Janice C. Graham is having her first book released at the end of July.
The children's book, “The Little Country Girl and Frisky the Squirrel,” published by PublishAmerica, is the story of a little squirrel who fell out of his nest. A little girl takes care of him and they become friends. They have fun playing together, but the little girl has to make an unselfish decision.
It is illustrated by S. Joan Allen and Graham's husband, Jerry L. Graham.
Janice Graham was born and raised on a farm in the Hudson Creek Community, south of Miami.
“I had a wonderful childhood which is a real credit to my parents,” Graham said. “I was always taking care of a sick animal which is where this story stems from.”
She was a part owner of Ottawa County Abstract.
Her husband was formerly principal of Miami High School.
They have four children and 13 grandchildren.
Her children asked her for many years to write her stories down so they could tell them to their children.
Graham had a lot of time on her hands for several years while helping her ill parents. She spent some of that time writing stories, including the one being published.
“I overheard two women talking about the publishing of a book,” Graham said. “After they finished talking, I asked how they went about it and they graciously gave me some tips.”
On first contact with the publisher, Graham was asked to send the first five paragraphs of her story.
“They liked it so much that they asked for the first five pages - with illustrations,” Graham said. “My husband has alway been good at drawing and I had him do some sketches.
“People might be surprised at how much work goes into putting a book together. We had lot of 12-hour days to get it together.”
She has six additional stories on file waiting to see the success of the Little Country Girl book.
“Simple things have always been more important in my life, all the wonderful times with my family and friends, enjoying all the wonderment of nature,” Graham said. “A dear friend once told me, ‘You are pretty happy wherever you are.'
“Strange, I had never noticed that about myself but I think he was right. Some days are good but most of mine are great.”
She shared the book with her granddaughter's class, reading it outloud.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” Graham said. “It was a treasure to see their tiny faces all following my story.”
She made copies of some pages of the book before it was colored and distributed them to the students to help them get interested in the book.
“Life has afforded me an opportunity to work with lots of wonderful people from all walks of life and for this I am grateful,” Graham said. “I look forward to all the adventures yet to come.”
The book is currently available on Amazon.com.
“I'm hoping to have some book signing events once the book is published,” Graham said.