I don’t typically have children’s books on my blog, but since it’s almost Christmas and I am the Book “Mama” I thought it would be a fun change. Not to mention, the author donates all proceeds from the book to benefit children battling cancer.
In The Legend of Ranger, Alan Salisbury's words and Roberta Baird's whimsical artwork create the magic of the Christmas season with the tale of a young reindeer named Ranger who has a big dream--to be part of the reindeer team that pulls Santa's big sleigh. Ranger searches all over Santaland for someone who can teach him the secret of flying, but everyone he asks, including the oldest and wisest elves, Mrs. Claus, and even his brother Rudolph, gives him the same advice: ''The secret lies within.'' Determined to fulfill his dream, Ranger must figure out the secret for himself. An emergency trip to Krystalwite to help the sick reindeer at the North Pole offers Ranger the opportunity to play a part in saving Christmas and, along the way, learn what it is that lies within. The Legend of Ranger contains a heartening and inspirational message about the power of believing in yourself no matter what challenges lie ahead.
Q&A With the Author
When did you know that you wanted to become an author?
I've done a fair amount of writing in the past, all of it technical or management oriented. Outside of that, I had written a few songs for glee club performance, but nothing else. I never really thought about fiction of any kind until an idea for a Christmas story began percolating in my mind several years ago. Each holiday season I'd think about it and then get caught up in other things. Finally in 2011 I promised myself I would take a crack at it and sat down at the keyboard. I had the general idea in mind, but not what I considered an interesting plot that would hold children's attention. The final ingredients came to me during a few long walks.....my muse was at work....and I completed the first draft. I sat down with family and grandchildren and read it aloud to them. It worked, and they encouraged me to try to get it published.
What made you not only decide to write a children’s book, but a Christmas themed book?
I think I answered that above.
From a mother who lost a child to cancer, I love that you are donating the proceeds of this book to a children’s cancer charity. What made you decide to do this?
My family and I have had a very close friendship with the family of one of my West Point classmates. Our kids grew up together and we spent many summer vacations sharing a house at the beach. Antonia Giallourakis and my wife, Florence, were extremely close friends. Antonia was an art teacher in the local (Shrewsbury, NJ) school system. When she, herself, was stricken with Cancer, she developed an innovative and effective art therapy program for kids with cancer. After she lost her own battle with the disease, her family started a foundation to carry on her work. This past year, they folded their foundation into Mass General Hospital for Children by establishing an art therapy endowment in Antonia's name. So I put the book project together with our desire to contribute to her endowment....a perfect opportunity to match my creative interests and philanthropic interests.
What is next for you? Can we expect another book in the future? If so, will it be another children’s book?
I have a second book in the outline stage now. It's also a children's book of sorts, but aimed more at the middle school age range. And this may also have some adult appeal from a satirical perspective. I won't say more about it just yet. However, I do have a couple of ideas for a follow-on Ranger book which may mature first. As an aside, I have been developing a new board game with a totally different theme as well. Here, too, Ranger has intervened and I have a Ranger game completely outlined which may be on the horizon for 2014. I can't completely predict which direction my muse will take me in fulfilling these projects. But I can assure you that any and all of these will be to benefit a selected charity. All things Ranger will go towards Antonia's endowment. I have other charities in mind for the other projects.
“My message is if you believe in yourself, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish,” says Dr. Alan Salisbury. And Salisbury’s is indeed proof of the limitless possibilities of positive thinking. From an illustrious 30-year military career, in which he pioneered the use of computers on the battlefield and earned the rank of Major General, to a highly successful 12-year tenure in executive roles in the field of IT, to a full schedule as an independent consultant, Salisbury’s life has been defined by the axiom that self-belief equals achievement.
When a few business ventures yielded a windfall of good fortune, Salisbury decided to direct his profits to the best investment of all: Giving back. Inspired by his military career, he founded the Code of Support Foundation dedicated to supporting troops, veterans and military families and motivating Americans to serve in their own way to keep the nation strong. On another level, capitalizing on his own creative interests, he established Opus One Studios as a uniquely structured venture to benefit some of his favorite charities.
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