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Creating Wholesome Children's Books Families Love

Julie Blim


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In early 2019, Paul Collins, a 30-year veteran of the investment banking world, specializing in mergers and acquisitions in the chemicals industry, decided to add “author of children’s books” to his resume. How did such an interest come about? It goes back to his childhood in Dublin, Ireland.

His father, a veterinarian, loved “a good yarn.” Paul does too. “Maybe it’s the Irish in me,” he quips. Paul grew up loving to read and tell stories to his siblings. Years later, when he and his wife, Elin, had their own three children, he continued the tradition. “I’ve always loved telling stories to my kids and so I started asking them more and more about the kinds of stories they would like me to tell them – such as the American Eagle.”  

That idea was the inspiration behind his first tale, “Ellie the Eagle: The Rockefeller Christmas Tree,” about a young girl who helps her best friend, an eagle named Ellie, rescue her four eaglets from the huge tree. Paul continued telling stories that taught lessons about a variety of topics, from how to count, to facts about different animals, to the importance of family. “Family is the most important thing and we should all revolve around family,” he believes. 

The idea to write a series of books for children came while the family was on vacation in Antigua with friends. At a restaurant for lunch one day, Paul started to tell the kids one of his stories, when other patrons started listening, tables shifted, and his audience grew from a few to 30 people huddled around him.

He then decided his stories might be able to reach a larger audience with family values and important life lessons. On spare nights, weekends, and plane flights, he wrote more of them. The restaurant story developed into “The Dragon’s Treasure,” a tale of a brave prince who risks his own life to help others using clever ideas to solve their problems.  


As Paul writes each book, his goal reaches beyond entertainment to instilling the cherished values he was taught as a child. “I thought, what can I put together that will offer long-term value to kids, moms, dads, grandparents, and what messages am I consistently trying to teach my own kids?” The answers led to a list he posts at the beginning of each book called, “10 Principles of Life":       

  1.   Family is the most important thing.
  2.   Appreciate what you have.
  3.   Believe in your dreams.
  4.   True friends will always be there for you.
  5.   Always be willing to help others.
  6.   Think before you act.
  7.   Have the courage to act.
  8.   Happiness comes from getting things done.
  9.   Don’t be a bully, everyone is special.
  10.   Handicaps shouldn’t hold you back.  

One of the stories, “The Seamstress and the Prince,” develops the tenth principle. It’s a heartwarming love story about a prince who chooses to marry a disabled, heroic army veteran.  At the end of the tale, the wife becomes the General of the Armies, and the Prince becomes a stay-at-home dad. “To me, that was a way to teach my daughters that no matter what happens to you, you can go out there and be successful,” he explains. “It’s all about you being strong as a person, that you can have the family, you can have the career, you can do well, no matter what the world throws at you.”  

Having attended a Jesuit boarding school as a boy, Paul says the principles he’s trying to teach readers are Christian values. “God’s important to us.  Our kids are the future and unless we invest the time in them, they are not going to be the kind of kids we want them to be. My parents instilled in me that we’re here to help, that there’s a bigger purpose than just self,” he emphasizes. “My dad had a really big heart and whenever there was a crisis, he was always the first guy to try and do something. I’d like to think he would be very proud and say that’s exactly what I would have done if I could have, as he too really loved to tell stories.” 

There are additional goals that Paul has achieved through his books. First, he’s taught his son and two daughters about following a dream from idea to finished product through his publishing process. “They have seen a business created which they can truly relate to because they heard the stories first and they are in the stories, which is just so much fun.”  

The illustration of some characters in the stories resemble Paul’s three children, as well as certain other family members. Also, he’s demonstrated to them the importance of helping others. A portion of the books’ sales are given to a foundation Paul established to benefit several charities, such as Doctors Without Borders, Prevent Child Abuse America, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.   

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About The Author

Julie Blim

Julie produced and assigned a variety of features for The 700 Club since 1996, meeting a host of interesting people across America. Now she produces guest materials, reading a whole lot of inspiring books. A native of Joliet, IL, Julie is grateful for her church, friends, nieces, nephews, dogs, and enjoys tennis, ballroom dancing, and travel.