Write Integrity Press is excited to announce the release of their first children's book, Jake and the Buggy Melee by Woodstock author Darryl E. Green. To celebrate, we've invited Darryl to share a little about his writing. Welcome, Darryl!
A lot of friends and family have recently asked me why I wrote Jake and the Buggy Melee. I guess they found it odd that a career Business IT guy, who has dabbled in some technology publications and short stories over the years found his way into writing children’s books. They’ve also wanted to know how long I’ve been writing, what else I’ve been working on, etc. Fair questions, so I thought I'd provide some answers. But first, if you haven’t read Jake, you may want to pick up a copy to see what you think. It’s a wonderful read for parents and kids and it’s illustrated by award-winning artist, Valerie Bouthyette.
1. Why did you write a children's book instead of a technology or business book?
I actually wrote Jake several years ago when my oldest daughter was 4 and my youngest was a newborn. I wanted to write something that would make them happy, knowing it was from their Dad. I also wanted to write a book that would be fun for teachers and parents to read to kids. I always read stories to my girls at bedtime and found that many of them were just not fun or interesting for the kids or me. I realized that there was a gap to be filled so I began to consider writing a story myself, just to see how I could do. My wife is a teacher and she encouraged me as well, with a few conditions. She wanted the story to be challenging in terms of vocabulary and values and wanted it to rhyme. NOT easy but I did it!
2. How did you choose the title Jake and the Buggy Melee?
Jake was a 40 lb. housecat that we had for many years who recently passed. He was a gentle giant who was a very special pet and really did like to battle with bugs. He was also very affectionate with my daughters and my wife and I, so it was an easy move to write a story around him. I also wanted to have an unusual title that I thought may better stand out with kids and adults.
3. What did you want the book to express or what values were you hoping share?
Oh wow … several. I won’t reveal all of the values we embedded but the main focus was on teamwork, bullying and compassion. My wife and I talk with my daughters about all of these values quite frequently and they relay stories to me from their experiences in school. That made me think that I needed to really work these into my story. Again, Jake was a good role model so it wasn’t too difficult to do this!
But, I wanted to tell a story and have it be amusing, the lessons were a bonus!
4. What’s next? Any more books on the way?
I have several writing projects in process. I co-wrote a screenplay this year and had a blast doing so. I learned a lot, was very humbled but it was still a great experience, I hope to see that go somewhere. I recently completed a short story about my father, Don Green, who passed away a few years ago. Very hard to write something like that but it needed to be done. I also have about 3 children’s books in the works, one which is…well, getting close to ready I would say! And finally, I’m always working on a few short stories and book concepts. In short, I’m always writing something. My oldest daughter inspires me for this, she is a prolific writer who is always journaling and writing her stories. She is amazing!
Jake and the Buggy Melee is available in print and digital formats.