I know I've established a reputation as a historical fiction writer, but it's time to diversify! It will be some time before I can invest in the next novel, and so I've decided to publish a children's book which I made with my daughter, Grace Elizabeth, about ten years ago.
They say that God has a sense of humor, and that must be why He took someone as serious as I am and trapped me in "little kid land" for the last fourteen years. When my daughter was a toddler, I began working in a daycare, and as she grew, I moved up and worked as Pre-K teacher's aide.
Surrounded by children's book, and having a child of my who loved to read, I decided it would be a fun project for us to make a children's book with pictures of our cats. And so we did.
We went shopping and purchased all the necessary props, including doll clothes, furniture, and accessories. My father helped me to make a set with interchangeable walls so that I could feature different rooms. I meticulously made and painted what I could not buy, and earned myself the title of "eccentric crazy cat lady." But I was a pre-k teacher's aide at the time, so it kind of made sense.
It was a very sweet story about the special relationship between a mother and a daughter, as told by the mama cat. Ginger graciously played her part. Sweet Pea made a guest appearance as the grandmother, and the baby was played by a brand new kitten we had recently adopted, which Grace Elizabeth named "Sweet Bumble Bee."
Unfortunately, not long after the completion of our special book, little Bumble Bee began developing some health issues and was diagnosed with a fatal feline disease. He didn't live much longer. I was heartbroken and put the idea of publishing our children's book on the shelf.
Ten years later, I am employed as a nanny and the idea keeps coming back to me... And since I find an absence of creative output to be excruciating, I decided to pull out the old cat book, dust off the pages, and begin again.
I met with my amazingly talented graphic designer, Jody Christian, and handed over the old photos to her care. I'm excited to see what she is going to do with them!
Everyone knows how much I love cats, and my daughter and I often volunteer at the Animal Welfare League in Queenstown. As we spend time there, I've seen firsthand how dedicated the staff is to the well being of the animals in their care. It isn't just a job for them, it's a commitment and a lifestyle. It's not a nine to five job, and it's not an easy one. There is a lot of crap work involved, quite literally, as well as a lot of heartbreak. And I would like to applaud their work and support it in whatever way I can. That is why a portion of the proceeds from this book will go to the AWL.