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Zoe the crab by Lucia Matuonto

My name is Lucia Matuonto.

I am a physiotherapist, I am a children’s book author, I am the host of my podcast called “The Relatable Voice” and I host an online talk show called UNCUT with Lucia.

So you might wonder what a physiotherapist is doing, publishing children’s books and hosting podcasts, but I’m here  to inspire you to think outside the box and show you how one little decision can totally change your life.

I was a physiotherapist for 15 years, which is longer than most of you have been alive. When COVID happened, it prevented me from taking patients because physiotherapy is obviously a high-contact treatment. So I had to think about what I can do instead.

Here I was at home, writing for my blog and painting, and it suddenly came to me that I should combine these two skills. What combines writing and pictures? A children’s book. And Zoe the Crab was born.

The main character is a little crab, who is funny and loves to dance but she has an accident and loses her claw.

Zoe would always compare herself to other animals, and she couldn’t understand why she didn’t walk like other animals, or why she wasn’t like other animals. Overtime, through her adventures, she slowly realized that every animal she came across was different, and it was totally ok! From this lesson, I hope that all children will be inspired by Zoe to also appreciate their differences and the differences of others. I want to show kids and their parents that being different is completely normal.

Once I finished the story, I decided to publish this book myself. I reached out to fellow authors for advice. I did so much research because once I want to achieve something, I will go above and beyond to achieve it. It wasn’t smooth sailing, by the way. It was hard work and I had to fix things here and there and face some challenges. But I finally published my book and started promoting it. It was featured on LA Tribune magazine and the book is being very well received and being recommended by some teachers in schools.

Did I have fear? No, but maybe I was a little bit concerned that something could go wrong. I was mostly motivated and excited.

I published two more Zoe the Crab books to complete the trilogy in 4 months. That whole experience was incredible. Having the books translated in different languages, hearing what people from around the world thought about Zoe and her friends… During Covid, it was the best way to connect with others. So once that project was done, I realized I wanted to keep connecting with people.

I left Brazil 16 years ago and have lived in six different countries since. Travelling, new experiences and new people have always been a passion of mine. I also always wanted to own an RV and roadtrip to different places with my husband. That being said, you couldn’t do that during quarantine as I’m sure you all remember. So I came up with the idea of having a podcast where I could have conversations with different guests from around the world. It’s almost like I am giving them a ride in my RV and we can talk about life, books, goals, or whatever else comes up. Fortunately, this little idea of mine turned out to be an AMAZING idea. It already has 200,000 downloads. And because of the success of the RV, I was also invited to host an online talk show called UNCUT with Lucia where I get to interview a different author each episode.

Had I not written Zoe, I would never have gotten the inspiration to connect with others from around the world and thought of my podcast. And without the RV and Zoe, I never would have been part of UNCUT. This just shows you how thinking outside the box can lead you to some pretty great places.

So what’s next? I am working on an anthology with some other authors, I am publishing a new book next year called “Out of the Box”.

And I am going to continue connecting with people around the world, just like with you today.

I think we have time for some questions. But I will leave you with this final thought: no matter what direction you’re taking, you can do anything you want in life.

Visit https://www.luciamatuonto.com/

instagram : @the_relatable_voice

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