Our featured artist today is talented children’s writer Tonia Allen Gould of Camarillo California.
Her latest book is Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore (Skies America Publishing, 2013) It tells the story of Sam, a small cartoon land and sea fiddler crab (complete with a fiddle and a bow) that finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. When he arrives at Corte Magore, Sam decides he wants to make this place his permanent home, but he realizes he will have to build himself a shelter from the rising tides that could take him and his fiddle and bow back out to sea. He must work diligently – and ignore mocking from hermit crabs and seagulls and beat the clock on his arch nemesis, The Great Tidal Wave – if he wants to stay.
Gould’s daughter, now a sophomore in college, was just two years old when she inspired Sam’s story. “We were taking a drive to Santa Barbara and talking about our beach day ahead, when I heard her babbling what sounded like, ‘Corte Magore, Corte Magore, Corte Magore,’ over and over again,” Gould says. “My family knows that publishing this story has been a dream since that day. I want kids to believe, mine especially, that it’s important to dream and that almost anything is possible if you’re willing to do the work.”
As a mother, Gould knew Sam’s story would have to be unique and interactive to capture the attention of today’s children, so she decided to publish the book as an iPad app with original animation, an engaging voiceover, and upbeat Americana music. As a marketing expert, Gould was determined to assemble a powerhouse team to create a book that both children and parents would enjoy. Sam’s story is partially illustrated by “Mr. Lawrence,” an original illustrator of SpongeBob SquarePants; the musical score was written and produced by up-and-coming Nashville musician Robby Armstrong; and the book is narrated by radio personality Steve McCoy, a two-time Marconi Award Nominee.
“I wanted Sam’s story to be an engaging and interactive process,” Gould explains. “Unfortunately, you can’t include animations, voice, and music in a conventional book. But producing the book as an iPad App allowed us to create a whole new world for little ones to enjoy.”
The short, colorful eBook (available through the iTunes store for $4.99) explores several important themes for young readers, including:
- The concept of “building a home”
- Hard work and self-reliance
- Daring to dream of a better life
- Overcoming adversity
- Dealing with bullies and naysayers
“I want this story to help parents start a conversation about hard work, dedication, and independence,” Gould adds. “Sam does everything himself in this book, and he doesn’t ask for help. I want children to understand that life isn’t always peaches and cream, but if you’re willing to put your nose to the grindstone and ignore bullies and naysayers, in the end, everything usually works out okay.”
In addition to her writing, Tonia is a wife, mother, author, marketing expert, and sought after speaker. She is the founder and CEO of Tagsource, formerly Tag! The Creative Source, an award-winning eighteen-year-old consumer promotions and marketing agency, and BRANDHUDDLE, a new marketing startup that caters to clients, suppliers, and distributors of promotional branding products.
Learn more about Tonia by visiting her website at www.toniaallengould.com and follow her on Twitter @ToniaAllenGould