Local author Dianne Young recently partnered up with Pickles comic creator Brian Crane to create a children’s book called “Grampa, will you tell me a story?”. The idea for the collaboration came from a book idea that Young had written years prior. Initially, the plot revolved around a narrator talking to the reader. After submitting the story to multiple publishers and receiving positive feedback but no takers, Young decided to rewrite her story. “When I rewrote it, I did it as a grandfather telling a story to his grandson. Once I was finished and read through it, I couldn’t help but see a resemblance to Earl and Nelson from the Pickles cartoon,” Young explained.
Not thinking about it much further, Young continued on with life; however she couldn’t shake the thought. Deciding to take a leap of faith, Young reached out to the Pickles creator via Facebook. “I sent him a message and asked if he had ever considered doing a children’s book. I wasn’t expecting a response, so when he replied asking me to email him a copy, I assumed it was just standard procedure and didn’t think anything would come of it.” Young got the surprise of her life when Crane responded stating that he enjoyed the story and wanted to show it to his publisher. From there, while on vacation, Young received a call from the publisher stating that they were interested and would like to go ahead with the book. “I didn’t really expect it to happen, but now that it is, it is even better than I anticipated. I say to myself often, ‘what’s the worst that is going to happen’, no one is going to get hurt and if they say no, then I am no further behind than I was before. Sometimes they will actually say yes, but if you don’t try, then you will never know,” Young stated.
Although Young admits she may be biased when it comes to the book, she is excited to see if others love it as much as she does. Seeing her story alongside Crane’s creative illustrations was a dream come true for the Martensville resident. “There are a lot of ‘Pickles’ fans out there and it has been such a great collaboration. I am just thrilled to be a part of this and I really hope that others are as excited as I am.” Including ‘Grampa, will you tell me a story’, Young has printed a total of seven books and has other ideas already in the works.
At times, Young noted, it can be difficult to find the time to work on her writing and it can often feel frustrating; however, the passion will always be there. “Sometimes I think I am a glutton for punishment to stick with it, but I just enjoy writing, so it is nice when I can share that with others. Sometimes, you just need inspiration to sit down and focus on the things you love.” For Young, that inspiration is a writing group that she belongs to. “Often after we meet, it inspires me to get back to it every day and doing a little bit each day really adds up!”
The collaboration for ‘Grampa, will you tell me a story’ took place a year ago and the fateful day finally arrived on Friday, October 19th when the book was officially launched. In light of this, the Martensville Library will be hosting both Dianne Young and Brian Crane for a book presentation on November 1st at 10am in Room 10 of the Civic Centre. Later that same night, there will be an official launch taking place at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon.