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Sue the 'Mingo
"Sue The 'Mingo" was inspired by my daughter. When she was little, she couldn't pronounce "flamingo" . She loved the pink birds and called them 'mingos. Our whole family started calling them 'mingos and when the idea to write a children's book was hatched, it had to include a 'Mingo!
The Story of "Sue The 'Mingo"
as printed in Hug Magazine
by Scott Innes
Spring Edition 2017
When you think of Mardi Gras, you may not think of it as a children's holiday. It is a season of celebration! You can share the spirit of Mardi Gras with the kids in your life with "Sue The 'Mingo Goes To Mardi Gras". This is a colorful, rhyming story about a flamingo who uses her imagination to explore the colorful scenes of New Orleans during Mardi Gras season.
When i was thinking of writing this story (the second book in the "Sue The 'Mingo" series) I wanted it to have a local connection. What says "Louisiana" more than Mardi Gras! It is a colorful holiday that makes a fun subject for a kids book. The flamingo in our book (who was named Sue because it was easier to rhyme than Kristian) was inspired by my daughter and I wanted Sue to have the same “sassy” personality as her! She is ready to conquer the world and uses her imagination to vividly explore details she would see visiting New Orleans at this time of year.
The idea for "Sue The 'Mingo" was "hatched" several years ago. I had always wanted to write a children's book, and after the death of my father, I decided that life was to short to keep putting off things that I wanted to do. So with the encouragement of my wife, son Patrick and Kristian, I dove into the project.
I knew that the character had to be a 'mingo! When my daughter was little, she couldn't pronounce "flamingo". She loved the pink birds and called them 'mingos. Our whole family took to calling them 'mingos! This was the inspiration for "Sue The 'Mingo".
The books in this series are targeted to preschool and elementary school aged children. The story had to rhyme (I always liked Dr. Suess!) and it had to be fun to read out loud (my wife and I both believe in the importance of taking time to read to our children)
I wrote the first draft over a weekend and shared it with members of our family. They all liked it (did I mention they were family?). They all said that they really enjoyed it and it was worth pursuing. Of course, it needed pictures. I can't draw though! My sister suggested her brother-in-law (Kev Allen) who was an aspiring artist.
I sent him the text, and told him I wanted the character to look like a "sassy" six year old, oozing with personality. An hour later he sent a picture that all of us agreed was "Sue"!
Over the next few months I learned all that I could about the traditional world of book publishing and realized that I could be lost in an ocean of aspiring children's authors. Then I made the decision to publish the book myself (after all it was my dream, so I might as well chase it!). So my wife and I formed our own publishing company called Sue The Mingo & Company, teamed up with a local printer (American Printing) and published the books in Louisiana, USA!
We sell our books through local gift shops, grocery stores, boutiques, and independent book stores, and offer wholesale pricing to those places that are helping us spread the word about "Sue". It has been a lot of fun. The response from people has been great. It is really cool to think that kids and grown ups have connected with "Sue" and really enjoy the books! We've even been able to use them as fund raisers for schools and day care centers. It's been great to realize this dream and even greater to see it grow as a tool to help others.
I was selected as a featured author at the Louisiana Book Festival in October of this year, and a copy of the cover of "Sue The 'Mingo Goes To Mardi Gras" will hang in the lobby of the Louisiana State Library for the next year.
Both of our books, "Sue The 'Mingo Goes To Mardi Gras" and "Sue The 'Mingo" are available locally at Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs and at our website (www.suethemingo.com).
Each of the books are 32 page, large format paperbacks (8 1/2" X 11"), and are brightly illustrated. They sell for $7.99 each, and autographed copies are available. If you are interested in using "Sue The 'Mingo" books as a fundraiser, or would like to sell them in your store, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.