Catherine Pike Plough’s second book with SPARK Publications, Grandpa Lou and the Tale of the Not-So-Buried Treasure, shares a tale of discovery, generosity, and gratitude passed from grandfather to grandson. Thoughtful and imaginative readers will be inspired by the story of a young Louis, who happily shares pieces of his not-so-buried treasure with others. With each encounter, it becomes clear that everyone has their own idea of what makes a real treasure. As the tale unfolds, young Louis learns the deeper secret of not-so-buried treasure—that he, like his grandfather, is the keeper of a treasure that can ever be lost or taken away.
Illustrated with custom, black-and-white watercolors, the book won a 2020 Gold Davey Award for art illustration from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA).
We asked Catherine about her experience publishing her second book.
I knew from my previous experience with SPARK Publications that my work was in the best possible hands. I knew that there would be discussions about my vision for the finished book and that I would be challenged to think bigger. I also knew that every member of the team was knowledgeable, accessible, and committed to an optimal outcome. This gifted team has earned my trust and my heartfelt appreciation.
Is there a particular moment that SPARKed your interest in writing a book?
This is my second publishing experience with SPARK Publications, so I’m definitely a fan! My two books couldn’t be more different or have come about in more different ways. My first book, The Blu Phenomenon, is a novel inspired by our adoption of a son from Hong Kong and the love—and concern—I have for the people of Hong Kong. The story that morphed into Grandpa Lou and the Tale of the Not-So-Buried Treasure was born decades ago, before I had a family of my own. It was one I had shared with my husband-to-be, who—many times through the years—expressed his hope that it would emerge one day as a little book.
Now that your book is published, are there any goals or experiences you’re looking forward to?
There are a number of people who I am excited to gift with this book. My husband will certainly be first among them. Others are family members, particularly those who will read it together with their grandchildren. At the same time, I am excited to share this book with so many I do not know, but who celebrate grandparents and find something of themselves in this story. My hope is that there will be businesses and organizations that will want to share this little book with friends, employees, or clients, as thank yous and expressions of appreciation.
What surprises did you encounter on the road to writing and publishing the book?
The publishing industry is constantly changing—as is our world. It’s so important to work with people whose job it is to know what is changing and how it affects clients as they navigate the publishing process. The second part of this reality is that it is “virtually” impossible to connect with a human when you have questions anymore. (And there are always questions in this process!) The good news is the SPARK Publications team has been knowledgeable and responsive at every stage of this journey.
How did SPARK Publications help in championing and publishing your book?
Beyond the guidance I needed for publishing this little book, I cannot say enough about the encouragement I received for the story itself and its potential to be inspirational and uplifting to readers. It’s so easy to slip into thinking that what you have to offer is minimal. That’s why it is so important to have a publishing partner that finds value in your efforts and seeks to present what you have to say in its most elevated form.
What advice do you have for other authorpreneurs and aspiring writers?
Our stories matter—big or small. Look for people who understand the power of story and how best—and beautifully—to release it into the world. Working one-on-one with the visionary and supportive experts at SPARK Publications helped me do that—twice.
Tell us about your future plans—what’s next for you?
Now that I am officially in the empty nest season of life, I remain committed to volunteering on behalf of foster youth, to encouraging student writing for fun or for competition, and also using social media to highlight the ongoing fight for democracy in Hong Kong. Further, this latest book release gives me the opportunity to shine a light on the two million grandparents who have stepped into the role of primary caregivers to provide their “grands” with financial support and emotional stability.
Are you ready to publish your book? Learn more here.