Lockwood and Mullaly join the ranks of published Park City-based authors
For most authors, nothing equals the publication of their first book.
Two Park City residents, Ylan Lockwood and Katie Mullaly joined the ranks of published writers this year.
Lockwood, a 12-year-old seventh grader at Roland Hall, penned her first novel, "Through My Eyes," about a 2-year-old Bichon Frise pup and an 11-year-old girl.
Mullaly, on the other hand, has written a children’s picture book that deals with the concept of choice.
Both authors will be at Dolly’s Bookstore on Saturday, Sept. 5, for a book signing and reading at 2 p.m.
The Park Record caught up with Lockwood and Mullaly for separate interviews about their books.
Ylan Lockwood: A dog’s view of life
Lockwood’s "Through My Eyes" is a story told from the perspective of a dog named Fernando.
"That’s just the tip of the iceberg, really," Lockwood said. "The dog is trying to find out where he came from while he tries to win an [agility] competition."
The idea stemmed from the young author’s love of animals.
"I’ve always been an animal person and I wanted to be a veterinarian for the longest time," Lockwood said. "When I would look around and see them, I would always wonder what they were thinking. So, I wanted to create a world where an animal’s idea was put in perspective."
Fernando is named after Lockwood’s own dog and she got ideas for the book from him.
"I tried to imagine what he was thinking, even though I wasn’t sure my dog would think like what I have written," she said. "So, I essentially created a human persona and put it into Fernando."
Lockwood started the book 1½ years ago.
"I just started writing the book one day just to try it and it was really fun to create these characters," she said. "I liked creating a person and controlling their world. That was a pretty cool feeling and it seemed like something that I wanted to continue to do."
From the time she first put the pen to the paper, Lockwood knew she wanted the book to be published.
"Through My Eyes" took a year to write and six months to edit.
"Ylan would go to her room and write every night for two or three hours," according to her father, David.
"I wrote the first draft by hand and then typed the edits," Lockwood said with a giggle. "I was in no danger of anyone stealing my ideas because no one could read my handwriting."
The hardest part of the whole process, however, was editing.
"She’s working on her second book and having more fun writing that than she did editing her first book," David said.
The book was delivered a few weeks ago.
"I’m pretty happy about this," Lockwood said. "It took a lot of work, so seeing the final copy on Amazon.com was really amazing. It’s nice to know that I can tell people that I published a book. I feel pretty proud of myself. This was a great experience."
Ylan Lockwood’s "Through My Eyes" can be purchased by visiting http://www.amazon.com.
Katie Mullaly: A book of choices
Mullaly’s new book, "Land of Or," examines the real-life dilemma of decisions and consequences, something she has worked with all of her life.
The author is a public information officer and emergency response coordinator for the Summit County Health Department, and many of the concepts in the book comes from a publication she wrote a couple of years ago.
"Part of that was a section called ‘Mindfulness,’" Mullaly said. "It was geared for adults and was about forgiving and being in the moment and conscious of your choices.
"I had the idea of wanting to take some of those concepts and apply it to something that young adults and kids would understand," she said. "A year and a half ago, I came up with the ‘Land of’ series. The first book is ‘Land of Or,’ and I am working on ‘Land of And’ and ‘Land of When.’"
"Land of Or" is the first and is written in rhymes, reminiscent of Dr. Seuss.
"He was one author who I loved and his rhythms fit with how I thought," Mullaly said. "It makes things more fun."
However, while she was doing research about children’s books, many sources warned against using poetry.
"The reason is because bad rhymes can be very bad and apparently there is a lot of bad rhyming out there," she said. "However, if it’s good, rhymes can be very effective.
"Since I like rhymes, I decided to use them," she said. "I feel they would make the teaching element of the books fun and catchy for the kids and that the lessons may stick more readily in their heads."
"Land of Or" flows through the Valley of Options, the Canyon of Why, the Stream of If Then, Gully of Others and Yabbut Arches.
"When I do the books, I have the concepts and do a lot of research," Mullaly said. "I get the topic and create what I think is a good structure for the story and then organize the research. From there I create a story line and the final step is the rhymes."
The first iteration of "Land of Or" had a canyon, mountain and stream.
"I felt that was too generic," Mullaly said. "Having spent a lot of time in the Moab area, I came up with a bunch of ors — do we go down that canyon or that canyon? Should we go up the plateau or down to the valley? So, it felt like a good fit and I made things more concrete."
Mullaly also felt these landscapes would be a great opportunity for someone to illustrate.
That duty fell on artist Toby Allen, who lives in the United Kingdom.
"I saw some of his works online, called ‘Little Monsters,’" Mullaly said. "Toby suffers from anxiety and decided to illustrate those little monsters that all have to do with anxiety — depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anorexia and sleep disorder and many others."
Mullaly fell in love with the images and when it came time to illustrate the book, decided to reach out to Allen.
"I thought there wouldn’t be a way to afford him or that he would be too busy, but none of that turned out to be true," she said. "I sent him a note and he started in January."
Mullaly feels working with Allen, albeit through emails alone, is more akin to collaboration than a typical writer/artist project.
"We work with one another in how the things are formulated," she said.
Like Lockwood, seeing a book emerge from idea to paper to published copy was a thrill.
"There is nothing like standing in the post office and opening up the package and crying because it came out so much better than I could have imagined," she said.
Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St., will present an author event featuring Park City-based authors Katie Mullaly and Ylan Lockwood on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.dollysbookstore.com.
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