Last May, I was on the hunt for a picture book illustrator after learning that one of my publishers was starting a children’s book division. The publisher needed a book ready to go. I had the text, but no illustrations. I’d nearly given up the search when a talented illustrator turned up right beside me at an author fair. We worked together and, in a very short time, I had a fully illustrated book which I sent off to the publisher.

THE COOKIE EATING FIRE DOG was first written about twenty years ago when I lived with energetic, imaginative preschoolers. Each of my children had a favorite stuffed animal. My older child had a well-behaved purple bunny, aptly named “Purple”. My younger child carried around a dog, a happy-faced, but very naughty Dalmatian named Dan. The Dalmatian was also somewhat sickly, according to my son. When he didn’t feel like playing with “Dan”, my son would inform me that, “Dan was in the hospital,” suffering from an undisclosed illness.

Dan had a lot of action in his stuffed animal life. One day, my child informed me that Dan refused to help the fire fighters when they needed him. I was at the sink washing dishes when I heard about the stubborn Dalmatian.

“Why won’t Dan help?” I asked.
“Because all he wants to do is eat cookies.”

I stopped washing, grabbed pen and paper, and a story was written.

I finished, sent the book out, and got a bite right away from a big name publisher. We went back and forth a few times, but they ultimately declined. My story sat dormant for a while (yep, twenty years!) until the time was right.

If someone had told me I’d be a picture book author, I wouldn’t have believed it. But I’m so glad to be one!

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Luanna Stewart
5 years ago

Great job sticking with it and not giving up! And now Dan has been immortalized. Cute cover!! Our Son1 also had a favourite dalmatian puppy toy who was well-loved.

Mary Morgan
Mary Morgan
5 years ago

This is wonderful, Lida! I’m so happy that your book is being published. Wishing you all the best and I’ve added this as a gift for my grandson. Also, I love the cover and I’m a huge fan of ginger snaps. :)

5 years ago

I love how the story idea came to you. Best of luck in this new genre.

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