About five years ago, the idea for The Sparks and Whispers Mysteries started to take shape.
The stories would be aimed at children ages 8 to 12 or so…already reading on their own, but young enough to appreciate the magic of mystery. They would help children believe in hope and possibility and continue to spark that sense of wonder they’re born with, wonder that never needs to end.
As the Sparks and Whispers came from their home in Surgo to help the grownups in trouble, the children would witness a Gift and see in themselves qualities of a main character who changes from “small and not-at-all important” (Eli Brown in The Giving Pin), “weird and wild” (Ruby Lourdes in Ruby’s Water Wings), and “meek and mild” (Mari Summers in Mari Summers Learns to Dance) into a strong person, confident and kind, someone who one day passes the blessing of the Gift on to others.
All this would take place against a backdrop of simple blessings like delicious food, a loving dog, a stranger’s kindness, and vivid imagery like the silken flutter of a butterfly’s wing, the sweet aroma of baking bread, the thundering music of ocean waves.
What could these stories awaken in young readers? Uncommon courage. Selflessness. Deep compassion. Respect. Honesty. Generosity. Maybe something more.
So loving parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, caretaker of the next generation, thank you — my heart to yours — for finding these books and bringing them to the children. It’s my great hope that we’ve done something good — really good — something that doesn’t end here but continues to begin here.