Nervous Nelly was based on a sketch by Paul Kwo's niece Alina who was age 6 at the time.
In August 2019, Paul created a pdf to help the parents and students of his school PopRock Academy to learn more about dealing with nervousness. After sharing the pdf guide, one of his instructor thought it would also be great as a children's book. So Paul wrote the story that afternoon for Nervous Nelly's First Recital based on his years of teaching experience. He then asked his niece to draw a picture of a little girl, and this was the result.