THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: The Story Catcher by Donna L Martin

It’s been twelve years since I announced to the world I was a professional writer. And it’s been nine years since my first story was published. Seems like a lifetime ago.

As I go out on author visits, I am asked where do I get my story ideas from? So I’ve decided to share with my readers how each story came to be.

Back in 2012, I was a newbie author with one publishing credit to my name. My angel encounter story was picked up by CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: Angels Among Us to be published in January 2013. I was volunteering at a local elementary school where I read picture books to the kids and worked in the library. One of the second grade teachers asked me at the beginning of the school year to work one-on-one with a young girl who was really struggling to learn to read.

Everyone in her family read to her, but the words kept running away when my little friend tried to put the sentences together in the picture books she picked from the library. I found out she LOVED Junie B Jones books. I promised her I would buy her the latest book in this series at the end of the school year, if she worked really hard as we tried to catch those runaway words. By the end of the school year, she was finally beginning to read and I had found the muse for my manuscript, THE STORY CATCHER.

Fast forward to 2021 and everyone is struggling with a world-wide pandemic. The original traditional publisher who published The Story Catcher had shut down their picture book imprint and my rights reverted back to me. But how was I going to republish my book without a publisher?

I thought about it for a long time and decided to enter the world of indie-publishing. I reached out to Estella Hickman who is the illustrator for my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series and asked her to create new illustrations for my story to be released through my new publishing company, Story Catcher Publishing.

Then all I needed was someone to format my cover/interior files. I was so blessed to come across the profile of an amazing young man named Shahbaz Awan who eventually became my design manager, and who makes sure all my files are properly ready for publishing. On October 29, 2021 I was able to release the latest edition of THE STORY CATCHER. My little muse’s story is the same but now I also pay tribute to my Cherokee heritage through Estella’s gorgeous illustrations!

“Addie comes from a long line of readers, or “story catchers,” as her family likes to call themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own, though, the words play tricks on her. Addie tries everything she can think of to corral those wiggly letters, but it will take a little magic to become the next STORY CATCHER”…(


Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

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c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

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