Amelia Hamilton, a communications consultant and writer in Colorado, recently announced a new venture of hers: her very first children's book publication, One Nation Under God: A Book For Little Patriots.
Between her constant travels and managing her small business, it's hard to keep up with her, but we were able to ask a few questions about the book, her experiences as a self-publisher, and how she's linked Frank Capra to the project.
So, for those who aren't familiar, what is the purpose of the book? How is it structured, and what kind of lessons are you sending to its "little patriot" readers?
It is a teaching tool to help kids learn the fundamentals of America. So, it goes from one nation under God through ten amendments in the Bill of Rights. It's a counting book, but it covers government structure, history--a little bit of everything. It's meant for ages 5-8; the counting aspect is for younger children, but they might not really understand the concepts until they're a little older. Still, good to familiarize them with it early!
What brought about the decision to make a book specifically catering to conservative parents?
It's not really conservative; it's more patriotic. It's all factual things--I guess "one nation under God" is considered religious--but aside from that, things like 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights are pretty straightforward, information for kids.
I wrote it for my friend's little boy when he turned three, and he's like a nephew to me. So we were learning how to count, and I just wasn't crazy about any of his books. I mean, they were fine, but I felt like he could be counting better things, so I wrote him a book for his birthday. Originally, I didn't think about publishing it at all, but I shared it with a few friends to read to their kids and it was so well received that I realized parents are really looking of books like this. And I'm passionate about helping as many kids as possible learn about our country, so that's how it came to be.
How do you feel about the lessons and values that kids are receiving from most modern children's books?
I feel like many are lacking something. One of the first books I bought the same little guy, it was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
--which, I don't know if you're familiar with that story, but it's how, if you give somebody something, they're just gonna expect something more. So I feel like, even with some of the books that have good messages, the parents still need to extrapolate on what's being said, and the books aren't making kids ask more questions or want to learn more as well as they could be.
Do you think that in contrast, your book is encouraging the child to interact with their parents about what they've read?
Yes, I hope that it stimulates an interest in the children to learn more, because I feel like having well-informed children is the best chance we've got.
What kind of feedback have you been receiving from those who have already seen the book so far?
So far, people love it. I was worried that people might think it's conservative, but they're really not. Even people who may not see eye-to-eye with me on politics are just seeing it as a pretty straightforward, patriotic book. Since it is "One Nation Under God," people of faith are liking Number One. It's being pretty well received so far; of course, not that many people have seen it yet, so we'll see what happens.
Who did the illustrations for the book, and how did you get them involved?
A man named Anthony Resto
did the illustrations; he is incredible. I actually just found him on Craigslist; I thought it would just be a place to start and get some leads. I didn't really expect anything to happen from that, but he answered the ad and was perfect.
I see there's going to be a book tour come September when it's released. How extensive are the plans for that tour?
That is still sort of being decided. In the next year or so, I hope to cover quite a bit of America. And so far, my Twitter friends and others are pulling together and helping me get into their local bookstores--things like that. So, pretty much whoever will have me, I will do my best to go wherever I'm invited.
And so, it's being self-published their your Hamilton Oddbody company. What kind of methods are you using to get the book out to different stores?
Yes, my mom and I are the "Hamilton" part of it, and "Oddbody" is Clarence Oddbody from It's a Wonderful Life
. So, we're doing it with our guardian angel. [laughs] So far, building a market has just been through our network of personal contacts, and it's coming together amazingly. People really seem to believe in the book, and they're willing to go to their local bookstores and put in a word for us, and it's being really well received. We don't have plans for a digital copy through Kindle or Nook right now, but that's definitely something we are considering.
You can pre-order Amelia's book at her website and "Like" its Facebook page here. You can also follow Amelia on Twitter, @gadsdenista.
This article was originally published at the Landmark Report.