This is Aaron and he’s five years old. We find him in his bedroom on the night before his first day of kindergarten, but… HE CAN’T SLEEP! See, Aaron has a vivid imagination and he’s convinced himself that it’s not kindergarten he’ll be starting tomorrow – instead it’s MONSTERGARTEN! The classrooms in his school won’t have teachers in them – instead there will be monsters giving the lessons! But how will Aaron learn to paint when art is taught by a multi-tentacled OCTOMONSTER!?! He’ll never learn about proper pitch in music class when it’s THE BLOB holding the baton! And gym class!?! Forget about it! How will he learn about sports and fitness when the teacher is, in actuality, THE WOLF-MAN! And watch out for those basketballs… THEY BITE!
But hold-on! Don’t worry! Aaron has an older sister named Emily and she has everything under control. See, she’s starting the 2nd grade, (which is only just down the hall from Aaron’s kindergarten classroom). Emily knows the ropes and before class starts, she’ll take him on a little tour, and show him that there’s absolutely nothing to be scared of.
In case you haven’t already guessed, the title of my children’s book is “MONSTERGARTEN.” It tackles those first day of kindergarten jitters almost every 5 year old boy and girl experiences the night prior to the big day. Now don’t worry… the book isn’t scary (it’s actually a lot of fun), and your pre-K through 2nd grader will love the colorful and imaginative illustrations by Danny Raymond, a graduate of The College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. She’s been sending me on average one completed illustration per week and I’m elated with her work and I know that you will be too!
Look for “MONSTERGARTEN” to be released around September 1st, 2019.
Over the past couple of years I’ve befriended some amazingly talented Metro-Detroit area authors, and I’d like to introduce you to just a smattering. Please know that this is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather a first edition post. I will include other great Michigan authors in future posts. That said, summer is just around the corner, and lets face it, you’re going to need your next great beach read, so I encourage you to purchase a few books by the fabulous talents I’ve listed below. Please consider the following:
DONALD LEVIN: Author of the brilliantly written Martin Preuss series of detective novels. Martin Preuss is a detective on the Ferndale Police Department whose had his share of tragedy, pain, and heartbreak, but that does not stop him in his dogged pursuit of justice. One unique and touching aspect of these novels is a reoccurring character named Toby – Martin’s severely handicapped son. Martin finds peace, love, and solace in caring for this young man. If you’re a fan of Elmore Leonard, Sue Grafton, or some of the classics like Mickey Spillane and Dashiell Hammett, then you’ll love Donald Levin’s books.
Andy Lockwood: I met Andy at local fair a few years ago where he and a couple other authors were sharing a booth. At the time I was in the process of editing my first book and I was totally inspired by his story as a film maker and author. Andy is prolific, and I really admire his entire body of work which encompasses both the horror and fantasy genres.
Wendy Sura Thomson: As of May, 2019, Wendy has written two books – her first, “Summon the Tiger” is a brilliantly written memoir in which she candidly shares the inspiring story of her life, and this is no run-of-the-mill life either! How many of us have personal accounts of navigating the huge family freighter from Detroit, through the St. Lawrence Seaway, down the Atlantic coast and on toward Florida through massive storms and a bevy of eccentric stops and characters along the way? Wendy’s second book is a deftly written work of fiction titled, “The Third Order” and if you enjoy Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series, then you’ll love “The Third Order” and Wendy’s powerful protagonist, Maggie Fraser.
Diana Kathryn Wolfe-Plopa: More than any other local author, Diana is the absolute champion of promoting Metro-Detroit independent authors, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who knows more about independent publishing than her. Diana’s enthusiasm for Detroit area independent authors is unparalleled. She’s organized local author events and gets word out to our community about other upcoming events as well. Although her book store, The Scriptorium has closed, this has not slowed down nor stopped her promotional efforts! She now produces a local television show titled Indie Reads on which she interviews local authors on their work and process. In addition to everything else, Diana is an excellent author too, and her goal, as she says (and I’m paraphrasing here) is to write a book in each of the 32(?) recognized genres of fiction. “Free Will” and “A Tryst of Fate” are among my favorites.