Write You a Children’s book? Well okay, I will.
What do you do when your seven-year-old granddaughter asks about your writing career? When she wants to know all the details about your work of fiction that is not suitable for a seven-year-old to grasp? If you are me, you share with her all the tender moments of the book. You tell her of the strength of the characters and share how much you loved these characters.
Then comes the moment when she asks, “When are you going to write a book for me?”
Truthfully, I had never thought about that. The idea appealed to me even as it scared me a bit. But she asked so sweetly and so seriously.
“I will do that as soon as I get back to writing in March. Will that be okay? Do you have anything special you want in a book?
“No,” she says, “I just want you to write a book that I can read. Can you do that Grandma?”
With tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I assure her, “You better believe I can.”
The six-year-old, asks, “Can I read it too Grandma? Can you make it where I can read it too?”
“Me too, Me too!” Calls out the four-year-old, as he races over to the computer desk where I am sitting.
The room is abuzz with talk about books, characters and sight words. I assure each child, “Any words in the story you do not know, you can look up online and I am sure Mama will help out if hey you are all reading together.”
With the book considered a fait accompli, I left the state of Michigan, traveled back to Kentucky with children dancing in my head. As them miles stretched out in front of me, an image came to my mind. A little face, a face I knew in real life, but it was different, it was not the face of my granddaughter, it was the face of a new creature. I had my main character. Her name, Dolcey.
Before long, I had a blurb rattling around in my brain. It was perfect for these children. It was perfect for children a little older. It was playing out like a movie and I was captured by the story.
I was active on a project which left no time for writing so I noted everything and placed it on my desktop. For the next month I would add words, scene sketches and images as they came to me. As I am not one to outline or plan by nature. When I began this process, it was exciting and new to me. It was like building this story one scene at a time. Dolcey was becoming real to me. She was unique and she had a story; a story I felt worth telling.
I live with another little seven-year-old. Which means I must keep my writing tucked away from her little blue, curious, and prying eyes. If she catches a glimpse of me writing, she will sneak over to peek at the words.
The search is on for an illustrator, the words written so far, are fun but children will enjoy seeing the faces come to life, the scenes in living color and I wanted illustrations.
I reach across the ocean to a young artist that after reading the synopsis of the story wants to illustrate the book. She has high praise and that swayed me as she could see my vision on the scenes I sent. Off we go into the unknown of how to deal with an illustrator. As the writer, I saw these characters a certain way, but I wanted her to have creative freedom. I believe we compromised well enough that we are willing to follow Dolcey on another few stories.
Dolcey is already speaking to me, and Ellie the illustrator loves drawing Dolcey, so this seems to be an exciting new road we are taking.
When the cover was finished and I was uploading it for the cover reveal the blue eyed seven-year-old saw it and she hugged me and told me she loved it. I was sold. If she loves it, so will other children.
June second, the book, Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? will be released and I hope that children will find the characters warm and loving. I hope that children and their parents will connect with Dolcey and enjoy her magical abilities that help Emily to solve a very serious problem in her life. Dolcey is not able to take away the problem, she is simply there to assist Emily in making peace with her situation.
The beauty of the story is the strength that both girls have in this journey. As they both grow and learn while solving a big dilemma.
Sojourner McConnell is releasing her first children’s book, Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? on June 2 and hopes you will enjoy the story of Dolcey.
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545150265 for the paperback and on Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.com/Whos-That-Pajamas-Dolcey-Book-ebook/dp/B07118C3NZ
Sojourner McConnell Amazon Profile: https://www.amazon.com/Sojourner-McConnell/e/B008IQDX4S