When I started this new blog post series, I did it with the idea of sharing the WHY I created my stories, but then I thought…why not share OTHER authors STORY BEHIND “THEIR” STORY? I put the call out and soon I had tons of authors who wanted to share their backstories with my readers. This week my friend and children’s book author, Donna Howard , is sharing the WHY she wrote her newly released book, BRIGHT-EYES, BUSHY-TAIL, AND THE NUTTY NARROWS BRIDGE. Take it away, Donna…
Bright-Eyes, Bushy-Tail, and The Nutty Narrows Bridge by Donna Howard
When my husband and I first visited Longview, Washington, and learned of Amos Peters and his Nutty Narrows Bridge, we were immediately enchanted. I searched everywhere and bugged everyone wanting to find a children’s book about this wonderful bridge, but alas had no more luck than did Bright-Eyes and Bushy-Tail in their quest to find nuts. I was absolutely astonished to discover that one had not been written. The late, great, Toni Morrison, said, “If the book you want to read, hasn’t been written, then you must write it.” I knew then that I would have to write the book myself.
There was another reason for me to write this book. I was searching for my “what’s next” and was encouraged by a dear friend to think about what I loved doing as child. What I did that I could happily lose myself for hours doing. For me, the answer was writing and reading. I recalled being in the sixth grade and writing about a horse I wish I had. I wrote the stories of our adventures and my best friend at the time illustrated them . Don’t even get me started in how often I was called out for reading when I was supposed to be doing something else.
As a new author, I sure understand Mr. Peter’s fear that others may find his idea“nutty” yet when he took that leap of faith, he found others were eager to lend their talents and efforts to his to build this special bridge and in the process, they built community. Writing a book is much the same as building a bridge. You need the talents of many and so I would like to thank all those who helped bring my book to life. Jill Shih who did such an excellent job illustrating, Travis Peterson who designed my book, Nikki Filippone who edited and my author community for their advice and willingness to share tips and tricks. My son, Paul Fogal who constantly helps me with my technology needs, and my husband, Bill for his constant support and encouragement. A special shout out goes to the people of Longview, WA for sharing with me what made their community so unique and wonderful.
This book was published a day before my sixtieth birthday and on the birthday of Michael, my great grandson, whom I dedicated the book to. It was wonderful seeing this dream come true, watching Michael hold the book that I wrote and dedicated to him was so surreal, a moment I know will always make me smile.
As Grandpa Greyson observed, “ when you are kind and helpful, big things can happen.” To which I would add, and brave enough to believe in your ideas and the goodness of others. So, I would like to encourage each of you to be bold in sharing your ideas and welcome the talents and efforts of others. With all that is going on right now in our country, in our world, more than ever, we need to come together, to build bridges, and celebrate community. That is the true magic of Amos Peter’s legacy and The Nutty Narrows Bridge. Let’s make big things happen!
Here is the book’s blurb:
“Two young squirrels, Bright-Eyes and Bushy-Tail, land with a bump and a thump on their rumps at the foot of a humongous squirrel while out playing in the park. They had a ton of questions. Grandpa Greyson had a story to tell. Join them and hear this heart-warming tale, inspired by the true story of Amos Peters and The Nutty Narrows Bridge: The very first squirrel bridge which was built in Longview, WA.”
Donna Howard graduated from Whitworth University with a degree in Elementary Education. A life long bibliophile she enjoys reading, writing, and adventures with family and friends, Bright-Eyes, Bushy-Tail, And The Nutty Narrows Bridge is her debut picture book. Currently she and her husband are living in Spokane, WA
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