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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Local mother turns story-telling skill into children's book

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Child's imagination inspires a colorful tale

Trisha Cousineau-Peiffer has entered a new chapter in her life; the rural Fonda woman is now a published author. It has taken three years of hard work to get her children's book published and ready for marketing - but it's been worth the wait.

Trisha shared her book, "Have You Ever Heard of a Rainbow Farm?" with children and parents at a recent reading celebration at Storm Lake Public Library.

The mother of three said reading has always been important to her. When her children were young, they enjoyed many books together, in fact, her 23-year-old daughter reminded her that she used to make up stories for them and write them down and add illustrations. She had nearly forgotten the stories.

As the memories of those created stories came flooding back; it made her feel good to know her daughter remembered the small gesture.

The Rainbow Farm idea came from Trisha's then 6-year-old daughter Jessica who after reading together asked, "Wouldn't it be neat if we could grow rainbows?" Nothing surprises a mom, because kids do come up so many wonderful ideas.

She challenged her daughter by asking, "How would you do that?" and Jessica answered, "By planting jelly beans."

Jessica's imagination went even further; pondering the idea of having brightly colored animals as well.

"I knew immediately that there had to be a story in there," Trisha said.

She sat down at her computer and within 30 minutes, she had composed the general story which involves jelly bean-eating animals. The color of jelly beans eaten is what color the animal becomes.

She has also been around children long enough to know they learn from repetition. Each page consists of a different animal, color, game and day of the week.

She was pleased with the story and how easily it came together and shared it with family members and friends who encouraged her to get it published; that was the difficult part. She turned to some 100 publishers who turned the story down. But she did not give up.

She came across childrenzbooks.com and there she met a non-traditional publisher who loved the story. He also shared that he had the perfect illustrator to do the drawings.

When the first draft came back to her, with the drawings in place to correspond her story, she was very pleased. Incidentally, the little girl's name in the book is Jessy, named for her daughter who inspired the story, and the illustrator created the character from a photo of Jessica; the resemblance is near-perfect.

Throughout the three years, the illustrator, who lives in Terra Haute, Ind., and the author, have been kept in contact through the computer. They have not met but wish to someday.

Their work is not complete. The publisher has told Trisha to "keep plugging along" and she has many more story ideas for the Rainbow Farm and the illustrator has said she'll do the pictures.

"We're hoping to be a big hit!" Trisha commented.

The next stories will deal with situations children are facing today but will be seen through the eyes of the farm animals. The ideas are endless; she has begun thinking of a story about dealing with wearing glasses, and dealing with a handicap.

"I don't get much sleep at night," Trisha said, as thoughts continue to run through her mind.

She has learned a great deal throughout the journey to become a published author.

"Patience. You need a lot of patience."

Trisha grew up in Sioux City but spent many years living in Spokane, Wash. She missed the peacefulness found in the small town life so moved back in 2000. She is married to Jeff Peiffer, who grew up in Fonda.

Trisha has been promoting her book herself. She has contacted libraries and schools and has made several stops. The response has been good. Every library or school that helps her promote her book by allowing her to visit, receives a free book.

"I am so excited," she said during her visit to the SL library.

The book is not yet available in stores. You may view the book at the SL library or contact Trisha at (712) 358-0296 to obtain your copy.



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