We had the good fortune of connecting with Katina Currin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katina, what is the most important factor behind your success?
My brand is driven by what I believe to be two of our strongest emotions: fear and anxiety, and what I can offer to help relieve patients from both.
My children’s books are driven by my passion to educate. I truly believe when we learn what we may have to face, and when that information is shared with us on a level that paints a picture for us, sets the stage for us prior to our arrival, even offers a sneak peek into what we may hear, feel and smell, we become empowered. I believe children should feel empowered too!
I am not ignorant in my thinking that all children and all parents will read my stories and walk away without any questions or will feel absolutely no negative emotions prior to their experience, but I do believe they will walk away with a greater sense of calm. My reviews suggest just that! Also, I believe after reading stories in the Nurse Nee Nee series, parents will feel more comfortable speaking with their healthcare providers and asking questions. What I am most excited about is that children will show up with the knowledge of medical terminology and will identify what they see and hear based on words that were read to them or words they read independently while turning the pages of my books.
Quite simply, however, the success behind my brand is sharing knowledge. Healthcare itself, and the providers represented in their specialties, should not present themselves as intimidating but rather friendly, helpful, and informative. I hope to be and do just that on paper and in person.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a practicing certified registered nurse anesthetist, I’m set apart by others because my first career was as a respiratory therapist and then a critical care nurse. I cared for children in the hospital setting long before they were entrusted in my care to put them to sleep for surgery. I’m proud of the long road- bachelor’s, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, before getting where I am today in my practice. It wasn’t easy. There weren’t always straight A’s. I didn’t always “get it” the first time. Sometimes I had to read and re-read, and then call a classmate to explain it before it made sense. However, I always knew my faith was real, and deep inside of me was the tenacity and perseverance that was needed to push through and “get it”.
After my doctorate ceremony, I began my speech in front of my husband, family, and friends, and I told them I would have no problem thanking those who tried to stand in my way. I also forgive myself because I was not focused right after high school. I am thankful for my past experiences. I am grateful. I never gave up.
R. J. Smith says ‘nothing beats a failure but a try’. I remember telling my sister I was going to write and publish a children’s book. I shared with her how I felt my stories were needed and that I had the insight that would be helpful in someone’s household one day. I told her it would be a way I could give back. Her response was short and sweet, “awe, okay” and I now know it was all she knew to say because at the time she thought it was a crazy idea. We laugh about that to this day because every time I feel stuck, when I feel like I should be doing more, when it seems it’s not working and I’m not reaching the masses, she calms me by saying, “you did it. You said you would, and you tried it, and you did it! Be proud of yourself because you’ll reach who you need to, in due time. Until then, keep writing, keep showing up, and by all means, stop comparing yourself to others because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. God’s got you, darling!”
And that’s my brand. That’s my story. I’m just a girl, from a small town in TN, who loves science but had to work hard at digesting it all. I love showing up at the hospital in the surgery arena every day and being at the head of the bed, as the anesthesia provider. I love to write stories that have alliterations for titles and prepare parents and children for what to expect before, during, and after common childhood procedures. My brand says, ‘I have learned a lot along the way and now, I get to share some of what I’ve learned with you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m so excited my friend is coming to spend a few days with me! I love these opportunities because there are experiences I’ve had in the metro that I want to share, but also, I experience a lot the city has to offer for the first time with them!
Day 1: We’re staying in the city! When I pick my friend up (her name is Shelly) from the Hartsfield Atlanta Airport, my bags will be packed as well because we’ll be staying downtown at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. Today will be all about catching up, getting pampered, and having some delicious eats in the area. On the agenda: a 90-minute massage, mani/ pedi, followed by a delicious dinner at the Sun Dial Restaurant.
Day 2: We’ll hit the pavement (and Uber some as well) and see the city! There will be a lot of ooohing and ahhhhing as we discover the beautiful architecture of places like the FlatironCity, The High Museum of Art, The Georgian Terrace, where we’ll be having lunch, followed by more explorations of beautiful buildings like the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Georgia Aquarium. Today we’re just looking, soon we’ll stop in and get the full experience of a few of these. Tonight it’s dinner at Ray’s in the City and our final overnight stay at the Westin.
Day 3: We’ll check out and head to my home in the Smyrna/ Vinings area. We’ll have a quiet day at the house, laughing, reminiscing, and watching girlie movies- some that make us laugh and of course, some that make us cry. This evening we’ll be spoiled by personal in-home chef Matt Lewis who will prepare a farm-to-table meal for us that will be paired with a delicious German Reisling.
Day 4: We’re rising early, taking a brisk morning walk, getting our minds prepared for the day. It will include a day in the Sweet Auburn district learning about our history. First, we’ll worship at Ebenezer Baptist Church, followed by a visit to the MLK National Historic Park and a tour of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home. We’ll end the evening in the Sweet Auburn district visiting markets, independent shops, and local eats.
Day 5: What’s a visit to your gal pal’s awesome city without SHOPPING!!!!!! We’ll hit Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza in Buckhead, the Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, a few shops in Atlantic Station, and yes, after our feelings have been hurt badly, we’ll hit the outlets!!!!
Day 6: Being the exercise junkies that we are, today we’ll hit one of the best places in Atlanta for breaking a sweat and burning some calories. We’ll head to Ponce City Market for a morning and evening yoga practice at Corepower Yoga with some biking on the Beltline in between. There’s plenty of eating and sitting opportunities while there, also people watching and shopping too!
Day 7: Shelly’s last day is the hardest because there’s so much time between our visits and I hate to see her go. Hating sad good-bye’s, her last day is like the first! Today we have tickets to a matinee at the Fox and tonight we’re headed to the Mercedes Benz Stadium to see the Falcons defeat the Jaguars! Afterward, we’ll ride the Sky View Ferris Wheel before retiring for the evening at the Westin Hotel.
What a visit!!!! I’m pooped, shes’ exhausted, but it was AWESOME!!!!!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband and family are my squad! I can count on them to show up for every event, every reading, every everything!!!!!
Other: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Penny Weber; illustrator