Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Of Raccoons and Mice
By Ann Marie Meyers Author of Up in the Air
It’s not often that you meet a storyteller who can captivate you with words and weave you into his tale, in the Storyteller fashion of the 1800s.
I was fortunate enough to meet such a person. Welcome Ken Donaldson, author of The Mouse’s Diary, the first in a series of similar books to come. Listen as Ken invites us to journey with him into the world he has created.
KEN: I would like to share with you the adventures of two loveable characters, a mouse and a raccoon. Come with me now, back to a time where life is peaceful and the high tech games children played were created from their inventive imagination. I am transporting you back to the early 1800’s, where you will embark upon a fantasy journey of adventure, filled with values and lessons for children so that they can learn about life experiences from our kindly old mouse, sitting by the village campfire at day’s end.
The Mouse’s Diary welcomes young readers to a magical world where magic and tales of adventure come to life right before their very eyes. They will see for themselves the excitement and wonders of how their two adventurers, a mouse and a raccoon, face danger and enjoy great rewards in a different time where the world is filled with magic beyond dreaming.
The story opens with a kindly old mouse. He sits down beside a campfire, puts on his glasses and opens up a well-worn leather covered diary. The children gather round to listen to the mouse’s adventures saved from days when he was young just like them. He shares the story of a mouse and a raccoon who are held captive by a very mean King. One day, Robin the Red Sparrow comes into their life and opens their minds to great adventures.
AMM: Where did the idea for the series come from?
KEN: The idea came to me during a conversation one night with a friend in Canada. My friend likes to write but is afraid of the publishing aspect of writing. Plus, she had standard writer’s block. I was bouncing ideas at her and happened to mention the mouse and the raccoon. She did not like any of my ideas but the next morning, 19th September 2012, I woke up with the entire story of the first volume inside my head. I wrote a draft on the computer and shared it via email with my friend that same night. She loved it and asked when the next one was going to be written.
AMM: I love when inspiration hits us ‘over the head’. Here’s a tongue in cheek question. Why a raccoon? And why a mouse?
KEN: As I mentioned, the idea came to me one day. The raccoon and the mouse seemed like two excellent creatures, and given the difference between them they show more acceptance of each other no matter which culture you come from.
AMM: So given all that, do you find yourself looking at raccoons and mice differently now?
KEN: No. I had not considered looking into cultural differences outside considering the likeness of these two critters in appearance
AMM: How many books do you envision writing in this series?
KEN: in the primary series, I envision 11 books in total. Maybe there will be others later, but for now 11 is the magic number.
AMM: 11 is indeed a magical number. I’ll keep an eye out for the sequels. Do you prefer to write in a quiet place, or in a café surrounded by music and the talking and laughter of people
KEN: I like to write first thing in the morning before doing any emails or other net activities. after I have showered had breakfast and cleaned up the general mess of the house.
AMM: Finally, Ken, what are some fun facts about you?
KEN: I guess you could say I enjoy writing. I enjoy family-sharing events. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy a lovely garden. Music is more easy listening and I love to watch movies, especially ones that make me feel good and inspire my imagination. I like to be creative.
Donaldson started writing poems in his early 20s. He entered a poetry contest once and his poem “Today is just a day” became published. This inspired him with a newfound passion in life and he discovered the pleasure of sharing his gift of writing to all his readers. He believes that people should find the dream that makes them happy and follow it with their whole heart. He is of simple and humble beginnings as a child where everything in life was and still is the biggest adventure he has to share with his readers.
You can find out more about Ken on https://www.themousesdiary.com/index.html