My writing has taken me in a number of directions the past 12 years, from magazines to photo books, screenplays to interpretive panels. But, one genre I’ve been particularly excited to sink my teeth into is children’s books.
Usually, a new genre requires some research on my part, and in the past six years, I’ve had the chance to read hundreds of children’s books with my own kids. I’ve developed a personal taste for what works, what is most engaging, which rhyming patterns I like the best, and which illustrations resonate with adults and kids alike. I have also learned to appreciate the ways that children’s books can challenge our thinking through the most simple of concepts.
A few years ago I had a concept for a kid’s book, after observing my own experiences in the outdoors with my kids. What is it that they see that adults do not? What do I walk past in my own ambition to reach a destination? What might I learn from slowing down the pace and seeing the world the way my kids see it? For over two years the idea swirled around, until one beautiful sunny evening this past spring I sat on my back porch and pounded out a full-length poem.
Meet Geneva, the main character of The Wonders That I Find. Illustrations by Taylor Odynski.
Fast-forward six months and I have the privilege of working with a talented Calgary-based artist, Taylor Odynski, to bring the story to life (she had previously done work for us with the Canadian Rockies Annual). We pitched the book to Rocky Mountain Books, with whom I’ve already published a series of travel/photo books about the Canadian Rockies, and they enthusiastically agreed to publish it.
So, with that, The Wonders That I Find will be published in May 2021! We’ve got a journey ahead of us pulling everything together, but I’m looking forward to every step of the way.
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