A few weeks ago, I was part of a local author event at a library which featured authors from Southeast Michigan.
There were around 20 authors there, which was a lot of fun. I truly enjoyed meeting people who share the same passion as I do.
One of the authors especially inspired me. She’s an 18-year-old published author, so I think think she’ll inspire you, too.
Her name is Alecia Martino, and her children’s book is called, Dewey’s First Adventure.
I’d heard of Alecia before because she went to my kids’ school and shared her amazing story. They thought it was cool that someone who was only 18 could already be published, (and they loved her book), so they came home and told me. When I saw her at the library event and connected the dots, I was very excited. I had her sign a book to my kids, which they were thrilled about. We’ve now read it over and over again.
It’s so cute!
I asked Alecia if she’d be willing to share her story on my blog and she agreed. Awesome! :)
Rebecca: Tell us a little about your book, Alecia.
Alecia: My children’s book is an educational tale about a raindrop that travels through the water cycle.
Rebecca: When did you first write Dewey’s story?
Alecia: The story of Dewey the raindrop was written as a class assignment when I was in 7th grade. My mom thought it was an “adorable” story and saved it with all the other things mothers like to save. :)
Rebecca: Mothers can spot talent a mile away. It’s one of our job descriptions. That’s awesome that she saved it.
What prompted you to look into publishing Dewey’s story?
Alecia: I didn’t glance at the story again until my Sophomore year of high school, when I chose to research the publishing process for an end-of-the-year project. After looking into several options of publishing, from self-publishing to large corporations like Scholastic’s, I found a company that I really liked (Tate Publishing) and decided to send in the story of my raindrop just to test the waters and see what it would be like to communicate with a publisher.
Little did I expect to receive an acceptance letter and a contract in the mail a few months later!
Rebecca: That is amazing! Two school assignments and suddenly you had a contract. I’m sure many authors reading this are jealous, but I think it’s a sign that the publisher could spot talent, too. :)
What was the hardest part of the publishing process?
Alecia: Coming up with the initial fee to get the whole thing rolling. The publishing company needed around $4,000 up front to prove I was serious about getting my story published and to get the process started. Being only 15 years old, I definitely didn’t have that kind of money.
To make it happen, I had to sit down and make some phone calls to several family members and friends to see if they would be willing to either donate or loan me the money. It was a terribly nerve-wreaking situation to be in because I was scared no one would want to invest in my dream of being a published author at such a young age.
To my surprise, everyone I called was more than happy to help out and soon enough, the year long process of publishing “Dewey’s First Adventure” began.
I got to work with a professional illustrator, (through phone and email since Tate is based in Oklahoma), a cover designer, audio book reader, and a marketing rep to create my book exactly how I envisioned it. It was definitely an exciting experience, to watch my story come to life.
Rebecca: Wow, that would be very fun. And it sounds like you have an amazing support system. That’s a must for authors. In many ways, it’s unfair that only one name ends up on the cover of the book. It takes so many people behind the author to make it happen. I’m sure you know how blessed you are.
What has been the best part of publishing a book?
Alecia: Sharing that experience with kids, inspiring them and encouraging them to chase after their dreams even at a young age.
Rebecca: My daughter was one of the ones who heard you speak at the school, and already she’s written several “novels” she hopes to get published. I love it, so thank you! You are definitely an inspiration.
What advice would you give my daughter and other aspiring young authors?
Alecia: To pursue any passions they may have, whether it be along the lines of being an author, an illustrator, a musician, etc., no matter how young or old they are. It is never too soon to chase after your dreams.
Rebecca: I agree 100%. True dreamers aren’t confined by age.
What are your writing plans for the future?
Alecia: Possibly one or two more educational stories about “Dewey” and different natural processes or cycles that water can travel through. Then hopefully expanding my writing–and audience–with publishing some novels. But that may be a little while down the road.
Rebecca: I wish you the best of luck in your writing adventures. We look forward to what the future has in store for you. (Did that just make me sound like an old lady? Sorry.) We’re super excited for you! Thanks for sharing your story with us.
Again, Alecia’s book is an educational tale about a raindrop who goes through the water cycle. Buy it. It’s very cute. (And perfect for teachers, too.) My kids love it!
If you want more information on “Dewey’s First Adventure“, check out the book directly from the publishing company here, or for more specific info on book signings and events, ‘LIKE’ Dewey’s Facebook page: Alecia Martino (Author page).
Have any questions or comments for Alecia? Comment here.
Here’s a quick interview with Alecia from the local library author event. Isn’t she amazing?
Have a great day!