Brownsburg Young Author Doreen Kwok Inspires Others to Pursue Their Dreams

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Amy Payne

Doreen KwokIn many ways, Doreen Kwok is like countless other 7-year-old girls. She likes ice cream, swimming, arts and crafts, and the color turquoise. But if you ask her what excites her the most, her response may surprise you.

Dreams excite me,” says Kwok, a young author who began penning creative stories two years ago to make her voice heard. She uses her dreams and vivid imagination to invent these stories, which she captures on paper to share with others. To date, shes written roughly 30 childrens books, each of which entertain but also offer a takeaway message. For instance, in her book “The Person With No Body,” the main character is mocked for lacking a body.

She writes, Sometimes his head is in Ohio, arms/hands in Texas, legs/feet in Maine…but he has all five senses.”

The reader is reminded how we tend to take for granted our sense of smell, sight, hearing, touch and taste, when we should appreciate what we have and uncover the hidden beauty in hard times. In her follow-up book, “The Person With No Head,” everyone laughs at the headless character except for empathetic Polly, who gently tries to glue a head onto the person. The moral of this story is that the smallest acts of kindness can have a giant impact on the lives of those with whom we interact, and one good act can multiply into many more by creating an influential ripple effect.

I really like creating things,” Kwok says. I have lots of ideas for books.”

She comes up with ideas simply by living life.

Things happen in daily life – conversations with other people, books I read, TV shows I watch – it all gives me story ideas,” Kwok says. Her new book, “Animal Kingdom War: Doggy Fight,” was inspired by the “Who Would Win” books and the television show “Survivor.” 

In 2020, Kwok took an 18-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean to immigrate from Hong Kong to the U.S. with her parents, Vikey Chen and Ming Kwok. She was 4 years old at the time. Her native language is Cantonese, so when she moved to Brownsburg, she could not fully understand what people said, nor could she fully express herself in English. But she has an inquisitive, open mind, and always seeks opportunities to chat with people at playgrounds, parks, grocery stores, restaurants, swimming pools – you name it.

We stop asking questions as grownups,” Chen says. “We think we know it all and we cling to our beliefs. From an early age, Doreen has asked lots of questions. She learned how the eyes work from an ophthalmologist in an eye exam. She understood how to develop a new product from a startup founder in a trade show. She heard stories about money management from a financial advisor at the pool deck. She sparks interesting discussions and exchange of ideas with people from all walks of life.”

Doreen KwokShe also asks questions of her peers – like asking about working on a book together. Shes done five collaborations with different classmates, often inviting them to illustrate her books. Last year Kwok received the Tiny Teacher award at school for her kindness, patience and excellence in helping others. Not surprisingly, she aspires to become a teacher one day. 

After reading her stories to classmates, her teacher thanked her for being a source of inspiration for other kids to tap into their creativity.

She realized her vim and vigor can motivate others to create, and to enjoy writing and reading,” Chen says. Therefore, she told us why not let more people know about her books by selling them at the Brownsburg Farmers Market and on Amazon?”

The farmers market was a huge success. People shook hands with the young author and congratulated her on spreading inspiration and joy. When an elderly patron told her that she was going to share Kwoks stories with her grandkids, and that she hoped it would encourage them to write, Kwok replied, Not necessary writing. [They] can try whatever [they] want!”

Not only did Kwoks books sell well at the Farmers Market, but she also became an honorable member of the Greater Brownsburg Chamber of Commerce, whose members wanted to celebrate her entrepreneurial spirit. 

To be an immigrant child in an environment of new language and cultures means growing up faster,” says Chen, who credits the nurturing Brownsburg school system as well as the uplifting Hendricks County community with helping her daughter flourish.

Though her parents dont take much credit for her development, they note that instead of saying “No” to their daughter when she asks about something, they tend to ask, Why not?”

We dont shove our values down her throat,” Chen says. “We encourage her to think for herself and determine how to make life worth living. She has the freedom to sort out her own values and discover her own interests. When she shows enthusiasm in something, we support her and protect her intrinsic motivation. You cant program a child to become giving. They must find it enjoyable to truly become giving.”

Doreen KwokKwok is currently working on “Birdy Fight” in her “Animal Kingdom War” series as well as a book of jokes and riddles.

Besides writing, she has become a big advocate in encouraging others to dream big because, after all, dreams excite her.

By encouraging others to pursue their dreams, I meet other dream seekers,” Kwok says. They will motivate me to keep going as well. Our community becomes a better place with more dream seekers motivating each other.”

Speaking of dreams, one of Chens favorite maxims from Kwok is, “What if life is just a dream? You never know unless you open your eyes again.”

Doreen Kwoks Creations

  • “Penny the Penguin” series (“Penny Builds a House,” “Penny Goes to the Halloween Party,” “Penny Has a Baby,” “Penny Makes a Book,” “Penny’s Baby Sister”)
  • “Holidays of the Year”
  • “The Person With No Body”
  • “The Person With No Head”
  • “Go Sketching!”
  • “Washington, D.C.”
  • “9 ways to make 10”
  • “Cats and Kittens”
  • “Make a Snowman”
  • “The Letter to My Future Self”
  • “The Bear Family: The New Baby”
  • “The Artist Becomes a Writer”

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