Lauren Evasic: Using a love for writing to honor a beloved pet

Lauren Evasic graduated from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 2014 with a degree in journalism.

I have dreamed of being an author all my life. From the time I could write up, all the way through my post-grad years, I would spend my free time writing fictional tales. It was my love for writing that inspired me to study journalism at Michigan State.  

During my collegiate years, I served as editor to on-campus publications and held internships at reputable magazines, including Elle and Hour Detroit. I graduated from MSU in 2014 and moved to Chicago, where I worked as an assistant editor and contributing writer for Chicago Tribune. Though I was successful in journalism, I eventually turned to a career in broader communications in Detroit and later obtained my master’s in public policy and administration from Northwestern University.  

Writing remained a large part of my work, and I continued writing for leisure, knowing that someday when I found the right story at the right time, I would publish my first book. I never imagined it would be in children’s literature, as the stories I spent years writing fell into the young adult romance and mystery genres. However, the love I had for one young pup and my desire to honor her led me there. 

In June 2019, I adopted a three-month-old husky who I called Palmer. Shortly after, I returned to Chicago and began my master’s program. In the many hours spent home alone studying, Palmer quickly became my dearest companion and strongest source of emotional support. This made it all the more challenging when, just nine months after adopting her, she passed after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. 

During my time of grief, a global pandemic was beginning to unravel. It was March 2020, and school was shut down for an extended spring break as the university determined how classes would resume as COVID-19 arrived in the U.S. With weeks of free time and a broken heart, I found a way for Palmer to live on through my love for writing. 

A year and a half later I would publish my first book, "Palmer and the Super Pups," a touching tale for early readers that celebrates the process of building confidence – particularly in unfamiliar circumstances – a valuable lesson made approachable through the lens of a curious canine. 

While the self-publishing journey required perseverance, it was freeing to learn that every piece of the process was accessible in our modern world. From Zooming with a local editor and exchanging emails with an illustrator in the U.K. to researching publishing sites and advertising opportunities, it was all at the tips of my fingers. 

"Palmer and the Super Pups" now sits on library shelves, is sold on Amazon and is the bedtime story I get to read to my nephew. While I never planned to write for children or self-publish, I learned our journeys look different than we imagine, and our dreams are always within reach. 

Palmer touched many lives in her short time here, and she continues to do so. I now donate a portion of the proceeds from each book to animal shelters and research organizations in her honor. 

By Lauren Evasic