I have written and self-published 15 children’s books about the animals of the Chesapeake Bay and other special places in Maryland, including Assateague Island and Deep Creek Lake.
I started in 2013 with Jordan the Jellyfish. I was inspired to write about Jordan because my youngest daughter, Andrea, was stung by a jellyfish when she was six years old. Then many years later, I was at the beach with my feet in the water and many jellyfish tried to touch my feet. On the drive home, I decided the two jellyfish events would inspire me to write a children’s book about jellyfish.
After I finished writing Jordan, I never intended to write an entire series of ten books about the animals of the Chesapeake Bay. But I did write and self-publish them within six years.
They include Jordan the Jellyfish, Curtis the Crab, Chester the Chipmunk, Heather the Honey Bee, Dylan the Deer, Christmas with Marco, Macy the Mermaid, Oakley the Oyster, Olivia the Osprey, and Owen the Oriole. I also wrote Paisley the Pony: An Assateague Island Adventure and Lila the Ladybug: A Deep Creek Lake Adventure, and two chapter books for older children.
I started out using Create Space, KDP, and then Ingram Spark to self-publish the books.
I have also tried printing the books in China, which worked out very well. I had the printer in China print book set boxes for me. I offer hardback and paperback book sets in cardboard keepsake boxes and shrink wrapped with clear plastic. The hardback set even includes a Beanie Baby.
My books are available for purchase on Amazon and on my own website. I offer FREE school presentations and classes on how to self-publish. My books are available at festivals, book signings, school presentations, gift shops, and libraries.
I was inspired to write the stories through my love of children and animals.
I also gained inspiration by the sparkle on the top of the Bay because I never knew what lies beneath. Boats are my favorite form of transportation. I love seeing the water moving and the birds flying above. The sky is gorgeous from a boat at sunrise or sunset and unobscured by buildings or trees.
My stories are for children 3-8 years old.
However, I have found that adults enjoy them too. I use alliteration with the book titles, for example, Curtis the Crab, Jordan the Jellyfish, Heather the Honey Bee. Adults love seeing their own names or those of a loved one and buy the book for themselves. The stories help children learn about the Bay and the animals and how to keep the animals safe and healthy. Children learn to be kind, resourceful, forgiving, and brave.
I am working with a narrator to record eight of my stories and I will donate them to the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Print Disabled.
The audio books will then be available to library patrons around the world. A major garden center, Homestead Gardens, in Davidsonville, Maryland, invited me back to read and do book signings during their Spring Kick-Off for nine days in March 2024.
I live in Bowie, Maryland, with my husband, Peter. I enjoy cooking, baking, walking, swimming, dancing, painting, and gardening. I got a very late start at writing. I worked for a major health insurance company for 25 years.
Then I started a virtual assistance business and managed that for another 25 years. I started writing in 2013, when I was 56 years old. You can start or learn anything at any age. I taught myself how to paint on canvas in 2017.
Cindy Freland, [email protected]. You can visit My Website Now!