EAST PEORIA — Inspiration paid a visit to author Ruth H. Underhill in the form of a children’s book that sprang from what she calls her dream job.
She was a Grandma Nanny to a little girl named Kay and her sister for 23 years.
“Kay was the younger one. She carried this little stuffed bunny named Edward everywhere, except school. She would sit him on the table when she came down for breakfast. When it was over, Kay would grab an ear and away she’d go,” Underhill said.
One day, on the morning commute, Underhill told her, “When you get home from school, I’ll have a little story for you.”
After dropping Kay off, she had to make a stop at the Buick place in Peoria to get her car serviced. While Underhill waited, she kept her promise and wrote “Edward’s Many Questions.”
When asked how she captures her ideas, Underhill said “Thoughts are fleeting. You have to put them down when they come to you, or they fly away.”
She added that she once had an idea for a poem, but the only thing nearby was a paper towel, so that is where she captured the idea. She has a stack of spiral notebooks from long ago, but now she enjoys the ease of the computer.
Underhill finished the book in February, 21 years after its conception, because she wanted to complete her bucket list. When Underhill told Kay, she had gotten the book published, the girl, now fully grown, said, “Oh good. I’ll tell Edward.”
She said she doesn’t really have anything else on her bucket list, except maybe a book of poems she has started gathering. Underhill has been writing poetry, short stories and articles, which have been published for over 50 years.
“I love words. Don’t give me numbers. I’m no mathematician, but I love words,” Underhill said.
There will be some local book signings in the near future. She is scheduled to be one of the authors at the Morton Library for Author’s Day on Oct. 8.
Edward’s Many Questions can be ordered online at https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore or by calling 1-405-310-1527. It is also available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. It will be available in hardback in early October.
The press release states: “As in all of her published works, “Edward’s Many Questions” is a delightful work that can be enjoyed by all. Underhill, who was born and raised in the small city of Washington, Illinois, now resides in East Peoria, Illinois.”