Michael "Hooley" Hughes was a member of the military, serving in the U.S. Navy. Now, he's a children's author. On today's show, he explains how he made the transition and talks about his books.
"After a great deal of encouragement from one of my college professors, I recently published my first rhyming children's picture book under the pen name of M.R. Hooley," explained Hughes. "Growing up a Dr. Seuss fan and reading often to my two sons as they grew, I began writing my own rhyming stories nearly 20 years ago. After having done so for a few years, I began submitting the stories to publishers. At one point, one of my early stories was nearly picked up by a division of Harper Collins publishing. At that point - I learned just how much is given up when going the traditional publishing route. The publisher may change your work and also matches you up with their own illustrator. It was then, and remains, my primary objective that all my stories retain the same look and that I maintain some sort of creative control of the series. With this in mind, I decided to seek out a self-publisher and began drawing my own sketches."
"Eventually, I found a self-publishing company in California. I took out a personal loan and paid them in advance to publish my book. After mailing me a proof of the completed book, the company stopped answering phone calls. Shortly thereafter, I was informed that they had declared bankruptcy. Devastated, I continued writing for pleasure, but gave up all hope of publication," said Hughes.
"Last year, a required English course at IUP led to me sharing my children's stories with my professor. This chance happening turned out providing me with just enough encouragement to do something with my stories. Now, having learned a great deal from my past mistakes, I am happy to announce the birth of Hooley Books and the release of my first children's picture book, Penelope Skunk Has Junk in Her Trunk! ," Hughes continued. "I jumped into this project on a wing and a prayer thanks to the encouragement I received from my professor - just the type of outside encouragement I needed. Now, I am counting on support from my community to help make it a success."
Michael has a new book that's set to his the market April 1st.
If you're interested in getting your kids "hooked on Hooley Books", check out Michael's work on his website!