Monday, November 21, 2011

American Chronicle | Get to know Rodger Dodger Dog and His Author, Jan Britland

In 1986, Jan was driving her children in a new town to start school. On their way, they would pass a beagle type dog chained to a huge Magnolia tree. Some days they would see the chain hanging down from the tree. "I think we just assumed the dog was in the house until one day we realized he was up in the tree. From that day on, Rodger Dodger Dog as we called him became a favorite. It was a 45-minute drive, which can become boring so as we passed him, I would start telling a story about Rodger Dodger's adventures up the tree and beyond. Because I am so dyslexic, the stories had to rhyme so I could remember them from day to day. They also started the same to get me going," shared Britland. However, it wasn´t until 2008 when Britland received a phone call from her daughter Kelly, who had young children of her own that the Rodger Dodger Dog started to even think about becoming a children´s book or series for that matter. "My daughter was complaining her son Dalton brought home a book from pre-school that didn't make sense to him or her. She wanted me to write down the Rodger Dodger Dog stories so she could share them with her children. I, of course, immediately sat down and started writing. Thank goodness, the stories had been in rhyme. I sent the finished copy to my daughter and waited to get the phone call that would tell me how much my grandchildren loved my stories. It never came. When I called her to ask her, she told me she was embarrassed to call me. Her children were so small they really needed to see illustrations to keep their interest. So being the good Gammy that I am, I set out to find an illustrator," shared Britland. And find an illustrator Britland did. She found Mike Swaim, who is known to be one of the best cartoonists in the industry. "Since the stories were called The Adventures of Rodger Dodger Dog, I wanted to have action in my illustrations. Mike and I connected right away and Rodger Dodger Dog was born," shared Britland. "When Mike was done with the illustrations I made up a book to re-send to my grandchildren. Needless to say, they loved it. They took it to school and the teachers loved it. They shared it with other friends and they loved it." Although Britland was getting a lot of positive feedback on Rodger Dodger Dog, she still wasn´t totally convinced about mainstream publishing. She only had 20 stories and the publishing industry isn´t an easy one to break into. Read more at: American Chronicle | Get to know Rodger Dodger Dog and His Author, Jan Britland

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