I am sure many of us have thought about sitting down one day and placing our thoughts on paper, with the dream of having them published. Local author, Stephanie Carrier, has done just that with her new book series, The Adventures of Harry Krinkle. Stephanie sat down with me and we chatted about her life as a mom, author and volunteer at Spencer Kennel - which just happened to be the inspiration for Harrys first adventure - Harry Gets Rescued.
Stephanie, can you tell the readers of Lipstik a little about you?
I grew up on a ranch in Napa Valley, California with my twin sister Susan. Growing up on a ranch, that we eventually turned into a vineyard when I was around 9 years old, was loads of fun, but it was also a lot of hard work. Everyone we knew would bring us strays to take care of on the ranch. My love for animals and taking care of them, became second nature. If we couldnt keep the animals, we would take them to a no-kill shelter in Napa, so they could have a good home. After my first marriage ended, I worked in real estate and eventually purchased a horse ranch with my husband Christopher while raising my two daughters, Kelly and Kate and son Connor.
How did you end up here in our local area?
I was single for about 5 years when I met the most awesome man named Chris Carrier at a fundraiser I attended. Chris is in the Army and he was given the opportunity to transfer to Scott Air Force Base. My son Connor and I decided to come check out this area, and we were blown away by the kindness of others, and the welcoming we received from everyone - we both knew this was the perfect place to call home, for now. We found the most incredible home in Lebanon, and once Chris saw it, he totally agreed.
How did Harry Krinkle come about?
I originally thought of writing a book about a little boy by this name - who didnt want to get his clothes wrinkled. But something kept tugging at my heart to write about what I love most in the world (besides my beautiful children, of course) and that was animals. I envisioned this adorably scruffy dog that would have his own adventures, as I sat down to write. I started writing about Harry when I was in Napa Valley, but I didnt finish the story till I had moved here to the midwest. I have this incredible study in our new home, and it is just the perfect place to get inspired. In the midst of my writing about Harry, I began volunteering at Spencer Kennel and being there with all the animals just confirmed my decision to write my book about a dog. After researching how many childrens books were written about dog rescue - and there were not many - I decided my idea of writing Harrys first adventure about him being rescued from the shelter was perfect. My friends at Spencer Kennel agreed, imagine that!
Now that you are bringing Harry to life, what were your next steps in getting your book published?
The process of writing the book from start to finish has taken about 3 years. Over this time, I wrote pages and pages of dialogue, that I then reduced down to what you see in the book. I also wanted to make sure that Harry himself was perfect. I worked countless hours with the Illustrator - Brandon Coleman - at the publishing house to make sure that Harry Krinkle became a one-of-a-kind dog that everyone could relate to. From his scruffy appearance to the heart spot on his chest, every aspect had to be perfect. Just as important as how he looked, was my desire to have primary colors on the cover and in all of the illustrations. These are the colors that children are drawn to. Having such specifics delayed the printing process a little, but it was worth it in the end.
So what are the next adventures for you and Harry Krinkle?
Since writing the book and starting my book tour, my adventures have just begun. I decided to debut Harry in his hometown, so the first story telling time and book signing was at Barnes and Noble in Fairview Heights. In just a few weeks, I will be traveling to my hometown to debut Harry at Copperfields in Napa Valley. I am also working on the continuation of Harrys Adventures with the completion of the series. The next book takes Harry on his way to help another cause, and you also get to learn more about the little girl who saved him. Harry is all about giving back to others. Whether he is meeting working dogs, therapy dogs, visiting a hospital or having fun with his new family, Harry is ready for adventure at every turn.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with the readers of Lipstik?
It has been my hope from the very beginning of my writing career, that the Harry Krinkle series will inspire young children to be empathetic and compassionate for all the furry friends they might come in contact with. In todays world, all the negativity that our children are subjected to is mindboggling, and it doesnt have to be that way. Knowing that sharing my positive thoughts with a child may help to create a lasting impression in their lives is something worth writing about. I hope that I can inspire other women to pick up a pen and start writing, or inspire whatever passion lies within them. Bottom line, just go for it - if you can dream it, you can make it happen. My new life started by just sitting down with a pen and a piece of paper.....it was just that simple, and you can do it too!
For more information about Harry Krinkles adventures, please visit harrykrinkle.com. or to purchase a copy of Stephanies new book, please visit barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com or authorhouse.com