Dr. Lisa Pittman and Diana Smit, authors of Expat Teens TalkPeers, Parents and Professionals offer support, advice and solutions in response to Expat Life challenges as shared by Expat Teens (Summertime, 2012) talk about the excitement of getting their first book published and their experience of collaborative work.

Developing the idea for a book and committing to the process – and more excitingly the completion of a book – is an incredible journey. We, Dr. Lisa Pittman and Diana Smit met when working in a private practice in Singapore. Through our professional experiences and encounters with Expat Teens and with Diana raising three Expat Teens of her own, who only know Expat life, we began to identify some very specific needs as a result of teenagers having a transient lifestyle that were not being met.

We found ourselves hearing stories repeatedly related to: not being prepared or knowing how to deal with change, feeling all alone in yet another school, feeling like ‘living on the edge’ of a community/culture/environment,  never getting used to being the new student again and again, feeling like a small fish lost in a big sea.

Following a brainstorm ‘market research’ session with fifteen Expat Teens who were so excitied about the idea of Expat Teens Talk (initially titled By Expat Teens for Expat Teens)  we decided we had to do it. We have received an enormous amount of support, mentorship and encouragement from Expat Teens, Expat Parents, teachers, principals, Expat Authors, to complete this book and feel absolutely delighted to announce that “we did it!”

What have we learnt throughout this process is… a lot! We concluded that working as a team has many advantages, including the fact that it is much easier than working alone. Lisa and I inspired and motivated each other and got the job done. We grew to become a strong team as a result of our working compatitbility and dynamics. We have completed this 2.5 year project without having had a single argument or major disagreement. We each learnt a lot about ourselves, including how to manage time, how to balance having a full workload (writing a book with so many people involved while pursuing and commiting to a career and raising a busy family), but most importantly, we learnt a lot about what the real well-being needs of Expat Teens are and how to  address them ‘en masse’ while still making a huge difference on a personal level. Our ideas grew and developed throughout the process and developed into the end product Expat Teens Talk, our first book that we look forward to sharing with Expat Teens, Expat Parents, Expat Professionals; teachers, principals, employers, worldwide.

Dr Lisa Pittman and Diana Smit’s Expat Teens Talk (Summertime, 2012) is available via Amazon, directly through our publisher (with favorable discounts on bulk orders), and directly from us, Dr. Lisa Pittman and Diana Smit. Send us an email at byexpatteens.forexpatteens@yahoo.com.sg if you are unable to find a copy in your area and we will help out.

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