On April 2nd, we celebrate National Children’s Book Day! Valley author Rebecca Massey is celebrating along with her grandson, the inspiration for her successful book series.
As we all know, sometimes the inspiration you’re looking for is right under your nose.. or in Massey’s case, right in the back seat of your car.
That’s where her grandson Colton would sit on long car rides.
“He was always asking ‘are we there yet? How much longer?” says Massey.
She knew she had to find a way to keep him entertained so one day she said “Hey, Colton, let’s make up a story.”
Massey and Colton came up with a story about a little dragon named Kolta who followed them everywhere they went. Before long, Colton and Kolta had a group of dragons, dinosaurs and even Bigfoot who would join them on their many adventures.
“He would say, ‘Grandpa, Grandma, look over there! Do you see me riding on Kolta’s back with my animals following,” says Massey. “’Of course we see them!’ we would say with a quiet chuckle.”
Eventually, Colton grew up and the stories ended, but Massey, a Gilbert resident, still held on to them and that’s where her series, Colton’s Pocket Dragon, started.
“Staring at a blank yellow legal pad was frightening,” she says. “I was no writer and didn’t have a clue where or how to begin.”
Eventually the ideas flowed and one book turned into two series with 12 books published and two more on the way later this year. She credits her husband for always encouraging her to keep pursuing her ideas for each book.
Massey mostly draws inspiration from those stories she and Colton made up years ago. Other stories draw inspiration from real life events and people, like Heaven, the sixth book in the series, which was inspired by the real life passing of Rebecca’s father.
The second series, Colton’s Time Machine, offers a fun way for kids to learn about important moments in US history. In each book, Colton and his dragons travel back in time to meet important people like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and The Wright Brothers.
For Massey, the books have become a way to create a keepsake of those stories she cherished so much and the headstrong little boy who was always at her side.
“Even though Colton is 18 now, we do sit and reminisce about years past and the stories we made up,” says Massey.
And how does he feel about being the star of his grandmother’s books?
“Colton does read each story and is amazed with the adventures that Kolta and Colton go on.” Massey said. “’Keep it up, Grandma!’ he says, hugging me.”
Written by: Rebecca Massey, Author
Rebecca Massey is the author of the Colton’s Pocket Dragon and Colton’s Time Machine book series. The books are inspired by stories she used to make up with her grandson to keep him entertained in the car. They also encourage reading and imagination.