It all started over a piece of rope, a simple little thing really.
Amy Parsons Meadows, a Chester resident, recounts the story of how the character in her first book, Elizabeth Grace Quadrapuss, came to be.
Her husband Clark tied a piece of rope for their youngest daughter Mallory. It looked like an octopus but only had four tentacles; hence they called her a quadrapuss. As time went on, Meadows said, “Our daughter got quite attached to the quadrapuss and wanted her mom to tell her stories about the little girl’s adventures.
“We just started making up stories,” Meadows said. “There were lots of stories and I just thought we should write these down.” And, she did. The first book Elizabeth Grace Quadrapuss Goes to Kindergarten is set for release Dec. 20.
Like their own daughter Mallory, Elizabeth Grace Quadrapuss was facing some issues with going to kindergarten. “I just like to write,” Meadows commented. “The story was just in my head.”
Finally, after the stories floated around in Meadows’ head, she sat down and wrote the kindergarten piece one day after she took her children to school. The Meadows have three daughters — Jilian, Addison and Mallory — who range in age from 22 to nine years old. Mallory had just begun Kindergarten at the time so the subject was fresh on Meadows’ mind.
“When Clark came home that night, I told him I wrote a book today,” and that was the beginning of Elizabeth Grace Quadrapuss.
Then the question was what to do with the story. Like most unpublished authors, the Meadows mailed out packets with the book to many book publishers. “I’ve still got those turn down letters,” she smiled.
Meadows felt that she was on a mission. “I feel that God gives you a talent to use for him,” she shared. “I feel this is something He wants me to do.” She said her goal “is to dedicate myself to this series of books and find out for myself if it can be a success.”
Once Meadows located a publisher for the first of her books — Tate Publishing Company finally accepted and printed the first book due to be released Dec. 20. “All the marketing is on us though,” she said.
So, they began looking for a place to have the pre-release party for that first book. They thought Sweet Frog might be the perfect place for a pre-release party. So, they talked with Eric Wann of Sweet Frog in Chester. Meadows recounts, “He said you know, the owner of the Sweet Frog franchise, a local guy in Short Pump, is looking for someone to write bible stories in a modern theme.”
Sweet Frog’s logo is a frog and their motto is Fully Rely on God (FROG).
Meadows is sure that was God at work. “No coincidence there,” she said. “He wanted bible stories written in a unique way.” Wann put Meadows in touch with Derrick Cha, the owner of the Sweet Frog franchise.
They began collaborating on bible stories and books that can be available in the Sweet Frog stores. The first book in the bible series is a piece on the David and Goliath bible story. “Our main character is Freddy frog and the first story has a working title of Freddy Meets His Goliath,” she said. “We’re working on the publishing timetable right now, but we hope it’ll be in the Sweet Frog stores by summer 2012,” she beamed over the second of her books.
“I want to have fun with this series of books,” Meadows said. “I’m looking forward to the kids’ reactions to the book.” The main characters in the books, Freddy and Sibley, are a brother and sister frog duo. Sibley generally recounts the biblical meanings in Freddy’s predicaments, sharing a practical application of the bible stories. In this story, the enemy is Terrence Cane Toad, one of the biggest frogs around.
The next book for the Sweet Frog series will be about Daniel in the lion’s den and Meadows is working on that story now. The plan is for a Sweet Frog series of 10 to 15 books to be debuted in the stores over the next few years. Meadows shared that she “can’t wait to share these bible stories in a fresh, new way.”
Elizabeth Grace Quadrapuss Goes to Kindergarten is set for release December 20. Meadows would be glad to bring copies and come to any pre-school or elementary school and read the book, and autograph them. She’s anxious to share the new book. Since she’s doing her own marketing it’s a great chance to get an autograph before Meadows becomes famous. The book can be purchased, after Dec. 20, on Amazon or from Meadows at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Meadows’ recent pre-order book signing at D’lish in Chester, she autographed more than 80 copies of the book. Meadows is more than willing to come to your school or gathering to read, autograph and share the new book.
Meadows’ humble blessing is to share her gift. “I wanted to create suspense for the readers and adventure,” she said. “I want to share my gift, only doing whatever God wants me to do.”