Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The Writer's Life with Laurie Monopoli
For many years I was asked to bring Tony Chestnut to life in an illustrated picture book. After each request, I would graciously reassure each person that I would write the book, when the time was right. In reality, I was waiting to come up with a story that would truly capture the true merit of our much adored song, Tony Chestnut. This turned out to be quite a challenge. I knew the premise for this story had to have a special meaning and purpose… it simply had to feel right!
Then out of the blue, one night I had a dream about a dear friend from my childhood. His name was Rusty Reynolds; he had bright red, crazy hair, zillions of freckles, black thick rimmed glasses and the kindest, most generous heart. And at the ripe old age of five, Rusty and I embarked together on what turned out to be a terrifying journey --- our first day of kindergarten!
When I awoke from my dream I raced to my computer and began typing at a speed faster than I even anticipated I was capable of. In just minutes I wrote the entire story. When I was finished typing, I took a deep breath and with some trepidation prepared to read the story aloud to my audience consisting Chrissy, my bright-eyed, nocturnal Himalayan cat and Lexi, my half sleeping Yorkie. After this first reading I sat back and deeply sighed in delightful relief. I realized Tony Chestnut’s story was always there, it lingered deep within me just waiting to emerge-- at the right time. A few months later, The Book About Tony Chestnut was officially brought to fruition. Of course with a little inspirational guidance from my childhood buddy, Rusty (the resemblance between the two is no coincidence) and it simply… felt right!
Follow Day 3 of Ms. Monopoli's tour tomorrow at http://www.melangeofcultures.wordpress.com/. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.