ELIZABETHTOWN — A conversation about writing a story while raking leaves on a crisp autumn day with his young granddaughter sent W. Curt Vincent on an 18-month quest to have that story published in a children’s book.
That dream came true earlier this month, as “The Luckiest Leaf” became available to the public.
“Quite honestly, I dragged my feet writing the story, thinking it was just something fun we talked about to pass the time while preparing a pile of leaves to jump in,” Vincent said. “But my granddaughter, Kaylee, kept asking about the story for weeks after and became one of the driving forces to getting it done.”
The idea of the book originated in October 2011, when Vincent and his granddaughter started to wonder which of the leaves in the big oak tree would be the last to fall.
“We took that discussion in several directions,” Vincent said. “And at first, the story I first wrote had an entirely different ending.”
What Vincent ended up with is the emotional existence of the main character, Larry the Leaf, that has a positive ending with a twist. It is geared toward young readers between the ages of 4 and 7 years old.
“From first leaf to last leaf, W. Curt Vincent writes with evenhanded rhyme and reason that looks at a child’s understanding of the world eye to eye,” claims the folks at Xlibris, publishers of “The Luckiest Leaf.”
For Vincent, it is the first journey into the world of book publishing, and it has opened his eyes to the process in ways he never before imagined.
“First of all, the folks at Xlibris have been nothing short of spectacularly helpfull and professional,” Vincent said. “But the publishing process is far more complicated and time-consuming than the writing process — at least for this project.
“The reason, I think, is because Xlibris wanted everything to be exactly right, especially since they knew it was my first venture,” he added. “And I think the illustrations Xlibris came up with enhance the story perfectly.”
“The Luckiest Leaf” is now available online at Xlibris.com, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com — but Vincent is hoping to get the book into local shops and available at better price. It is currently available locally only at the Bladen Journal office.