Musician, new dad, children’s book author — Coy Bowles can do it all.
Bowles recently dished to PEOPLE about his newest endeavor: his third children’s book called When You’re Feeling Sick, including how he was inspired to write it, its musical accompaniments — and of course, whether he’s read it to Hattie yet.
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PEOPLE: Tell us about your inspiration for the storyline of When You’re Feeling Sick.
Coy: I was in the hospital for a couple of months with my mother a few years back. It was the first time I’d ever had anything crazy happen health-wise with my mother or father or close family.
Spending that much time in the hospital made me realize a lot of things. A girl I went to high school with had a daughter in the hospital while I was there, and I went down and read my first book, Amy Giggles: Laugh Out Loud to her. I was so nervous to read to her, but we had a blast hanging.
The rest of the time I was there, I was thinking about how cool it would be to write a story that makes people laugh and have hope while they are sick.
PEOPLE: What made you switch gears to children’s books? Would you ever consider doing a children’s album?
Coy: Carlos Sosa, the saxophone player for Zac Brown Band, and I worked up two songs for When You’re Feeling Sick. They were a blast to work on. The songs are real upbeat and silly. They are available at coybowles.com. They might be the only songs in the universe about being sick or that use the word ‘poopy’ as a lyric.
I’m a blues guy at heart, so silly music isn’t generally what I do. I’m a I’ll-cry-as-my-guitar-gently-weeps kind of guy. But writing the tunes was a blast, and Carlos is the best. My children’s books basically come from me trying to stay creative on the road and also wanting to give back.
PEOPLE: How’s life as a new dad? What have been your favorite moments with Hattie so far?
Coy: It is wild. Crazy how much everything changes as soon as they arrive. I love it. I’ve never felt as close to nature and God as I do seeing this miracle happen with front-row seats.
I’m diaper dude 24/7. I learned real fast that you need to have a plan of action when changing diapers or it can get dicey fast. I’m so grateful to have been raised on love and to be so in love with my wife. We’re so excited to raise our daughter, Hattie B, on love as well.
My favorite part is probably when she sneezes. It’s so stinking cute that it could make the most hardcore biker sigh and smile.
PEOPLE: Have you read the book to Hattie yet?
Coy: I have read the book to Hattie. I’m not sure she fully understands how awesome it is. She did smile, but I couldn’t tell if that was because of the book or stomach relief.
I’m currently learning “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “What a Wonderful World” on the guitar. I play those for her. She can’t talk yet, but I did pick up on a couple of grunts that sounded like she said that she likes my style and thinks I’m cool. So far, so good.
PEOPLE: Have you received any advice on fatherhood from [Zac Brown]? What is the best tip he’s given you?
Coy: Yeah, I get tons of advice. Zac said, “Go ahead and buckle up. She’s gonna steal your heart.” He’s got four daughters and one son. He knows the deal with daughters and kids in general, so I listen when he talks.
Dave Grohl‘s advice was “Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.” So far, I’m just focusing on making sure my wife is happy and following her lead and intuition. Once Hattie thinks I’m funny, I’ll be super awesome. Until then, I’m the dynamic diaper dude 24/7.
When You’re Feeling Sick is now available for purchase.