A former Seymour resident has published her first children’s book and will return to her hometown for a launch party and book signing Sunday.
Meghan Colvin Egloff, who now lives with her family in Ohio, has taken her knowledge and experiences from being a mom of three young boys and created the main character in her book “Edison’s Tackle Box.”
The picture book tells the story of Edison, a little boy who must pack his own tackle box for the first time in preparation for a fishing trip with his father.
Not wanting to disappoint his dad, Edison must think about past fishing trips and evaluate which tools to take with him. Edison learns after a fun day of fishing that the most important thing he took with him wasn’t even in his tackle box.
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Edison is named after her youngest son, who is now 3.
The story plays out over 36 pages and features full-color illustrations by Cole Roberts of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase for $5 during the launch party from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Seymour Christian Church, 915 Kasting Road.
It also will be available for purchase for $6.99 at Beautiful Chaos in downtown Seymour and Claire Marie, also in Seymour, and Simply Treasures in Brownstown. Egloff said she also plans to sell the book online.
The book is the first in what Egloff, a Seymour High School graduate, said she hopes to make a series of at least eight books, highlighting the adventures of Edison and the lessons he learns along the way.
The second book in the series, “Edison and the Overnight Bag,” is already written and will be sent to the illustrator after the first of the year, she said.
Egloff said she doesn’t have to look far for inspiration for her stories. She has been writing about them for about 12 years, which is the age of her oldest son, Jase. Middle son, Ty, is 10.
“I have always enjoyed writing short stories but probably didn’t start thinking about a book until after I had my boys,” she said. “I would send a text to members of my family describing something silly one of the boys did, sometimes attached to a picture, and people started telling me how much they enjoyed reading what I wrote and that I should write a book.”
She had read lots of children’s books in college while pursuing her degree in education to her own children and to children she had in her daycare.
“When I finally decided to write a book, I thought quite awhile about what kind of book I wanted to write,” she said. “I knew I wanted to write something different. I didn’t want to write another barnyard animal book or another zoo book.”
She also loves books in series because of her connection to the characters and a strong need to know what happens to them.
“I tend to fall in love with characters and want to continue reading about them, like the Llama Llama stories, the David stories and even the Ramona stories,” she said. “So I began thinking about a hook that I could use over and over in different circumstances, and I soon realized I wanted my stories to teach something and have a moral.”
She happened to stumble upon a quote, “The most important things in life aren’t things,” and knew her stories were going to grow from that message.
The tale of “Edison’s Tackle Box” developed out of her sons’ love of fishing, she said.
Although writing was just a hobby, Egloff decided she wanted to print the books for her boys to have for years to come.
After doing research about traditional publishing, she was concerned she would lose control of her story. Her manuscript would be handed to an illustrator who would draw it how they wanted.
“After talking to some children’s librarians, I decided I didn’t want to relinquish that control, so I started researching self-publishing and decided that was best for me,” she said.
Receiving the final copy of her book, complete with illustrations, was like a dream come true, she said.
“It felt awesome to know that I had accomplished something that I set out to do and my boys were going to have this book forever,” she said. “It was nice being able to hold that dream in my hands.”
The response from her family has encouraged her to keep writing.
“Every time Edison sees it, he asks to have it read to him, and he likes to carry it around with him,” she said. “Ty thinks it is a neat book and likes to tell random people, ‘My mom wrote a book.’ Jase told me it was cool but wanted to know when I was going to write a chapter book for his age.”
She also credits her mom, Marsha Colvin, for being her biggest fan.
“She was initially the first person to encourage me to write a book,” Egloff said. “She is pretty awesome.”
Egloff said she wanted to launch the book in her hometown of Seymour because of the people she knows here who support her.
“I live in Ohio, but Seymour is still home,” she said. “I have a huge family that always supports one another, and I knew that even if no one from the public came, I wanted to be close to family and friends so they could celebrate with me.”
What: Launch party for Seymour native Meghan Colvin Egloff’s first children’s book, “Edison’s Tackle Box”
Where: Seymour Christian Church, 915 Kasting Road
When: 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday
There will be snacks, make-and-take crafts, a book swap, a touch and learn tackle box and goody bags.
Kids are welcome to wear their costumes.
Books will be available for purchase for $5.