Rudy is ready for more children’s books
The Rudy universe Park City-resident Corinne Humphrey has created continues to expand. She has written and illustrated four children’s books, including a bilingual version, that star her Furburbia-rescued dog, Rudy. Now, Corinne is working on a series of travel guides for kids, called "Roaming with Rudy," that will start with Paris.
Humphrey works as a flight attendant, so traveling in order to do research for the books isn’t a problem. And she is even able to do research on the plane, while chatting with her passengers.
"I’ve interviewed kids and teachers and librarians and editors and parents," she says. "I have a captive audience."
She focuses mainly on the kids, asking them what they liked about the place they visited and what they didn’t. Did they go to any museums? Did they like the food?
Humphrey’s target audience for the travel series is 2nd to 4th graders, so those are her most-valued interviewees.
"Roaming with Rudy, Paris!" will incorporate photos ("I used to do photography for Lonely Planet publishing," she says. "I used to plan my layovers according to what they needed."), illustrations, text, "fun facts," and activity pages.
PC CAPS gets involved
The "Roaming With Rudy" project was recently adopted by the PC CAPS program, Humphrey says, in order to collaborate on the book’s layout as well as a website for the new travel series.
"I’m working with [Park City High School students] Cara Christensen and Max Hughes and their mentor is Michelle Rayner from Cosmic Design," she said.
"They’re helping me do a dedicated website for ‘Roaming with Rudy,’ because I want it to become like a travel club for kids. There will be a flat Rudy in the back of the book that they can tear out and take with them on vacation and take pictures with — like ‘Flat Stanley’ — and share their pictures of their vacations with other kids."
The Rudy world came into being when Humphrey took a break from flying (as an attendant) in 2005 because she "wanted to do something a little more creative and meaningful," she told The Park Record. First, she found her muse, Rudy, who had been in and out of adoption centers for years. The Furburbia staff swore Rudy would be a good dog if given a chance, so Corinne did and they soon hit it off.
Next, she found a creative outlet.
"I started taking a painting class and went to a gallery stroll one night and was really inspired by this Canadian artist who had a show called ‘Beaks and Muzzles,’ and all she painted were birds and dogs. And so I went back to my little painting class, changed my landscape to a painting with Rudy, and it sold that year at the Kimball Arts Festival gala. And I got a lot of encouragement and support from friends so I just kept painting Rudy and then I turned it into the first picture book, ‘The Tao of Rudy,’" which Humphrey self-published.
The book won several awards and Humphrey then got Chronicle Books to publish the follow-up, "Shoot for the Moon, Lessons of Life from a Dog Named Rudy." The third book, "Wake Up to Love, Lessons on Friendship from a Dog Named Rudy," was published by Lucky Penny Press, an e-book publishing company founded by Park City-resident Melissa Marsted – they created versions in English, Spanish, French, Italian and German, the book won awards, and Humphrey is now self-publishing a hardcover version.
Crowdfunding the new book
For "Roaming With Rudy, Paris!" Humphrey is taking yet another publishing route — self-publishing with a boost from whoever will help out via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.
The goal is $8,950 to cover the costs of printing. The Kickstarter campaign ends Tuesday, Oct. 7.
"I’ve had good responses from publishers," Humphrey said, "but I really want to publish it myself because I was trying to do it while Rudy was still alive."
"He’s about 11," she says. "He had some emergency surgery this summer but he’s bounced back from that."
Publishers aren’t generally in a rush, she says. "Even if they accepted it tomorrow it would probably be two years at least before it would come out."
As of Friday morning, the Kickstarter project had only yielded $1,162, so Humphrey has a ways to go. "Even if I don’t make my goal I will go ahead with it, it just might take a little longer to raise the money to pay for the printing," she says.
"I’m really excited to get kids involved with travel and learning about other cultures and learning about other places."
For more information about Parkite Corinne Humphrey’s new travel series for kids, or to help get the book published, go to Kickstarter.com and search for "Roaming With Rudy."
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