Amy Tyson | A Children’s Book Author on Parenting Through Divorce

Explaining divorce to a child is one of the most difficult moments a parent can go through…

As a single mother and teacher, my guest on this episode knows this firsthand.

Amy Tyson wrote a children’s book, One Princess, Two Castles, for her daughter, and she’s since shared the book with the world.

The book aims to bring hope, healing, and comfort to young children while reinforcing the idea that, “Things will be different, but things will be good!”

As a family lawyer, this book is a valuable resource to share with your clients who have children—demonstrating that you care for their emotional well-being, not just their legal concerns.

Listen to my conversation with Amy as we cover her book, parenting through divorce, and more.

Mentioned in this episode:


Amy Tyson: I firmly believe that the way a divorce a splitting of a family is handled can greatly affect the trajectory of not just the parents but the child’s life forever.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast, your source for the latest news and trends in family law in the state of Texas. Now, here’s your host attorney Holly Draper.

Holly Draper: Today we’re excited to welcome Amy Tyson to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast. Amy is a single mom of three girls, author of One Princess, Two Castles and an elementary school teacher. As both a single mom and a teacher, she knew there had to be a better way to communicate the topic of divorce and parents no longer saying together to young children. Her hope is that through her book, One Princess, Two Castles, parents are able to put their emotions aside and put the focus where it belongs. On the child.

Amy’s book, One Princess, Two Castles helps to facilitate conversations between the parents and their child on a topic that can often be difficult to discuss. One Princess, Two Castles helps to bring hope, healing and comfort. The story gives children permission for their little hearts to hurt. But it also gives them permission for their hearts to feel excited about spending time with both parents. And being immersed in the love they have for both parents and the love both parents have for them. The book also reinforces the statement, things will be different, but things will be good. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Amy: Hello, thank you so much, Holly.

Holly: So why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background.

Amy: So I am a teacher and my background, my specialization is working with young children. I am a mom of three daughters. And I’m also a single mom here in Frisco, Texas. I’ve been married twice. And I’ve also been divorced twice. So it’s very much shaped the way I view life and guiding young children.

Holly: So can you share a little bit about your life experience that led you to write the book One Princess Two Castles?

Amy: Absolutely. So years ago, I was walking through my first divorce. And at the time, I had two daughters who were seven and a half and four and a half. And of course, my main concern at the time was, oh, my goodness, how am I going to tell my two daughters. And I wanted to do it in just the right way as best as I possibly could. And at the time I was loaned a book. And I did everything I was told to do. I took them to a spot that we’d never been to and would not go back to again. I even had their dad meet us there, sat down on a blanket and read this story to him. I’m a teacher. And so I teach through books, right.

So that part was natural for me. Well, my daughter’s they hated the book, right. And fast forward to years later, they’re now, those two daughters are 21 and 18. They still remember that day, and still can’t stand the memory of that book. So you can imagine, years later after that, I am then walking through a second divorce. And I now had my third daughter who was around the age of five. And in the middle of all the emotion that comes with the divorce, I’m faced with how on earth am I going to tell this daughter. Because the way I did it before the book that I used left a horrible impact.

And you want to do it the best way that you possibly can. So again, I was recommended a book. This time I went online, ordered it, I brought it home into my apartment, I remember going in my room and sitting on the floor with the door closed going through the first few pages. And I just closed it, Holly. I mean, I just knew in my gut, this was not the way to go about it. Or at least not the way I wanted to explain this major life change to my little girl. So at some point along the way, I sat down at my desk and that’s where One Princess, Two Castles comes from.

Holly: So how would you describe the difference between the book that you created and these two prior books that had been recommended to you?

Amy: Well, I think so much of the time that books about divorce, talk about the mechanics of it, at least for children, and I want to guide it in a way that number one, my book does not mention the word divorce. And that’s for two reasons. Number one, I think the word divorce is a very big word for young children. And then number two, today you have many families that they very much been a family unit, but they are not married. And so I want in my book to be able to apply to as many families and give as many families hope and a tool to use as possible.

And so my book also, well I know, it gives the child their permission for their hearts to hurt. Because there’s no doubt when this child’s family splits apart, their heart is going to hurt, it’s going to feel sad. It’s a it’s a whole new world for them. But what I also wanted to do was give that child unapologetic permission for their heart to feel very excited to be spending time with both parents, and to embrace the fact that all those things will be different things will be good, because I’m a huge believer that mindset is everything.

And the reality is when your family splits, your world, your mom’s world, your dad’s world, it’s going to change. And it’s all how you look at it. And even in the most difficult times, if you look hard enough, you will be able to find some good that comes through that difficult time. And my hope is that not only does this help the child to look at things in a different way, it also helps the parents to look at things in a different way. Because in the world of divorce, or if you’re a family that is splitting apart, it’s very easy to get caught up in the anger and the sadness, the feelings of betrayal.

And what can happen is what needs to be focused on, which is the child, can get put on the back burner, because the individuals get so caught up in all the other emotion, they often forget about that and what is truly best for the child. And at the end of the day, that dad is still going to be that child’s dad, and that mom is still going to be that child’s mom. And your job is to help them to feel secure. And whether you like that other person or not, you have to help your child to feel excited about going back and forth to see both parents.

Holly: Yeah, as family lawyers, we kind of see the two different sides of this. We see kids, we’re usually hearing about through our clients, obviously, we’re not actually talking to the child. But we know through research and through talking with therapists and things of that nature that kids often feel responsible. Or they feel like you know, they take sides, or they feel they have to take sides because their parents are putting pressure on them.

So it sounds like this can really speak to the child on that end. But then with the parents, our firm’s philosophy is to try to be amicable whenever possible, a lot of that reason being the kids. But not every person going through a divorce or a child custody lawsuit, is very good at embracing that. They’re so angry, they want retribution they want they want to win. So it sounds like it can also help in that situation.

Amy: That is that’s my hope. Because I firmly believe that the way a divorce, the splitting of a family is handled, can greatly affect the trajectory of not just the parents but the child’s life forever for generations to come. If you don’t do it in the most healthy way possible.

Holly: Yes. And we’ve heard I think there’s a lot of research out there saying that the fact that your parents divorce or the fact that your parents split up is not the most telling indicator of how you’re going to grow up. How your parents get along, is a much bigger indicator of if the child is going to be well adjusted, have problems in their lives, get into trouble, those sorts of things.

Amy: Sure, sure.

Holly: So what makes your book unique?

Amy: Well, I feel like my book, number one, it’s not because I’m sure some people out there when I post about it, they wonder well, becuase she’s a single mom. So is this is more like a pro mom book, and it’s spinning it from you know that perspective? And if the answer is no. It’s not pro mom or pro dad, it’s pro child. And in in that, I mean, you’re focusing on the child and what is truly best for that child and the best outcome possible. At the end of the story, the king and the queen, because it’s written, you know, like, almost like a fairy tale mode. But they tell Princess T, which is the main character, you know, you’re going to continue to live in two different castles, but we are going to help you to be the best princess that you can possibly be.

And throughout the story, it talks about the different things that this princess gets to do at the mom’s house, which is the Queen, and the dad’s house, which is the King, and they’re very different. And I want parents and kids to realize it’s okay if your lives are very different at both houses. It doesn’t mean either one is better than the other. And just to be like, you know what, this is very much going to help shape my child into the person that they’re going to be. So let’s do it the best way possible. Let’s do it the most healthy way possible and let’s try to work together.

Holly: What age range would you say your book is for?

Amy: So ages four to nine. If it’s a pretty mature three year old, I would say it can apply to a three year old as well. You know, obviously, you know, you’re reading that book to the child, and but definitely ages four to nine.

Holly: And so I know you’ve done a lot of networking with attorneys. Why do you feel it’s so important for family lawyers to know about your book and even have copies of your book in their office?

Amy: Well, there’s no doubt I mean, you all have such an important job and you’ve got a lot of weight on your shoulders. Because the way you guide these families or you know, your clients can forever affect the way they look at things the way their life goes, not just the legalities, but the emotional aspect of it as well. And so, you all know, and the reality is, many of you guys have probably walked through divorce yourself. And so you see it not just from a professional aspect, but a personal aspect as well. And my thought, and I really do think that this is true, most people, they retain an attorney, you retain them, because they’ve been recommended to you, maybe you’ve read on that read up on them, and you trust them.

I mean, you’re there, you’re trusting them with your future, and your child’s future. And so what my thinking is, is that, as family law attorneys, if you guys can show your clients, listen, we’re not just concerned with the legalities of your case, we are also very much concerned with the emotional well being of you and your child. And the reason I want you to actually carry the books in your law firm, is because as you know, when people are walking through a divorce, it is extremely stressful for the most part. Many people are in desperation, they may feel like failures, they do not know what the next moment, the next day is going to hold for them.

And so if you can make it one step easier, instead of them having to go online as your client and ordering the book, if you can say you know what, I have a resource for you, here is this book, you can use it as a tool to guide your discussion with your child, and your child can go back and revisit the book. And then that parent can even recommend it to the opposing side. And it just makes it easier for your client. Um, it’s one less thing they have to do. And I just think that it shows one step further, that you guys are all invested in them in so many ways. Does that make sense?

Holly: Yes, absolutely. And I think it’s, you know, for us as attorneys, another little high touch point of showing that we care about this person and their family and their children. And it’s not just a matter of, they’re just one more person on our list.

Amy: Right. Yes, yes.

Holly: So your book obviously features a little girl, Princess, would you say the book also is applicable for boys? Or is it more geared toward girls?

Amy: Yes, and that is an often asked question of me. And the answer is, it applies to boys and girls. So I am a teacher of young children. And so one of the favorite books of little, little kids is the series Junie B. Jones. Well, Junie B. Jones is a girl. And I can tell you, when I read that book aloud to my class, the boys love it just as much as the girls. And this story very much will apply to both boys and girls. Yes, I’ve been requested to write a boy’s book. And so at some point, I might do that I’ve other books I want to publish first. But for now, yes, this story applies to both boys and girls.

Holly: Yeah, I could definitely see a few different variations of this book that you could add to your library, you know, but one that’s a boy, maybe one that has two queens, one that has two kings, because right now, as you kind of mentioned at the beginning are lots of different families out there. And everybody’s family looks a little bit different. But yet these kids are all going through the same fundamental feelings and fears if that family us splitting up.

Amy: Well, and I think that it gives children that are walking through this and they feel very scared and alone at the time, they feel like they’re the only ones going through it. And so if they can have a book that gives them someone they can relate to because you don’t you don’t see a lot of books like this, and especially when there is actually a positive ending. And so if you can put this tool in kids’ hands for somebody they can identify with, I think it’s so helpful. And it also is helpful to children who aren’t from families of divorce, or where they’re splitting up because it helps them to have empathy for children who come from families that are unlike their own.

Holly: So that’s a really good point where we have oftentimes mom and dad have never lived together. You know, mom gets pregnant. They weren’t, it was never serious. They never move in together. So that child is living in two homes from the beginning. Would be helpful for the you know that four year old who’s always lived in two separate homes?

Amy: I would say yes, because it’s a talk point, right. So even though the beginning is not the same, the book very much encourages spending time with both parents, not just one, but both. Being excited about it, and looking at the positives of going to two different homes and celebrating the differences in those homes. And that even though that child, and in this case, it’s a princess is in two different castles, that those two parents are helping that child to be the best she can possibly be. Even though they don’t live in one home. And I think that that can happen. I think people just have to switch their mindset.

Holly: So I know, you’ve talked with lots of attorneys and judges about your book, what type of feedback have you gotten from them?

Amy: You know, I will say my favorite thing was a family law judge. It was a judge from Collin County came up to me and she said, I’ve read your book. And I think that it’s brilliant, and I’m not tooting my own horn. So understand, I’m not the best author, like in the world. I’m not saying that at all. But when you have someone that you know, has seen, so you know, so many family law cases come through her court. And when she gives you that kind of feedback, it’s just heartwarming. Because originally, I wrote this book just for my own daughter to tell her I never dreamed of publishing it. And it just warmed my heart because I really do want to help families, I really, really do.

I had another attorney tell me, he bought three bundles. And he said, you know, what, he said was what I charge, it does nothing for me to spend $19.99 on a book, and give it to my clients. And he said, I feel like it says something about me to hand this book over to them. And then I had another attorney reach out and said, thank you so much for doing this. And again, am I saying that my book is the end all be all and you know, I’m all that and bag of chips. I am not. I’m just a single mom on a mission to help families with, with what I’ve been through, and to help them live their best life possible when they’re in two different homes.

Holly: So have you, I know a lot of times your books may be going to people not directly from you. They’re coming through their attorney or something of that nature. But have you gotten feedback from the actual end user? Those mom and dad, parents going through a divorce?

Amy: I have. And it’s interesting, because I have a single dad that bought my book. And they he and his wife have been divorced for a number of years. And so initially, when I first started, you know, promoting my book, I thought, well, this is very much for children that are freshly going through this. And then it hit me, you know, healing is an ongoing process, right. And so his daughter was in second grade. And she was very young when they split. And he said every time she comes to his house, and this was pretty much a 50/50 custody situation. So she was there very often, he said she would go over and get the book, and he would send me videos of her reading it. And it just warms my heart because it gives these kids again, someone to identify with. And it gives some comfort, hope and healing.

Holly: When you watch children, read your book, like I know, you mentioned seeing the videos that father had sent to you. And I’m sure that’s not the only child you’ve seen read your book, what do you see in them?

Amy: I’m going to try not to cry. It helps me to know that what I’m doing is the right thing. And that it matters. And I know, those are just some of the millions of kids out there that are going through this. And my goal is to help as many as possible.

Holly: And I know we’re in Texas, obviously. But there’s nothing about your book that would limit it to kids in Texas or even in the United States, right?

Amy: No, no, not at all. Not at all. It doesn’t even refer to you know, being in Texas or anything like that. So no, it can apply to anywhere.

Holly: And I know as part of your your vision for an attorney to kind of be able to hand this to a client, a new client that’s just been retained. My firm and I think there are a lot of other firms like this, especially in a post COVID world that were largely virtual, so we’re not always sitting across the room or whatever in a position to physically hand a book to a potential client. What advice would you give for attorneys who see themselves in that situation?

Amy: Well, so number one, I got some feedback from one of the attorneys their firm bought a bundle of my books. And so they got my book after they’ve already had this client that retained them. And she sent me a message. And she said, I just wanted you to know, we just called one of our clients who’s having difficulty navigating this, and parenting, it was for single dad. And she said, we’ve called them to come up to our office and get this book.

So you know, there’s different ways. So if you’re visiting with your client primary, virtually, you could pop the book in the mail to them, and it doesn’t cost a lot to ship it. Or you can invite them to come up to your office. And again, I don’t even feel like it has to be someone that’s necessarily walking through a divorce, this could be somebody that’s coming to you for a modification, because there’s a lot of changes that come with that often times, too.

Holly: Yeah, and a lot of times, people coming to us through modification may have a child that’s resisting going to see the other parent, or there’s usually a decent amount of conflict going on between the parents. And that’s why they’re they’re seeking the modification.

Amy: Right. Yes.

Holly: So where can law firms purchase your book?

Amy: Sure. So my website is And there’s an option on there for you to either have the books shipped to you. Or if you’re in the Dallas Fort Worth area, I’m happy to deliver them to you, I’m really flexible this summer, because I’m a teacher, and I’m off work. During the school year, I can make different arrangements for after school or on the weekends. So both options are available. And yeah, so just my website is how I prefer you to get my book.

Holly: And so like for our situation, what I’ll probably end up doing is having, you know, a bundle sent to each of my support staff where, okay, we retain a new client that fits into this certain type of category where it’s applicable to their children, or child, where those people can just get those sent out to the clients when they retain.

Amy: Yes. Oh, that’d be awesome. And you know, if there’s someone that’s watching this, and you’re like, you know what, it sounds good, but I’d really rather see it myself. If you reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram, it’s happinessintheheartache on both of those platforms, or if my personal Facebook is just Amy Tyson. And I’m happy to come to your office and bring some sweet treats. And I can present the book and you can look through it, and then decide, you know, at that point, if if you feel this is a good fit for you firm.

Holly: And if someone happens to have some of them on our podcast, that’s not an attorney, but it’s a parent and is interested in this topic? Is it the same place? Are they able to go online and buy just an individual copy?

Amy: Yes, absolutely. And when I mail them out, whether if you know if I’m mailing bundles, or find mailing individual copies, I do mail them Priority Mail, so they should get there quickly.

Holly: So we’re just about out of time. But are there any last little tidbits you would like for family lawyers to know about your book?

Amy: You know, just that I truly feel that my book gives hope, healing and comfort. And I know you guys all have such an important job because I’ve utilized many of you in the past. And I’ve had excellent attorneys who I’m very thankful for. And I know that your clients trust you. And my hope is that you will get this resource to hand over to your clients and it will forever, for the positive, effect the trajectory of both the parents and the child’s life forever.

Holly: Well, I love what you’re doing. I think it’s an amazing way to make something super positive out of, you know, some harder times in your own life. And hopefully this platform will give a lot of other attorneys the opportunity to learn about that and help their clients in that type of way. But thank you so much for joining us today. For our listeners, if you enjoyed this podcast, please take a second to leave us a review and subscribe to enjoy future episodes.

Voiceover: The Texas Family Law Insiders podcast is sponsored by the Draper Law Firm. We help people navigate divorce and child custody cases and handle family law appellate matters. For more information, visit our website at

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