Pickell celebrates completion of first kids’ book

Pickell is celebrating with a book launch party Sunday, Dec. 14 from 7:30-9 p.m. at 49th Café.

This summer, Ladysmith’s Colin Pickell realized just how much support he has in the community when he launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to release his first children’s book.

And now that the book has been printed, he’s ready to celebrate with everyone in Ladysmith.

Pickell, who manages the 49th Café, is just days away from receiving the physical copies of his hardcover book Who Will Tuck Me Into Bed?, which features illustrations by Amanda Key, a recent graduate of the Vancouver Island University graphic design program. The book, which started seven years ago as an idea Pickell had while he was putting his son to bed, was completed after Pickell surpassed his goal of raising $7,000 through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter in early July. Who Will Tuck Me Into Bed? is being sold as an e-book and as a hardcover book.

Pickell is celebrating with a book launch party Sunday, Dec. 14 from 7:30-9 p.m. at 49th Café.

“For me, because my Kickstarter campaign was so public and I was asking people for their support, I really wanted people to come together both to see the finished product, and to thank them for their support,” he said. “It will be casual, just drop-in, and there will be coffee, tea and snacks. Amanda is going to be there, and we will be signing books.”

Pickell will be able to hand-deliver the Kickstarter rewards to his supporters at the book launch, and everybody is welcome.

“The Kickstarter campaign made me realize the kind of support I have in this community, and it will be neat to hand out the Kickstarter rewards in person,” he said.

Earlier that day, Pickell will be reading Who Will Tuck Me Into Bed? at Aggie Hall as part of a storytelling matinee party for children hosted by Ladysmith Family and Friends (LaFF) from 2-3:30 p.m.

The idea for Who Will Tuck Me Into Bed? came to Pickell about seven years ago, when his oldest son was a baby. One night, when he was snuggling him and singing him a lullaby, an image came to him that made him laugh — what if he were an opera singer, and he didn’t know how to soothe his son to sleep because all he could do was belt out operas? From there, Pickell created a family of characters, and he wrote the book off and on for many years, making a conscious effort to write the book about two and a half years ago.

Pickell says the moment when his Kickstarter campaign reached its funding goal was amazing.

“I think of myself as a positive person, but I honestly did not know if I was going to make it or not, but there was this incredible push in the last few days,” he said. “There was this incredible relief and celebration and knowing we were going to be able to go ahead with the project. It kind of surprised me somewhat that an idea I had come up with one day had grown to this and I was able to raise the funds. It was really an incredible feeling.”

Once the Kickstarter campaign was successful, Pickell and Key were able to map out a plan for the rest of the book, and they started making a task list.

In late September, Pickell and Key started meeting, and Key would send him drafts of her illustrations.

“It was pretty cool — I would show my boys, and they would see something that didn’t make sense to them,” said Pickell.

Key sent Pickell the final proofs on Oct. 31, and after going back and forth for a few days, they had the book to the printers, a company called PrintNinja, on Nov. 5 so they could guarantee a delivery of Dec. 7 in time for Christmas.

The book is currently on sale as a pre-order on the website www.tuckmeintobed.com as a hardcover book and as an e-book.

Pickell hopes to have physical copies for sale locally at Salamander Books before Christmas, and books will be sold at 49th Café after Dec. 14.