October 13, 2012 I officially became an Author and Illustration of Children's books as I introduced my first book, A Coyote Who Wished He Lived In A Zoo. The book launch was a lot of fun. It started out with my ex-publisher introducing me to my audience. I was a bit nervous at first, but I was told by my guest that the presentation I gave was great. I read a few pages of the book to the kids. They were so into the story and wanted to hear more. We did a door prize for the kids as well. A young boy named Charles won the adorable coyote puppet. He named it Jessie after the main character in the book. How sweet is that? :)
How I Became an Author/Illustrator
One day, a couple of fellow volunteers, Stan and Ellie, were impressed with my knowledge of wolves and dogs and loved my method of teaching people about them. They encouraged me to write books about animals. I thought is was a wonderful idea and learned how to write for children. I later joined a writers group who loved my story and suggested I draw illustrations for it. So I did, sent it to a publisher and she loved it too.
I was so grateful to Stan and Ellie that I dedicated my first book to them.
I find writing and illustrating children's book as another passion of mine. It has fulfilled my creative side, and allows me to continue educating both adults and children about animals while enjoying the process.
My first book, A Coyote Who Wished He Lived in a Zoo was nominated for a Juvenile Literature Award by the Friends of American Writers Chicago.
After my publisher closed her company due to an illness in 2014, I decided to make a second edition by self-publishing the book myself. It was a hit.
I have had many book signings, school visits, interviews in newspapers, and was interviewed on the Children's Author Show. Below are some of the fun photos at events.
Newspaper Articles about My Book
An African Painted Dog Without A Patch
I had spent many hours studying and observing the pack of African Painted Dogs at several zoo's around the USA. These animals are highly endangered in the wild of Africa. Also known as the Wild Dog, I feel it is important to teach my readers about this amazing animal.
I knew this book was special when I first wrote it. I felt it was my masterpiece. Just one month after it was released, it won the 10 Annual Indie Excellence Book Award under Children's Non-fiction. I was very proud to say the least. :)
I dedicated this book to my dear parents for their love and support.
My Books Help Children and Animal Organizations
Wild Animal Survival Series
At the request of my fans, I will be making a series out of my Children's books. First in the series is A Coyote Who Wished He Lived In A Zoo. Second in the series, is An African Painted Dog Without A Patch. I am in the process of writing and illustrating the third book in the series which is called, Gibbon Finds A Friend. This book will be dedicated to my dear friend and fellow docent Frank V. Frank has taught me a great deal about primates during my 14 years at Brookfield Zoo. He is our primate pro docent and one of the sweetest guy I know. I am also making a character in the story named after Frank. He will be the primate biologist from Borneo.
Book four in the series will be called Katie the Elephant. I plan to write a fifth book in the series but haven't decided on the subject just yet. Stay tuned.
I would like to thank my family, friends, co-workers, volunteers, keepers, and of course my loyal fans who has supported me though out my 4 years as an Author/Illustrator of children's books. I am forever grateful for all of you, and I hope to continue educated and entertaining adults and children about animals and nature. Many many thanks. I love you all.