Eat The Marshmallow is very proud to launch the debut of contributing writer Kelly Raine’s new chapter book. He is kindly letting us roll it out to you, our dear readers, chapter by chapter over the next several months and into the new year. Read it to your children!
Thank you Kelly for generously sharing your talents with us.
Anouck & Maki
This is a story about kids and witches. I wrote it for a little girl. My little girl. The story was born from a conversation I had with my daughter one evening while walking into the grocery store. She was 8 or 9 at the time, young enough that I was still regularly holding her hand in parking lots. As we walked hand in hand, she told me a story about a “town witch” doing this and that to the town’s poor, unsuspecting citizens.
This got me wondering, “How DOES one become the town witch?” I asked this aloud to her. She answered me without missing a beat, as I recall (although it’s possible that I have romanticized this event over time). The tale of Ada and her friends versus Zemelda Rottentooth was born that night at the grocery store.
I continued to build upon my daughter’s story, chunk by irregular chunk. I read it aloud to her as I wrote, usually as a part of our bedtime routine.
Now, my daughter is no longer so little, and we don’t hold hands in the parking lot anymore. As I work through all of this as a parent, and author, I am reminded of the introduction to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe:
“I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis.”
I’m not trying to compare myself to C.S. Lewis, by any means. If I am lucky, my story will more closely resemble drunken versions of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman writing a fairy tale while watching The Goonies. No, no, I am no C.S. Lewis. But, like him, I too wrote my story for a little girl that is no longer little, and so this story is no longer hers. And that is okay; she had it for long enough and was able to experience the genesis of this story as she grew up. Someone else should have a turn.
I am lucky I had the opportunity to tell my daughter about Ada, Paul, Zemelda and Buh-REN-duh. It was a lot of fun to write, and to read aloud, and I hope you too will enjoy it and share with others.