In 1999, I took a class at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, MA called "Children's Literature 102" and the final project for the class was to write, draw and create a children's picture book.
Since I was a jazz flutist, and had knowledge of that subject, I decided on doing a story based on my experience. Many years ago, I went to University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts, Lowell), I heard some jazz playing below in the lobby, and that is where I learned about jazz. At that time, the head of Woodwinds did not like the idea of me wanting to learn jazz, and so he enforced me to have classical lessons and jazz lessons, but before I could start even taking jazz lessons, I needed to audition for the
"Jazz Studies" program.
So, Journey to Jazzland is based on that story, but in a much more fun way. I got an A on the project and at that time, a lot of my friends encouraged me to get it published. In 2000, I sent the book to a friend of a roommate I had at that time, and the book got rejected. The publishing house was not in that same genre, but wished me luck with the book. I decided that it was not meant to be, so it sat on my shelf, only showing it to a few friends I could trust and then it was not until I met my husband (Richard "Phinn" Saulnier) and his family that really encouraged me to get this book published.
In 2012, I was networking for an event that my husband and I do here in MA (Renaissance Faires) and that is how I found Flying Turtle Publishing . I contacted their fan page on Facebook, and they asked if I could send them an e mail with the premise of the book (basically the synopsis) and then they wanted to see more. Once I signed a non-disclosure contract, my husband scanned
in the book (hand drawn crayon art and all) to them. It was on my birthday of 2012 that I got the email from The publisher that they wanted to publish my book.
The story is about a Flute, named Windy, who gets bored in Orchestra one day and plays some wrong notes. She meets some new friends along the way (all instruments) who then help her learn about jazz and music.
I am hoping that this book will inspire young children to learn more about music and to help bring a spark of music back to Elementary schools. I also wanted to bring Jazz back in to the fore front of children's minds. It is an American History we really should not forget about.