I first conceived this book as a young man in my twenties and the initial poem and cadence came to me in one fell swoop. It was nearly instantaneous and I could barely get pen to paper fast enough. It reminded me somewhat of the Casper the Ghost character I used to watch on television as a child. For those old enough to recall, he was a ghost who didn’t like to scare people. I loved Casper and wanted to be his friend even though it seemed no one else did. Of course, we all share similar feelings like that from time to time and maybe will experience some measure of it throughout our lives. It’s the idea of wanting to be loved and accepted but it’s also the idea of feeling empathy and compassion for others who appear lonely. My hope and intention with this book is to inspire children to feel that love and empathy for Seaweed and in so doing, become comfortable with expressing friendship and kindness in an outward, giving fashion. But it also serves in another way. For those children who may feel like Seaweed feels, it is my hope that like the sea monster ultimately concludes, there is hope and promise before us and one can remain true to oneself and trust that genuine friendships will form and arrive alongside of us during our journey through life.
I submitted Seaweed to many major publishers and received wonderful, interested responses that expressed strong encouragement about the book but inevitably declined to publish it. Not being an illustrator myself, I sat on this book for many years. Recently, I reached out to my long-time friend and graphic artist provider in so many other projects I’ve done – Jason Hendrickson – and we explored ways to properly depict our featured character and his underwater world in ways best for our young audience and their parents. We’ve now finished the work and now this hopeful story is available as written by me and illustrated by Jason. May it bring you and your children much laughter, joy and sweetness of heart.