Thursday, August 13, 2009

Benny and the Birthday Berries

I got a phone call from Tony that summer.

"Ya wanna do some writing for me?"
I knew him personally, plus he was a huge name in the Christian Publishing and I was just 23, recovering from a major injury and of course, I shouted, "YES! YES! YES!"

Initially I called the berries rash berries because I wrote into the story how they broke into a horrible rash.. a result from losing self-control and eating them. That was deleted among other things. I like to think that my original story was filled with sweet emotions and "ah-ha!" moments in cute, simple word structures. Once it was edited, I barely recognized my story. But that seemed okay by me. I was now a published writer. And I was just 23.

You can actually view my book here that turned to video:

This was during what I like to call my internship years. I was paid $30.00 a week to write the book which is still in publication today. My name is long gone from the credits but I still keep a few of the first editions where my name is still there in print.

I also did the inking in the illustrations using pantone felt pens and later when we put these books to video, I did the camera work, which makes me cringe when I see the quality of work.

We were all so young back then. Each day I would show up to work, I would pinch myself to wake me incase I was dreaming. I was so happy to be in such a creative job. It was one of my dreams coming true.

I've had many since then. But this was the beginning. This was the platform that started my fun, creative career.

Funny the things you can find on google.


Connie L. West said...

My aunt bought me a few of these books with cassettes for my 7th birthday back in 1986. We had Nathanial the Grublet, Animals and Antsylvania. We loved the records so much, so we were excited to have these books in our library as well. We had The Trouble with Tuffy, The Broken Jewel and Benny and The Birthday Berries. Who was the voice-over on these a man that was rescued from the streets? I know you guys did a great job that way and we have always wondered. Keep up the good work and helping mankind.

Dan Guerra said...

That's amazing! I remember what it's like to be young and just want to do the right thing and mostly, feel a certain pride that your work is out there, whether or not you were appropriately compensated...but, it's out there in the world, and You did that!
and no one else in the world can say the same...

doodlegirl said...

Connie! Thanks for dropping by! That is so cute you thought he was a man we rescued from the streets! (he DOES sorta sound that way doesn't he?!?) I never understood why they found him to be the best voice out of all the choices for children's books.... but they did. ---He was a true professional.

Thanks Dan, for those thoughtful, true words. You're so perspective. And that's exactly how I felt and still feel.