What started as a simple creative writing assignment turned into something much more substantial for Mt. Enterprise ISD student Molly Frazer.
Frazer, an eighth-grade MEISD student, got the surprise of a lifetime as she sat before her English class reading the short story she’d been assigned to write. With her focus solely on presenting her narrative to her classmates, she never noticed the extra body in the room as her mother snuck in with a very special book in hand.
Interrupting her mid-sentence, Frazer’s mother, Amy Blackwell, presented the eighth-grader with an illustrated and bound copy of her story, Leo the Lying Lion, and a plush figure of her story’s main character Leo.
A life-long writer of imaginative stories, Frazer filled her days during COVID-19 lockdown with similes and plot twists as story after story unfolded themselves onto the blue lines of her ever-present notebooks. After remote schooling ended and Frazer was able to attend face-to-face classes again, her English teacher, Amy Gillespie, noted the dramatic improvement in her already imaginative creative writing assignments.
After her initial reading of Leo the Lying Lion, Gillespie gushed to Blackwell that the story was worthy of publication.
Blackwell, having published a book of her own, The Testimony I Never Wanted, went to work immediately.
“I’ve written my own book,” said Blackwell, “But when it came to a children’s book I was clueless because I did not have one clue about illustration or children’s book design.”
Venturing into a new genre of publishing, Blackwell reached out on social media for guidance. Through her vast online network, Blackwell was directed to artist Mallory Maxwell, who quickly got to work bringing Leo to life, when presented with the opportunity.
“It’s crazy how God works,” she said. “I went on Facebook and someone sent me her name. So it just all kind of fell together and I couldn’t be more pleased.”
“When my mom first surprised me with my printed book, I was shocked,” said Frazer. “After the few seconds of shock wore off, looking at my published book was exhilarating. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is really happening. I can’t believe this! This is amazing!’ I remember feeling so happy and felt like I was floating on air.”
Despite a few early hiccups in the publication process, Frazer’s first published work is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.