Della has been telling us (her parents and family) stories since she
could first talk. She has a great sense of adventure, loves natures,
and is inspired by all things fantastical.
For years, when Della was telling us her stories (in the car,
before bed, while on trips...), I would always say to myself
“I should write this down.”
And, one day when Della was 5 years old (in March of 2014), I actually did.
Della began telling me a story while we were working on her homework,
sitting at our kitchen table. I grabbed my laptop, started typing, and the story
of Della and Lila Meet the Monongahela Mermaid was born.
It was a cold and snowy night but somewhere in Della’s beautiful,
sweet mind she was swimming with mermaids, river otters, and ducks.
It was a warm and sunny day. And, of course, her family, friends,
and all kinds of magical creatures were there with her. As Della’s story began to unfold that evening, I was mesmerized. I typed as fast as I could, trying not to miss anything. Della’s story was centralized around the idea of helping someone in need (in this case, a mermaid) while calling her family and friends into action. When she started incorporating river ecology and nature into the story I started to get really excited. Then, she used the term "waterfowl" and I was blown away!
After Della was done with her tale, there were a few loose ends (cliffhangers) that needed a bit of clarification. I asked my (sometimes complex) questions in regard to the plot, subplot, etc. and, without hesitation, she had her answers. She knew what happened with each character in the story fully and completely. I continued to type and took down everything she said. I have always loved her stories but, this one was, by far, my favorite to date.
My questioning seemed to prompt even more subplots that, eventually, blossomed into more stories. Our readers will be introduced to these “stories”, published as children’s books, in 2016 (see our “Books” page for more information).
The whole “book process” of Della and Lila Meet the Monongahela Mermaid was an extremely fun and exciting adventure. Our illustrator, Sian Bowman, was such a joy to work with. Once Sian had the text, she truly brought our story to life. Her illustrations are whimsical, beautiful, and absolutely perfect for the story of the Monongahela Mermaid. Our entire family enjoyed watching Della’s story come to life through the artwork. It was such a magical process.
It is our wish that our readers will enjoy Della’s story was much as we did. We also hope that Della’s tale will inspire other children and adults to be kind to each other, respect nature, and come up with their own stories to tell.
Della and Lila Book Series