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Books, Writing, History, and the Ritchie Boys

In "Books, Writing, History and the Ritchie Boys" I share my thoughts on certain books, the process of writing, the experiences of an indie-publisher, short pieces on WWII and the Holocaust, highlights of places from Immigrant Soldier, and, occasionally, profiles of Ritchie Boys. Everything in this blog reflects my personal ideas and feelings–a memoir of sorts, it is my perspective and any errors or omissions are mine.

A Summer Book for Young Readers

After two years promoting my adult novel, Immigrant Soldier, I decided go back to my roots – children’s literature. As a result of the publication of the novel, I now have my very own publishing company. Why not publish a children’s book? 

Last February, I pulled out one of my favorite children’s manuscripts - a work where I continue to own the rights. Based on a memory from my childhood, it tells the story of a little girl with a big idea in early chapter-book format.  I checked the manuscript over, made a few changes and improvements, and sent it to my editor, Lorraine Fico-White, for her opinion.  She encouraged me to go ahead with the project.  “I love Caitlin and can easily see this becoming a series,” she wrote. So preparation work for publishing the manuscript began!

In a children’s book, illustrations are primary.  However, I never wanted to do the illustrations myself.   I turned to a friend who is a professional artist and asked if he would be willing to create the illustrations for my proposed book.  Ron is a sculptor first and foremost, but he is also a talented draftsman in both pen and ink and pencil renderings. He agreed to help, and we worked together on ideas for the illustrations.  The result is a delightful selection of pencil and ink drawings, including four full-page illustrations, one half-page picture, and more than a dozen small pencil vignettes scattered throughout.

Most delightfully, a charming lizard, meant to be one of the vignettes, developed a personality and we decided to use him as a kind of mascot.  He greets the reader at the start of each chapter, giving one more reason to turn the pages.

As the result of teamwork between the editor, the book designer Lori DeWorken, our illustrator Ron Whitacre, and myself, Pacific Bookworks’ second book is ready for publication in time for summer reading by children ages six through nine.

Pacific Bookworks is proud to present Tagalong Caitlin, an early chapter book available on Amazon on May 1, and as a Kindle e-book a few days later.

Caitlin loves summer camp!Tagalong Caitlin FRONT COVER small

She has spent every summer she can remember at camp with her mom, who is a counselor.  This summer, Caitlin wants to join the difficult, three-day hike with the older girls. But Caitlin’s mom says she’s not old enough yet.  Caitlin is determined to change everyone’s mind and prove she is strong enough for the hike.   Will Caitlin be allowed to go on the overnight hike? And if so, will she be able to do the full three days?

“Tagalong Caitlin is about growing up, about setting a goal and working to get there, and about sticking to it when the going gets tough. Young readers will love the outdoor setting and enjoy Caitlin’s ‘can-do’ attitude as she tries to become just like the other campers.”

                Marion Coste, award-winning author of seven children’s books. 

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