Author Kizzie Jones recently learned her children’s book, “How Dachshunds Came to Be,” won Honorable Mention in the San Francisco Book Festival competition. Jones sent this recounting of the instant she learned of her win:
“It was a glorious moment! I felt the universe opened in my direction! Just as we began our check-in for the Monday morning EPIC Writing Group I felt my phone vibrate. Because I also use my phone as a pager for work, I glanced down at it. To my surprise and delight the San Francisco Book Fest Winner notice had posted. I waited until the end of check ins – and then allowed myself to check the winners list. I could hardly contain my joy and surprise when I found my book and name listed under Honorable Mention for Children’s Books.
“What made this moment of discovery especially joyous and poignant is that I was sitting among my weekly writing peers– a group that had bonded over several months and countless sharings of writing. I knew that my EPIC writing partners would appreciate the journey and celebrate with me.
“My book, ‘How Dachshunds Came to Be: A Tall Tale About a Short Long Dog,’ was written to provide an avenue for joy, creativity, and balance to my life. I cherish the many new people I have met since the first inklings of the book, throughout the entire writing, publishing and marketing process. The book came about from a simple playful assignment during a week long Oregon coast vacation.
“A dear friend and I had been laughing over some humorous placemats enhanced by stories and illustrations about old-fashioned tall tales. We were having so much fun with the stories that my friend said, ‘Kizzie, this is our assignment: This week we will write a tall tale!’ By the end of the week, having seen many sea creatures during low tides, watching whales right from the vantage point of the coast-line, and seeing dachshunds running up and down the beach, I was inspired to write this Tall Tale. ‘How Dachshunds Came to Be’ is intended not only for dog and sea lovers, but also for everyone who ever longed for a friend.
“I partnered with a great friend, illustrator Scott Ward, sharing with him my concept for a children’s book. Scott’s appealing illustrations and bright colors are enchanting. And even more delightful many of his illustrations for the book contain ‘hidden pictures’ that can – in themselves – be used to engage a child’s imagination! I love to challenge young readers to find these jewels of art!
“The values of compassion, kindness, collaboration, and how Scott honors diversity are embedded within the whimsical tall tale as the main character, a little girl, encounters poignant experiences while making friends with sea creatures. Ultimately she comes to the realization that she must allow the sea creatures that she has befriended to stay in their own homes on the beach instead of bringing them home to her beach house. The relationship between the main character, a little girl who lives beside the sea, and the sea creatures is meant to teach to expect nothing in return and become mentors on the basis of selfless giving.
“I will be the guest speaker at the annual Volunteer Thank You Luncheon honoring Friends of the Library on Thursday, 27 June. This year’s theme is Children’s Books. And I eagerly look forward to attending the San Francisco Book Fest on May 18 to receive my award and to further promote my book.”
Editor’s note: Jones partnered with Emily Hill, publishing coach at Edmonds-based A.V. Harrison Publishing. Hill provided this note: “I was thrilled beyond words when Kizzie told me of her well-deserved win in the San Francisco Book Festival competition. This achievement is a testament to the wonderful collaboration taking place among publishing veterans, emerging authors, and City of Edmonds’ support-the-writers community when ‘one of our own’ can win a West Coast book award. Every once in a while, as a publishing coach, I encounter an author who truly ‘has it all together’ – and this year. Kizzie Wins!”