Friday, March 25, 2016

Putting the Cool Back in Political

I want to thank you for reading about my grassroots, write in campaign for president of the United States of America. It's time to put the cool back in political. 

Here we see Grace Coolidge, the wife of Calvin Coolidge, with their pet raccoon, Rebbecca. It's time to put another Coolidge back in the White House

It's also time to put another raccoon in the White House...

Actually, I'm here to talk about something much more important... inspiring children to read.

I think we can come to bipartisan agreement that reading is an important skill. With reading we improve our understanding, gain experience, learn to better communicate, boost imagination and creativity, and focus concentration.

A child that is an experienced reader is more successful all through school, and not just in reading, English and history, but all subjects.

Children who read often get better at it...but what happens if a child doesn't enjoy reading?...A child will read less.

Reading is a skill and not a natural born talent. You wouldn't expect to be able to sink a free throw if you never got on the court?

my goal is to encourage children to read more, and that's why I developed my book series, The Totally Ninja Raccoons.

The Totally Ninja Raccoons is a series specifically geared towards young readers from six to ten years old, especially the reluctant readers.

This is often the age that children start falling behind their peers if they aren't feeling excited about reading. 

It's vitally important that an aspiring reader enjoys what they are reading.

And what child doesn't enjoy raccoons, cats, ninjas, Chinese food, and of course...Bigfoot?

Some might call these cute creatures bandits or thieves, but with their masks, I always thought they were more like little ninjas, and thus The Totally Ninja Raccoons were born.

The Totally Ninja Raccoons are your basic heroes for hire. They work cheap, sometimes for a little Chinese takeout or a stale doughnut.

It's your classic trio with a twist. Think the Three Investigators meet the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles with a little Ghost Busters in the mix.

What started as an idea to score free food soon ends up giving the raccoons a glimpse into another world, a world of shadows, mysteries, and plots.

There are more things in heaven and earth than the raccoons ever dreamed. Cats are trying to take over the world. Monsters are real, and Chinese food really will make you hungry soon after you eat it. It's up to The Totally Ninja Raccoons to stop it.

This series is set right here in Tioga County and Wellsboro Pennsylvania.

But it almost didn't happen....

Writing the book is the easy part. What do you do next?

You find a publisher, but first you have to find an agent, but not in the's too hot in the city, or in the's too close to the holidays, and definitely not spring it's too early, and autumn is just way too late.

Yeah, it's a little hard to find an agent. It's even harder to get them to read your manuscript.

You may have read that most professional writers go through many rejections. 

Well...I'd write a novel about rejection slips, but I'm afraid it'd be too long.

One agent thought I had something, but it was too similar to what another client was working on.

One agent thought that raccoons were sooo 2014 and on the way out and that possums is where it's at...

You can't fool children. Raccoons already have the masks. Possums just aren't cut out to be ninjas.

One agent loved the writing style, but wanted to set me up with her favorite illustrator, but my artist was already part of the process

I heard a lot of no.

Most agents, when they bothered to read my letters at all...replied that it wasn't right for their lists.

Which is industry speak for..I didn't like it, It's too niche, or I don't know how to sell it, and even...I prefer possums... You know...NO

So, what do you do when you have a story you want to share, but everyone else is looking for the next Harry Potter?

You form your own publishing house..

I published my books, The Totally Ninja Raccoons Meet Bigfoot, and The Totally Ninja Raccoons Meet the Weird & Wacky Werewolf through Ingram Spark.

I chose to only make it available as a real book. You won't find it in an electronic version.

Why did I do this? Studies have shown that students retain more information when reading from paper

I believe that reading is more than a chore. It's an tactile experience... I also believe in bookstores staffed by lovers of books.

I'd rather have real people selling real books to people that are the best match for that book.

Not every book is for every child and if the Totally Ninja Raccoons is not the right match, or if the child likes possums, then we can totally help them find the right book.

Thank you for reading about The Totally Ninja Raccoons.

I'm starting a new trend... Showing that reading is fun! Together, we can inspire children to keep reading and keep learning and keep bookstores vibrant and beating in the heart of their communities.

And remember it's NOT too late....

You can still totally write me in on the ballet this election day...thank you.

This blog post paid for by the committee to elect Gypsy, the Cat for President"


  1. I've gained a whole new perspective on raccoons from reading these books; also, that you're never to old to be a young reader!

    1. Yes, many adults love these books too!