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  • Writer's pictureDonna Dalton

And the adventure begins...

Updated: Aug 11, 2019

Azura and Afrodille are not the only two having a giant adventure with Two Mice at the Eiffel Tower! Publishing this book has been a real adventure for me. I have had this idea for a book in my head for twenty years...twenty years, it's true...but had no where to go with clue where to even start.

I connected with Kathryn Starke, a neighborhood friend (she grew up with my son just three doors down from us as a little girl) and former co-worker in Chesterfield County Schools (literacy consultant extraordinaire), who authored several books including Amy's Travels and Tackle Reading. Not only was she a published author but she was an astute businesswomen who created her own publishing company, Creative Minds Publications. Today Kathryn travels the country as a urban literacy specialist all while managing her own publishing company. Kathryn was the natural choice to call to ask about publishing a book...I was scared, had no experience with the process, and needed advice.

It started with a meeting at Panera Bread and my sharing a rough draft with Kathryn. That's when I made the brilliant decision to sign with Creative Minds Publications as my publisher and Kathryn as my chief advisor and editor. With her support and guidance, I located a talented illustrator, David Pfendler, and a book printer, Bang Printing in Minnesota. Kathryn served as my editor and publisher securing ISBN numbers (who knew e-books needed a number different from your hard cover book) and a Library of Congress number. She led me through the process of editing the book and publishing the book through Ingram Spark, filling in pages upon pages of answers to questions for which I had limited knowledge. I could have never published this book without Kathryn’s advising and support. Yep, she's brilliant...talented...knowledgeable...and all that...I could never have done this without her! Take a minute and look at her'll see just how amazing she is!

So so many people have asked me how to start publishing book. After all, children's books look SO easy to write. Trust me, I have renewed appreciation for an author's work, an illustrator's creations, and even the cost you pay for a book these days. It starts with a your idea...your vision... and your dream....and ends with a lot of hard work! But in between you must have a brilliant publisher by your side! Kathryn Starke served as that for me.

While this children's book writing and publishing process process sounds a bit complicated, it is worth every second!

Amy Tan wrote,
"Writing is an extreme privilege but it is also a gift. It's a gift to yourself and its' a gift of giving a story to someone."

I have a book...a real book... to leave with my grandchildren, great-nieces and great-nephews, and children all over the country... that can be read and passed down to future generations! As my young readers become adults and travel to Paris, I hope they will look for Azura and Afrodille at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. And, I hope they remember Two Mice at the Eiffel Tower and let their imaginations soar.

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