Marsha Kidd Hanson’s first published book, A Mouse in the Sugar Bowl, was originally written as an entry for a contest sponsored by a cereal company. Hanson got the idea from real life.
“I had an experience with an unexpected mouse event during my life—footprints in a pan of grease on my stove,” says Hanson.
The book is about a sweet little old lady who opens a bakery in the country. Much to her dismay, she discovers mouse tracks in her kitchen, leading from the sugar bowl. Hanson says, “The scramble when she discovers the mouse is fun and makes for chaos that is entertaining and exciting for the reader.”
The illustrator, RL Comstock, used brilliant colors to create action-packed pictures that highlight the humor.
“The illustrations were the magic that turned my story into reality. The moment I saw the first draft of the bakery, old lady, and the mouse I knew I could take it through to publication,” says Hanson.
Hanson met Comstock at a writers’ group she started in Preston. With the thought in mind, “Remember to reach out and have courage,” she asked him to take on the project.
“Once again, I was blessed. It was the right time and place. He took time from his other work, and encouraged me with his great illustrations,” Hanson says.
“From there, everything else fell into place as well—from working with Arizona-based Inglestone Publishing to finding the printer we did, it just came together,” she adds. “The book is meant to be enjoyed by children reading on their own as well as those whose parents or grandparents will read it as they ‘snuggle up’ with littles ones,” says Hanson.
“I want everyone to enjoy my book. Younger children, who look at the pictures and point out the bread in the oven. Children, who read it repeatedly to themselves or their siblings. Parents as well, who use this book as a valuable addition to their library.”
Hanson enjoys working with words and using them to express her feelings.
She says, “This started a long time ago, when I wrote poems to express life experiences. Later, it developed into essays and journaling.”
For those interested in writing, Hanson suggests, “Learn from authors that have been successful in the market. Join writers groups and attend seminars where available. Read and study other authors who write in your genre. Learn all the basics regarding correct and proper use of the written word early and never lose the desire to improve.”
She says her membership in American Night Writers Association, an all-women LDS writers group, “gave me a like-minded audience to share my poems with years ago. It inspired me to continue to write when my world turned upside down.”
Hanson has a book almost complete about her experience with breast cancer and is working on a story about her sister who was born with Down Syndrome. “Cindy is 61 years old with a special and sweet spirit,” says Hanson. “Several people have encouraged me to write a sequel to A Mouse in the Sugar Bowl, and I’m pursuing that possibility.”
Hanson lived in Arizona for 26 years, but now resides in Preston, Idaho, where she serves as a visiting teacher, compassionate service leader, ward missionary and assistant Weblos leader.
A Mouse in the Sugar Bowl is available at www.InglestonePublishing.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact Marsha Hanson, email ChildrenBooks@KiddBooks.com or visit www.KiddBooks.com.