Oliver and the Wishing Star follows a young boy who becomes a dog but finds that it’s not what he thought it would be and learns to appreciate his life. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
Growing up, we always had a lot of animals. I often thought to myself how animals have the good life, especially our dogs. As a former preschool teacher and having spent a couple decades working in Children’s Ministry, I found the topic frequently talked about amongst children. The thing is, everyone’s life has both the good and the bad, and we should be grateful for who we are and what we have. And that’s the inspiration behind my story.
I loved the art in this book. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Chrish Vindhy?
Working with Chrish Vindhy was a wonderful experience, and we’ve become good friends ever since. In the beginning, she asked me for my manuscript and what the breeds of the dogs in the story were, and within two weeks she got back to me with her sample illustrations, and I was smitten. She captured my vision perfectly. Except for the cover, I let Chrish have complete artistic freedom in creating the entire book in black and white sketches. With only a few changes, I approved them. After that she enhanced everything with color, and with a few minor color changes we were good to go, and I handed it over to my graphic designer, Tia Perkin, to work her magic. Good relationships are vital when creating. I could honestly say that Chrish was ideal to work with, and I look forward to working with her again in the future. And highly recommend her as an illustrator.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?
I hope everyone who reads my book or listens to it is left feeling more grateful and appreciative of who they are and what they have—and begin leading an even happier life—and also shares what they’ve learned and experienced with others.
Do you have plans to write more children’s books featuring Oliver?
I certainly do! “Cooper’s Wish” is in the works. Where Oliver’s dog thinks that kids have the good life and wishes upon a star and becomes a boy. I’ve also started another as well. I didn’t plan for it to be a series, but my imagination is running wild regarding numerous story ideas.
The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
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