If you look back to one of our earliest posts, you'll see that writing and illustrating a book together is one of our goals as a couple. Writing a book is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid, but I've never had the persistence or the confidence to actually get it done. Some things have changed in the last year, and both of these issues are no longer a problem.
- I've decided to start my writing career with a children's book, and compared to a novel, that means I didn't have to have as much persistence as I would have needed to complete any of my earlier works.
- Even when I thought I could finish something, I always got stuck at the illustrations - I'm too poor to hire someone, and my own art is mediocre at best. Lauren is a much better artist, and she has agreed to take on that aspect of the book.
- It helps a lot to have someone encouraging you along the way, and Lauren is amazing. One of her gifts is making people feel good about themselves, and she has finally given me the confidence I need to get this done.
The book we've been working on is about a mouse named Jordy who witnesses a bully picking on one of his classmates. Jordy's struggles are mostly internal, as he wrestles with the mixed emotions of being a bystander. I want to help, but I don't know how. It's kind of funny, but I know it's wrong. What will people think if I stand up to this bully? Will I get picked on too? Will anything I do help at all?
It has a lot of potential to help kids, because there are a lot of kids out there struggling with the same questions. We know. As educators, we see them every day. This will be a great way for parents to bring up this conversation with their kids, but I want this to be an educational tool for the classroom as well. The idea is to offer lesson plans and activities to go along with the book, so that teachers can take it straight into the classroom and put it to use.
In a week or two, I'll be posting a Kickstarter for the book, and I hope to raise enough money to self-publish through Amazon.com's CreateSpace website. For now, here's a teaser of some of the art Lauren is working on. These sketches are just concept art, so the final will look different, but this gives an impression of her ability and style. Isn't she awesome?