Meet the Author
Eileen’s Two Cents
Eileen Wacker’s journey to become a children’s book author took a circuitous route. She has a deep passion for storytelling and a genuine curiosity in cultures of the world. She has four children – Olivia, Christian, Ethan and Natalie who inspire her every day and she named her company ONCEkids with the initials of her children (Olivia, Natalie, Christian and Ethan).
She moved with her husband, Rich, and four children to Seoul, South Korea for four years when the kids were aged seven months to just turning five years-old. The family was able to travel frequently across Asia, visiting many countries, most frequently China and Japan. After this work assignment, the family settled in Honolulu, Hawaii, but the family continued to travel as her husband commuted another three years to his job in Seoul. She was always attracted by the rich and diverse cultures and the viewpoints and history of the peoples in these countries.
In Seoul, she had a ‘mom’s job’ running the books program in her child’s school. One of her children is Chinese, and she realized there was a shortage of quality children’s books that had an Asian overlay for the mainstream market. She loved the traditions, celebrations and unique viewpoints and tried to amplify in the books; she developed a book series, The Fujimini Adventure Series, with Asian characters for the mainstream children’s book market.
The Fujimini Adventure Series has seen a lot of positive light since its launch in 2010. All the books in the Fujimini Adventure Series have won Mom’s Choice Awards. They have also been awarded awards and/or honorable mentions from the Hollywood Book Festival, New York Book Festival, San Francisco Book Festival, New England Book Festival and Beach Book Festival. Eileen said of the recognition, “We were surprised and excited by all the positive attention. We love the stories and hope young readers can lose themselves in the adventures of the characters!”
Her working and parenting journey took a step to the side when her son, Ethan, landed a cherished role on a Disney Channel show named Bizaardvark; this forced her family to flex and commute between LA and Honolulu for four years. The happy chapter ended well and Ethan will be attending college in the Fall 2020. Eileen has decided to re-invigorate her ONCEKids brand, which she loves so much, starting with a major initiative in advancing children’s literacy. Her core belief is that children’s education and increasing children’s literacy can absolutely change the world!
Eileen grew up in Brockton Massachusetts and faced many challenges as this is an economically and socially challenged city. She was able to attend UMass Amherst on a scholarship and then went on to Harvard Business School, an almost unimaginable feat for a girl from Brockton High. This has influenced her view that education is an exceptionally strong lever in bringing greater equality and leading to more opportunities for children to better their own circumstances.