Today we have a guest! I am so excited because it is Susan April Elwood, my coauthor of my second picture book, “Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story!” So without further ado here she is! Susan, take it away.
I am thrilled to be the co-author of a wonderful story, “Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story,” with my friend and author, Clara Bowman-Jahn. I have double the reason to feel overjoyed. My love for children and reading has been combined with my love for animals in this delightful picture book.
Clara and I met when our now-grown sons were just boys and I was still living in Virginia. Since then, I have moved to Georgia where I am now pursuing my life-long dream, a non-profit animal rescue and sanctuary called Evermay Farm.
Thanks to the Internet, Clara and I became reacquainted after many years. That’s when the magic began to unfold. Clara mentioned possibly writing a story to help me raise funds for Evermay Farm as we are always in need of donations to support our growing menagerie of rescue animals. I knew immediately that Edmund, my first rescue, would be the perfect inspiration for the story.
Over many months, Clara and I worked long-distance, writing and rewriting until we could finally find the right words to express Edmund’s story. With her experience in the publishing world, Clara knew I had a great story to tell and she pushed me to dig deep to remember the details that would bring Edmund’s story to life.
It was important for us to do justice to Edmund’s heart-warming inspirational tale. Edmund had come to Evermay as a shy, scared donkey. He had been mistreated early in his life and was afraid of everyone and everything. It took a lot of time, patience and some singing on my part, but eventually the shy donkey began to gain confidence and be less withdrawn. In time, he found his place on the farm and his true purpose in life – as the ambassador who graciously welcomes each new rescue who arrives at Evermay Farm.
With Clara’s skill as a writer, the thoughtful critique from her writers’ groups and my experience of living the real-life story here on the farm, I think we’ve captured the essence of this amazing donkey and managed to tell a compelling story of triumph over adversity.
My hope is that when children read Edmund’s story, they will absorb the message that we each have a purpose in life and that treating others with compassion and patience can be life changing for everyone involved.
A book is not that just work of a single author or co-authors. It’s the end result of dozens of people who generously contribute to the process, from friends who read and comment on each draft of the manuscript, to the illustrator, editors and publisher who add their finishing touches. Even the teachers and parents who will eventually read and discuss the story with children have an important role to play. There are many links in the chain that helped bring, “Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story,” to reality. I am grateful to each and every one of them.
For more information on Evermay Farm go to www.evermayfarm.org ; and for watching in real time what is happening to the book go to Edmund-Pickle-Chin-A-Donkey-Rescue-Story’s Face Book page and *like* it!
It is here! Our book is here! We are so excited! Check out the publication page. You can buy it here.
Kisses and Hugs to you dear friends!
(c) 2014 Susan April Elwood