“Food, family, and friends spark curiosity in Molly and she uses a magic suitcase to answer the questions she has. In this first book, Molly wonders how Italians eat spaghetti, so she and her brother Michael take her suitcase to Rome,” explains Chris Oler, who wrote and co-created the book series. “Honestly, we have to credit our daughter Molly. She crawled into my suitcase as we prepared for a trip and gave us a look as if she expected something to happen.”
Amy and Chris had the backgrounds to make the book happen. Both graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Amy majored in Studio Art and U. S. History and continued her training in New York City, where she worked for Marvel Comics, The New Yorker, and Entertainment Weekly. In her spare time, she continued to draw, “I love drawing characters, particularly their facial expressions. My parents say they would recognize them anywhere. I’ve been drawing this style of character since I was ten.” Amy grew up in Columbus, Indiana.
Amy grew up with a sketch pad by her side and Chris’s writing developed early as well. “I remember strong feedback as far back as seventh grade, mostly for history. Regardless of what you write, you need to hear it in your mind as if you’re someone else, even a five-year-old. If you do that, it’s easy to know when you get it right.” Chris, a native of Richmond, Indiana, worked as an editor for a division of Kaplan in Chicago and later taught English at the International School of Indiana.
“There are many parts of our life that seemed to bring us to this point. Creating the Molly series seemed like a natural step,” Amy says. “All our past experiences came together for this project. Our work enabled us to create a story we’re excited to share.”
Amy and Chris’s company, COLOR Marketing & Design, handles promotion of the book. Chris says, “It’s the best of two worlds because it’s our book and we have the tools to market it, including developing http://www.mollyandthemagicsuitcase.com on our own.” Both agree working as a team has been a positive experience. “Amy makes my work go faster. She has a good ear for words, so we saved time that would have otherwise been spent doing rewrites.”
Two more Molly adventures are planned for 2013