Name: Montserrat Coughlin Kim
Hometown: Montclair
Business: When a Dragon Comes, LLC


New Jersey Family: The inspiration for your books and business is deeply personal. How did it all come to be?

Montserrat Coughlin Kim: Before my husband was diagnosed with cancer, he was the most laid-back guy. One day, my daughter sat down next to him on the sofa and he snapped at her about jumping on the couch. I told her that it wasn’t her father that snapped at her: It was the cancer dragon. Early in George’s diagnosis, I had looked for children’s books about cancer but couldn’t find any. I’m fortunate that I was able to read a very early draft to my husband before he died.


NJF: What was the biggest obstacle in getting When a Dragon Comes off the ground?

MCK: It’s scary to tell your story or create something that other people may not like or value; you can feel vulnerable. It’s also frightening to start a business; there is much to do and manage, and I worried about messing things up. Once I realized that I would make mistakes, but I would figure out ways to fix most errors, I became more comfortable with the process.


NJF: What advice do you have for parents who have to support their children’s grief over a sick parent or who have lost a parent to cancer?

MCK: Cut yourself some slack. Talking to kids about cancer or illness is tough. You have a lot of emotions and so do they. You don’t have to get it right, because there really isn’t a right or wrong way to do this. You know your family and you will do a good job taking care of them, even in your new situation.