Gosh, this is a tough one. This idea of mine has been in the works as literally little pieces of ideas for years, so I can’t be exact. I suppose a kernel started growing in my head right around 1990 when we first bought the farm. All I could ever think about was getting my chickens, but I had to get a coop built first. I was still teaching, of course, and couldn’t figure out when I’d have time to get it up or who I could bother who had the expertise to help me. Would you believe the journalism teacher, Belinda Sessions, a friend, Tiffani Bolin, the librarian, Charlsie Hays, a fellow English teacher, Danette Bermea, and a history teacher, Kathy Dirksen came over one day with saws, nails, hammers, etc., to help me put it together. As I remember Charlsie seemed to have all the building expertise, but I was forever grateful to all those ladies for caring enough about me to put in so such much of their time and effort. They even presented me with a brass plate with all our names on it to screw onto the coop’s center post. They made my dream come true, and I’ll be always indebted to them.
Once I was able to actually have my own chickens and observe their personalities, the seed my head could come alive. So, I guess you could say I’ve been trying to put a story together for about 15-18 years. I know I sent my first manuscript off to try to get a copyright in 2010 but was rejected because the illustrations weren’t complete. I was just hoping I could at least get a copyright on the script, like a do-do, then I tried to work with Vantage Press in 2012, but got rejected for the same reason. My sister-in-law was trying to find time to work on illustrations and work, too, and I was trying to edit for myself, neither of which was working out very well, so my manuscript lay dormant for a long while.
I pretty much had given up on it when I was fortunate enough to have a computer problem one day and was referred to a computer technician named Bert Flanagan. I found Bert to be a pretty personable guy, so we’d just sit and talk about this and that while he would wait for things to upload on the monitor. One day he happened to mention his wife, Kathleen, published children’s books. Bingo! I thought, if I ever had a chance at my age, it’s now, so I paid her a visit. Unbelievably, she thought the manuscript had promise, and, with a good-deal of editing and a good illustrator, it might just sell! I was ecstatic. I don’t even remember the drive home. So, I guess, as the saying goes, the rest is history.