Expat Mother Posts Daily Conversations with Son

Conversations with Hank(AmyDavis)

Expat Mother Posts Daily Conversations with Son

Guimarães, Portugal

Since 2010, Midwestern American author/illustrator Joy Hanford records and posts one of her family’s conversations Monday-Friday.

Originally, Joy began posting conversations she had with her then three-year-old, Hank, on social media to help her family and friends deal with their relocation from the American Midwest to Portugal in 2010. Soon the conversations grew, and Joy expanded their reach by starting her blog (www.conversationswithhank.com) where Monday through Friday she posts a new conversation featuring the now seven-year-old Hank and her husband, a Portuguese research scientist.

Joy, an artist and children’s book author, never anticipated the popularity of her conversations. “I am always surprised and delighted with how fond people are of my family and our point of view,” she admits. What is most surprising is that some of her audience see these conversations that she calls “Micro-Sitcoms” as parenting advice.Conversations with Hank

“I often receive an email letting me know that a reader is saving a specific convo for when the topic arises in their family and I am beyond flattered. I never anticipated I would be helping people.”

Popular conversations include an explanation of vaccines, or another in which Hanford soothes Hank when he is frightened by world news and events. “When Hank learns of a sadness in the world or an act of violence, instead of shielding him I believe in telling him the truth and trying to turn his fear into knowledge and courage. He and his peers hold the future in their hands. He needs to know how to punch fear in the face.”

Mostly these quick conversations leave readers laughing because of the zany relationship Joy and Hank share. “I obviously never grew up. I am just a big kid and a huge nerd.” These attributes are what attracted Ardozia, a digital media and publishing company out of Lisbon, Portugal to offer Hanford a publishing contract. In 2014, Ardozia launched two of her children’s books for all iOS devices and Kindle.

“The fact that my little blog became the launch pad for making my dreams come true is the perfect validation to continue on this path.” A path that now includes a newborn, Molly, who was welcomed into the family in November 2014.

With her arms full, what is on the horizon for Joy? “Aside from my frequent contribution to the Portuguese American Journal I am not quite sure,” she admits. “But based on my last year I am not too worried. In 2014, I published two books and had a baby. I know I can do anything.”

Follow Joy and Hank by visiting: www.conversationswithhank.com

You can also find them on:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/conversationswithhank
Tumblr: www.conversationswithhank.tumblr.com
Twitter: @HanfordJoy

[First image © Amy Davis courtesy of Joy Hanford; second image © Joy Hanford]

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