“I wanted to write something that people would like to read,” said 10-year-old Brady Lund. “It’s a mystery, what my dog does when we’re gone.”
Seven months of hard work paid off when he published his first book this spring — Squirt’s Day at Home! available on Amazon and at the Edmonds Bookshop.
“I thought, wow, this really happened,” Lund said.
The illustrated book, aimed at kids in preschool through kindergarten, depicts the mayhem unleashed by a cute-as-a-button dog that escapes its crate after family members leave for work and school. Star of the book is Lund’s dog, Squirt, a West Highland white terrier.
The Edmonds family, along with Squirt, attended a local book signing recently where they quickly sold out — 22 books, including the display copies.
“Oh my goodness, we all are so proud of him,” said the young author’s mom, Kate Lund, a clinical psychologist and writer of children’s books. “It’s a cool accomplishment and he did it by himself — the writing and the concepts.”
The book is semi-autobiographical, Brady Lund said. “It’s mostly my imagination, but Squirt did open his crate and he does like cheese.” (Cheese figures as a central plot point.) “It’s his favorite food.”
Writing when you’re in fourth grade can be a challenge, he said. “It wasn’t difficult, but it wasn’t easy either. I was busy with other things. I just needed to sit down and get it done.”
When the first draft was ready, they sent it off to Kate Lund’s editor for input. After a few emails and back and forth, a few editorial changes made, the book was complete.
Brady Lund gave copies to classmates before school ended for the year. “My friends are excited about it, “ he said, as his twin brother, William.
“At the book signing I heard William say, `My brother did that,’” said Kate Lund.
What’s next for this young author? “I have a very rough draft — Squirt’s Day at the Beach, Brady Lund said. “I’m thinking of a series, Squirt at the ballpark and other places.”
No matter where this leads, the journey has already provided an amazing experience, said Kate Lund. “I think what we came away with is, what you can accomplish when you set a goal and meet incremental goals, learning lessons in focus and attention. Writing this book gave Brady confidence, which has had a positive impact in many areas of his life.”
Her son agrees. “I learned that no matter who you are, if you set your mind to it, you can do it. You have to practice, put in the work, give 110 percent effort, but you can do it.”
— By Connie McDougall