Parkite Lisa Loomis writes her first children’s book
November 16, 2012
Lisa Loomis, a Park City-based author who has published three adult novels "Boy in a Band," "Casanova Cowboy" and "Gem Rats since 2009, has penned her first children’s book.
"Finn & Geo’s Winter Adventure," a picture book for ages eight and younger, is about two puffins who learn how to ski and snowboard at Park City Mountain Resort.
The book, like Loomis’ others are available in book format and for the Kindle eReader at http://www.amazon.com and at Dolly’s Bookstore. In fact, Loomis will be at Dolly’s 510 Main St., today, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. to sign her new book.
"Finn & Geo’s Winter Adventure" started off as a dog book.
"I have a friend, artist Kit Teasdel, who wanted to do a book about dogs," Loomis said. "I talked with Sue Fassett, the manager of Dolly’s, about the possibility of that project."
Fassett told Loomis that she had an abundance of children’s books about dogs.
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"She said she needed a book about skiing and snowboarding, because there weren’t a lot of young children’s books about those sports," Loomis said. "So, Kit and I came up with a book about these two puffins, and at the back of the book, there is a little blurb about what puffins really are."
The project began with Teasdel’s art.
"The pictures in the book are taken from original acrylic-on-canvas works," Loomis explained. "Kit’s artwork is whimsical and fun."
For six months, the two worked together on the project.
"Kit had to paint the art and then we had to convert the paintings into workable files for the book," Loomis said. "I didn’t know how much I had to take on until we started."
While formatting the art was difficult, Loomis found writing a children’s book is very different than writing a book for adults.
"I had to find myself in a different mindset to make my sentences easier," she said. "I had a lot of input from people who helped me simplify my words, and I also spent a lot of time at Dolly’s looking at children’s books."
Throughout the process, Loomis learned new things and made a lot of mistakes.
"The self-publishing world has been a great learning curve for me and it’s a good avenue for authors, because of how the book industry has changed," Loomis said. "I’ve learned so much since my first book, but there were still many things that I didn’t know, because it was a transition for me. It was like starting over."
After the book was printed, Loomis gave it to a friend who read it to her son.
"He enjoyed the book and laughed at the pictures, and that was fun to see," Loomis said. "The thing I like the most is to see kids enjoy it."
That enjoyment led to her decision to donate 20 books to the Peace House, a nonprofit organization dedicated to end domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties through education, outreach, support-services and shelter.
"I think Peace House is a great local resource for families, and there are children who are there because of uncomfortable situations," Loomis said. "They are not in their own environment, and I thought it would be a nice thing to take their minds off of their situation."
Loomis’ respect for Peace House and its mission stems from her prior career as a property manager.
"My husband is a general contractor and owns Loomis Construction and I owned Loomis Property Management, which was a mortgage branch in town," she said. "When I was doing mortgages, the Peace House was a huge presence for me. They have the luxury home tour with the Park City Board of Realtors Philanthropic Foundation, and I was very involved in volunteering for the Peace House and our two companies donated to them as well."
Loomis began writing books when the economy crashed in 2008.
"When the financial meltdown came, our careers went away," she said. "So, with my frustration going through this tumultuous time, I started writing as an outlet."
While the past five years have been tight financially for her family, Loomis has enjoyed the self-publishing experience.
"It’s been good for me because I don’t think I would have ever gone back to my creative side," she said.
Once she started writing, the ideas kept coming. In addition to the three novels, Loomis has finished another, which is in the process of being edited.
"It’s called ‘A Horse Named Joe’ and takes place on a small island in the Bahamas," she said. "I’m also currently writing two more. One is about a local girl’s life story. She has a learning disability and recently became a new mother. So the book is about her journey." The other book is a young-adult story about a kid that grows up in a small town and leaves to explore the world, she said.
"It’s funny, because sometimes I’ll sit down at the computer and think to myself, ‘I can’t write a book,’" Loomis said with a laugh. "And then I’ll go, ‘What are you saying? You’ve already written four books!’
"I think all artists have those self doubts, but in the end, I just can’t stay away from it," she said. "I love writing."
To date, Loomis has completed a new children’s book, but has put it on hold to see how "Finn & Geo’s Winter Adventure" does.
"I hope people who come and stay for a winter vacation, will pick it up for their children so they can all go home are remember their adventures in Park City together," Loomis said.
Author Lisa Loomis will be at Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St., to sign her new children’s book "Finn & Geo’s Winter Adventure" at 2 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.lisaloomisbooks.com .