What is the point of my blog? Well, like me, my children are very social. They can talk you up a storm. They love talking on the phone, going out and talking with their friends, and seem to have a lot of my personality. Loud, boisterious, and attention grabbing.
On top of having some of my personality, my oldest son has determined he wants to be a writer.
After seeing a horrific YouTube video (horrific in the terms that it was a first-person account of surviving the Joplin, MO tornado this past May), he became overwhelmed and felt that he needed to do something to help those people. We have family in Missouri, thankfully they were over an hour away from the disasterous tornado.
While watching the video and hearing the little children cry, tears formed in his eyes. While I wanted to shield him from this reality by turning it off, part of me let him continue watching it knowing it was the real world and sooner -rather than later- he would need to know that this could happen to anyone and to be prepared should it happen to us. Not a few weeks later did it happen very close by; in Springfield, MA - about an hour and a half away from us. This was like the push he needed to form an idea and get it moving.
While cooking dinner, he came up to me and said rather definitely, "Mom, I want to write a book."
I said, "Ok. What is your book going to be about?"
He said, "I want to write a children's book and, like you did with your book, I want to put it online for people to buy. And when they buy it, I will give all the money I get to charity to help those families caught in the tornado."
I remember putting down my stirring spoon and giving him a squeeze. "Let me think about it, Cameron," I said, and watched him go to his room with a pad of paper and a pencil.
I didn't want him to make a rash decision. I didn't want my child to be disappointed. I was afraid, as there are so many books online for sale and many of them not selling, that if we published his book that it wouldn't make anything (aside from a few family and friend sales). I didn't want all of his hardwork, and his noble cause, to be a waste of his time. I slept on it. Let it fester, and eventually posted a comment on Twitter asking what people thought of a ten-year-old writing a children's book for charity. I received three comments to that post, all of which were very eager, positive, and encouraging. One poster said, 'cherylshireman @jatitus Yes. I think that is wonderful!', another poster said, 'jennspiller @jatitus For this? Yes? I'd talk it up to my daughter.', and the last said, 'keiraleabooks @jatitus I think that's awesome. I would buy it. :-).'
With that, how could I not allow him to do this? The next day when I returned home from work, I told him to go ahead and begin writing. We sat at the computer and I asked him what his idea was. He said he wanted to do a children's A to Z book, and that each of the sentences would have the letter represented in each word within the sentence. Immediately he came up with, 'Anna anteater ate an appealing apple'. They came to him quickly, at least most of them did. He finished letters B, C, D and was soon up to letter X. X was quite the difficult letter. He used Google and a Crossword Puzzle website to help him come up with words for each letter. Then he'd take as many words as he could and conform them into a funtional sentence. He'd then bounce his ideas on my husband and myself. Some of them didn't flow well, but others he literally hit the nail on the head -- they were perfect! Each of the characters in the book (initially, as some have been changed since forwarding to the illustrator) represented a family member or a friend, when they could (we don't have any X lettered family members, lol) . For example his aunt Christy in Missouri, is a 'caged calico', and his cousin in Missouri is, 'Kaitlin kangaroo'.
After he completed all the sentences to his satisfaction, he prepped himself to draw each of the pictures. Being the perfectionist that he is, he didn't like his initial concepts and asked if I could find him an illustrator out of the writer friends that I have. I posted a couple of threads on FB asking if anyone would be interested in donating their time, and asked a friend of ours if he'd be interested. Before our family friend responded an author by the name of G. R. Holton messaged me on FB. He said he would be interested, and immediately our working relationship started off without a hitch.
Bob (G. R. Holton) has taken this project off running, and has created some of the most fantastic illustrations any children's author would hope to have! He's been wonderful to us and we couldn't be more thankful! I'm so glad he was willing to do all of this work and put in so much effort. We are truly blessed.
On top of all of this, Bob has put us in contact with a publishing company, World Castle Publishing, that is willing to donate all of the author royalties to Habitat for Humanity on Cameron's behalf. That is 90% royalty on paperbacks and 40% royalty on eBooks. That's more than Amazon would give if we went through them directly!
So with this being said, on July 15th, Cameron's A to Z children's book will be available to the masses via Amazon (eBook and children's soft cover), Barnes & Noble, Borders and so on ...
Cameron Titus, haunted by a YouTube video of a group of Joplin, Missouri tornado survivors stranded in a small convenience store's cooler, decided to take action and came up with an original idea to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity -- to help the victims of the recent tornado destruction around our nation. Despite his tender age, he decided to write a small children's book, in hopes to encourage donations for those in need.
So with this in mind, we'd like to invite you to join Anna anteater, Kaitlin kangaroo, and other alphabet animal friends in this whimsical, tongue-tangling, lesson on the alphabet.