Here is my review. Five Shining Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 "Ogopogo Odyssey" written by D.A Hawes and illustrated by Maggie Parr will delight young readers with the tale of the famous lake monster known as Ogopogo from Okanagan Lake. He is known to live in an underground cave near Rattlesnake Island. Colin meets a mysterious stranger on the beach that tells him all about the tales and history of Ogopogo. Readers will enjoy the enchanting illustrations with crystal blue waters, the beautifully drawn pirates and mermaids, of Colin's imagination. They will love the drawings of Ogopogo that will leave them with a smile.
See more reviews here from Promontory Press:
Watch this fun book trailer: https://www.promontorypress.com/
Listen to this podcast with Author D. A. Hawkes and illustrator Maggie Parr: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ogopogo-odyssey-victoria-teacher-works-with-disney-illustrator-to-create-children-s-book-1.3570764
1) How long have you been writing and what inspired you to become a children's author?
I guess I've always considered myself a writer in one sense or another. When I was a student in elementary school, I loved to write stories that came out of my imagination. In university as an English major, I did a lot of academic writing, which was interesting but not as much fun as writing stories for children. I became most interested in writing for children when my own kids were young and we spent so much time in the library and reading picture books voraciously!
2) Tell us about your story "Ogopogo" and how this darling tale became about?
I grew up in Vernon, a small city located in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. We swam in Okanagan Lake during the summer months and I grew up hearing lots of stories of the mythical Ogopogo. This rather famous Canadian icon was featured on tourist brochures, postcards, t-shirts, mugs, etc. and many of the parks throughout the Okanagan had large caricatures of the Ogopogo. Before dropping us off at the beach to swim, my parents would often jokingly tell us to “watch out for the Ogopogo!” Later in my life, once I had children of my own, I decided to write a story based on my own childhood recollections of the Ogopogo. Given the many sightings of this mysterious creature over the years, I tried to imagine the excitement of a young boy who believes he has an encounter with the Ogopogo. I also felt that including the story of Chief Timbasket and his encounter with N’ha-a’itk was an engaging way to show respect for the First Nations heritage in our province.
3) Your illustrator, Maggie Parr, did an outstanding job with your story! Tell us more about her and how you found her?
Maggie Parr has been a gift to Ogopogo Odyssey and has transformed this book into a visual delight for children and adults alike! Maggie and I met in a rather serendipitous manner at the San Francisco Writers Conference many years ago. We happened to be standing in line for an event and began to chat, and at the end of our conversation we exchanged business cards. Her business card featured a caricature of an adorable looking dragon and the first thought that entered my head was, “This is exactly the sort of art work I picture for Ogopogo!” When I returned to Canada, we began to correspond by email and I finally had the nerve to ask this very talented Disney artist to illustrate my book. Lucky for me, Maggie agreed and so began a long-term collaboration.
4) Do you have more stories to come in the future?
I am currently working on several manuscripts, some of which I wrote a few years ago as well as others that are new ideas and concepts for future books. I am also working on a YA novel which is a new venture for me but I'm loving the process.
5) I see you are a teacher and teach Senior English at St. Michaels University School. What advice would you like to share to young writers starting out?
The best advice I could give is to never give up! It took me a long time to see this book come to fruition, but after many attempts with various publishers, I finally found the right fit. It's important to believe that you have a voice and that your writing is unique and worthy. And most of all, just keep writing and writing, and editing and editing! Always put away your drafts for a day or two and then revisit them. It's surprising how much you will discover after your work has fermented for a while!
Dorothy also offers this wonderful teacher’s resource guide for K-5:
Teacher resource guide for Ogopogo Odyssey 2016.pdf
You can find Dorothy at the following sites:
Author’s website: http://dahawes-author.weebly.com/
Facebook link - https://www.facebook.com/Ogopogo-Odyssey-184195595306313/?fref=nf
Link to amazon:
Link to illustrator Maggie Parr:
Link to book company: