Author Barbara Hayes of Lake Nona Florida recently published her first children’s book Meet Quincy Quahog of Chappaquiddick, inspired by her love of and time spent in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts for over 50 years.
The story follows Quincy Quahog, a large clam, through his adventures in self discovery and adventure, as he realizes his individual place among his friends and in Martha’s Vineyard.
Barbara is no stranger to the publishing and print world. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Queens, New York, moved to New Jersey, and then to Florida in 1999.
While in New York, she worked for a publishing company in one of the biggest metropolitan hubs for writing, New York City, and has spent most of her life in the fast paced world of print and marketing. Barbara is an award winning marketing communications executive who has worked in television, consumer electronics, and the publishing industry.
“When you want to work in marketing, you’d better know how to write” says Barbara on the early days of her career in the industry.
She moved to Florida with her late husband and fell in love with the Lake Nona area because of it’s diversity, growing industry, and the balance it maintains between a full metropolitan city and a rural area.
Though Barbara’s always been creative, the idea to write a children’s book was not always something she’d imagined herself doing. After working in creative marketing, advertising, and publishing for so long, and enjoying summertime in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, where she has been going for over fifty years, the idea came to her to write a children’s book that incorporated the ideas of adventure and fun that epitomized her time spent on Martha’s Vineyard. That afternoon, she wrote the entirety of the book on her porch, and soon after hired an ex-Disney animator to help bring her words to life.
The most challenging part of the process, according to Barbara, were learning when to “let the book go” and cease in the editing process. As a perfectionist, she was determined to make sure that the book was all that it could be when it was sent off to be printed, and it is hard to know when enough was enough. Yet, it was all worth it the moment the first shipment of books arrived on her doorstep and she was finally able to see her work in it’s entirety, illustrations and all.
“It’s a total sense of accomplishment.”
Barbara quotes the process of the book coming together to both her passion for encouraging young people to read and develop a love for reading, as well as her passion for libraries and the “thrill of going to a library and finding a book on the shelf to open.”
“There’s something so special about that.” says Barbara. “Reading is a dying art.”
Barbara hopes that children and families who read Meet Quincy Quahog of Chappaquiddick and it’s future sequels, will develop a love for reading and create special memories while reading the book.
“I want them to finish the book and ask their parents to read it to them again” says Barbara. “I just want them to love reading.”
Barbara is planning on continuing to tell Quincy’s story in future installments of the book and with the use of digital content, help create lesson plans and kids activities related to Martha’s Vineyard and the state of Massachusetts.
November 7th at 5:00pm, Barbara is having a reading of Meet Quincy Quahog of Chappaquiddick at the Eagle Creek Recreation Center. Parents and children are welcome to attend and hear Barbara herself read Quincy’s story.
You can find more information on Barbara, the Quincy Quahog series, lessons plans for teachers, news and updates for the future of the Quincy Quahog series and other fun links for kids at www.barbarahayesbooks.com.