|Children's book stars an 'icky' cat|
|Written by Editor|
|Thursday, 15 March 2012 18:15|
Maranda Russell displays her newly published book "Ode to Icky."
By CECILIA FOX
Record Herald Writer
TIPP CITY - Inspiration is all around us, from ordinary situations and events to the people and animals in our lives. That’s how Maranda Russell, a local writer who has recently published her first book, feels about the so-called humdrum of daily life. She finds inspiration in the everyday, drawing on her own experiences as a child, a teacher and a foster parent.
“People think it’s really hard to get ideas, but there are ideas everywhere,” Russell said, whose first children’s book, “Ode to Icky,” was published September of last year. The book is illustrated by Nicolas Peruzzo and published by Mirror Publishing.
“Ode to Icky” is a sweet, funny story about an imaginative little girl named Candy who loves her cat Icky, despite the fact that he is too smelly to live inside the house. When Candy has one of her infamous schemes, making perfume from the odorous Icky’s fur, the results are anything but fragrant. Russell was inspired by a real life icky cat, Einstein, a fat cat with hygiene issues.
“He really is like Icky, he has trouble cleaning himself so we have to do it for him. I’ve always thought perfume smells really bad, especially the really expensive stuff. And I got to thinking, what if a kid had a really smelly animal and they got this idea that, since perfume smells so bad anyway, why not take some of his smelly fur and make perfume out of it,” Russell said.
An Indiana native, Russell first moved to Huber Heights nine years ago when her husband took a job in the area. She is very involved at Skyview Wesleyan Church in Tipp City where her husband Steve is the youth pastor. In addition to writing, Russell works as a substitute teacher and devotes much of her time to her foster children.
“My heart’s always been with kid’s books,” said Russell, an avid reader and collector of children’s literature. “I just love children’s literature and I work a lot with kids, so it just seemed natural.”
In additional to the success of her first book, Russell has two more books forthcoming. One, “Pumpkin Pie Birthday Cake,” was inspired by one of her foster children who wanted pie for his birthday, with interesting results.
“He wanted a pumpkin pie for his birthday instead of a cake, so we got him a pumpkin pie. But then he tried to put everything on it that you would put on a birthday cake. He put icing, chocolate chips, sprinkles. It was just covered with stuff. And by the time he was done it was inedible,” said Russell.
Another, “Hiccup,” is about a boy with an enduring case of the hiccups and his loyal friend who cooks up schemes to cure him. Russell has also self-published two other books, one about the loss of her father when she was 12 and the other about adoption.
“Most people, me included, when you first start you try all the big publishers like Scholastic and Houghton Mifflin and your chances of getting into those are almost nil,” she said.
Through a lengthy process of trial and error, she found that smaller indie publishers were more open to taking a chance on an unknown writer.
“It is a long process and even small publishers often only accept five percent or less of submissions. It’s a very competitive market,” Russell said.
Russell’s first book has so far earned great reviews. Customers on Amazon.com consistently award “Ode to Icky” with four and five star reviews. She has even had a few book readings and is working hard on organizing more events in the Dayton area.
The book can be purchased online at Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble. Learn more about Maranda Russell and her writing can be found on her website www.marandarussell.com.
|Last Updated on Friday, 16 March 2012 14:14|