“This Is The Fairytale I Wished I Could Have Read As A Child”
I grew up in the Southern United States during the 70s.
As a child, I loved to read. That kid you may have seen, hiding in the library stacks, oblivious to the world, nose buried in a book?
That was me.
I was not athletically gifted and I was so socially awkward, books were welcome and trusted friends.
However, there was kind of a huge “elephant in the room”.
I am an African-American Female.
None of the heroes in my favorite books looked like me, talked like me, or even lived in a geographic area like mine.
That didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the tales I read, but it did create within me a strange longing... I really wanted to read a book someday about a heroine who was brave, had adventures, overcame challenges, and even experienced elements of magic and whimsy, but in a setting much like the one I knew.
At some point, and I’m not sure when, I just accepted that wasn’t going to happen. But I kept reading and soon graduated to adult literature which had a much more proportionate representation of different types of heroes and heroines.
Fast forward to ten years ago.
My niece, who at the time was about 11 years old, began expressing the same longing I used to. She was a raving ”Harry Potter” fan (as am I) and we were talking about the characters we loved in the series, when all of a sudden she paused and said, “Auntie E, why aren’t there any Bayou Fairies?” (She lives in Louisiana).
That got me thinking. And the next thing I knew, I started writing about a little brown fairy... who lived in the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana... but there was more... As I wrote, I noticed themes emerging about being a heroine no matter what, being comfortable in your own skin, taking chances, being brave, and making your own destiny...
And I thought, “Huh. That’s kind of cool.”
I sent the story to my niece to read and enjoy but then, like an idiot, I put the story into one of my filing cabinets thinking, “Someday I’ll find the time to illustrate that and maybe get it printed.”
Well, “someday” never came.
Ten years have passed and I recently pulled the fairy story out of my files, blew off its coating of dust, and re-read it.
And the same themes that were relevent when I wrote it back then are even more so relevant now.
I started doing research and was saddened to find that although there has been SOME movement towards more diversity in children’s literature, there hasn’t been very much. So in the forty years since I was an early reader, the needle has barely moved.
Today there are tons of parents practically begging the publishing world to print more books featuring diverse, engaging heroines and heroes. Especially heroines. And especially ethnically diverse heroines.
So that’s my motivation for finally giving this a real effort.
This story is about an inclusive and expansive fantasy realm that welcomes any child who is an early reader into its midst.
In this realm, set along the warm waters of the Atchafalaya basin in Louisiana, there are fairies and pixies and magic, a talkative wise catfish, pink marshmallows, a troll, a slimy grotto, and an actual real life Fairy Godmother!
There’s also riddles, acrostics, hidden puzzles, and even (rumor has it) a map to an actual hidden treasure!
And the price of admission into this wonderful realm?
Just to read.
...I remember that magical feeling.
I’d love for you to join me in helping me share my quirky brave little heroine - and her amazing adventure - with the entire world and a new generation of young readers.
Thank you in advance for your help and support!
With warm regards and affection,
- Erica Ramsey-Bowen
Risks and challenges
I don’t anticipate large risks or challenges aside from making the actual monetary goal for the campaign and the typical day to day challenges that happen in any workplace. (Aigh! The copier is down! Aigh! My package was returned!)
For execution and delivery of the rewards, I have a great support network already ready to help with that.
My printer and editorial staff have already reviewed my story and shared with me that my timeline of having the books printed and shipped by February is generously realistic.
And since I am already a full time artist and have worked for myself these past three years, I already manage my time effectively and have a strong communication plan already in place.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)