Parkite’s debut children’s book, ‘The Rarie,’ is a lot of pun
Park City resident Arthur Lee Quinn has added a new chapter in his life.
After practicing law for 40 years in Washington, D.C., and spending 10 years as an international business consultant, Quinn can now call himself a children’s book author.
His debut, “The Rarie,” is now available at amazon, and Quinn couldn’t be happier.
“It’s wonderful,” said Quinn, who lives in Silver Springs. “It’s the realization of a dream, and it’s made me really happy.”
The story is based on an old Irish pun inspired by the title of the song, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary,” which was first recorded in 1914 by Irish tenor John McCormack.
Quinn added his own flair to tell the story of a family who is dealing with a furry mythical creature called a Rarie.
“I wrote stories after I concluded my law practice, and tried writing plots for motion picture treatments, but that went nowhere,” he said. “For some reason, I thought about stories I (used to) tell my six children.”
While remembering those stories, Quinn remembered the joke about the song he heard in the 1950s while attending Georgetown University Law School.
“So, I embellished that, and made it into a children’s story,” he said. “I wrote it up in 2004 and read it to my children and smaller children and they thought it was funny.”
After he wasn’t able to find a publisher, Quinn put the story on the backburner until he moved to Park City a year and a half ago to live with his daughter shortly after his wife Sharon passed away.
After Quinn talked with his daughter about the stories, she referred him to local children’s book author Katie Mullaly, who is known for her “Land Of” series.
“I sing her praises,” Quinn said. “She’s a local treasure as far as I’m concerned.”
Mullaly met with Quinn and, together, they went over his stories.
“We got along just fine, and she thought ‘The Rarie’ would be the first,” he said.
Mullaly designed the book and put Quinn in touch with artist Colby Green, who cites Toby Allen, illustrator of Mullay’s “Land Of” books, among others as an influence.
“He would show us drafts and we would make suggestions,” Quinn said. “I think he did an incredible job, and what he did was so fitting for the story itself. And he captured what was intended by the book extraordinarily well.”
Quinn’s sister-in-law, a librarian in Maryland, cataloged the book to make it available to libraries.
“What makes it different from the average children’s story is it can be enjoyed by the children in the target age, say, 6-10, but parents and the adult readers, too, get a kick out of it,” Quinn said.
Quinn premiered the book locally during a series of readings at Parley’s Park Elementary School.
“I have two granddaughters who attend second and fourth grade, and my daughter is a teacher’s aide there,” he said. “We ordered a large quantity of books, and wrote little encouraging messages in the books.”
During the presentations, Quinn read the book and held a discussion with the students.
“They would ask me about the book and I went back and explained the joke to them,” he said.
A few days later, Quinn received handwritten letters and drawings thanking him for coming to the school.
“This is what made it all worthwhile,” he said.
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Reverend Charles Robinson will give his last sermon at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Sunday after leading the congregation for 17 years.