Who Flew to Space, now available for pre-order, follows the tale of Flynn, a fly who isn’t the best at school — but who nonetheless wants to chase its dreams of becoming an astronaut. One day while exploring the rocket company down the road in West Texas, Flynn flies onto a rocket ship that accidentally takes off with Flynn on board.

Flynn finds new friends in the astronauts, and also learns about the Earth, its precious resources and why it needs protecting.

The Fly Who Flew to Space Book by Lauren Sanchez.

Collective Book Studio

Sánchez, who notes that the book will also be released in Spanish language on the same day, says she loves that she was able to incorporate several messages into one picture book.

“One of the themes is that everyone learns differently, and even if school is hard, it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be able to chase your dreams,” she says. “Another thing is that Flynn goes up and gets to see the world, and then comes down and realizes that he really wants to help save the planet. Then there’s also STEM, and there’s geography, and another theme is inclusion. The astronauts welcome Flynn in, which I thought was important.”

“There’s a lot of things for young minds and readers to absorb! But it’s certainly a little bit like a metaphor for curiosity and the pursuit of dreams, as well as being able to help save this planet as an environmentalist,” adds Sánchez, also Vice Chair of the Bezos Earth Fund.

Proceeds from each sale of the book will go to benefit organizations that specialize in STEM early education and also organizations that provide resources to children struggling with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

As for the actual writing, she says she was surprised that it was harder than she expected, especially because she’s had so much experience writing.

“People don’t remember, or maybe they don’t realize, that I was writing throughout my whole career,” she says. “When I was a reporter, I wrote all my own stories, and then when I was an anchor, you have to write packages and features all the time. So I’ve been writing for a really long time — I just never wrote a book.”

She adds, “I discovered it’s not an easy process, but we got a great publisher [The Collective Book Studio] and it was a lot of fun. I can’t be more excited about it.”

The Fly Who Flew To Space is available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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