When Mary Scattergood was a little girl, her grandmother told her stories about the fairies that lived in their beautiful garden. The stories came alive when Mary’s own granddaughter was born several years ago. Mary is an artist well known for her original primitive style paintings. She had painted a set of beautiful watercolours featuring whimsical fairies and written the text for a children’s book.

There are Fairies at the Bottom of Our GardenI met Mary two years ago when she was thinking about publishing her book and we decided to work together. Initially I provided Mary with a manuscript evaluation of the book, and then did some editing to make her words sing and flow. I provided her with some suggestions for size and format and also some marketing ideas and practical ways to reach her readers.

Collaborating with an experienced and professional book designer was also a critical part of the process. The designer worked with Mary on layout, what fonts would work best, colour and wash choices, even paper choices — all while ensuring her illustrations shone from the pages.

In spring of 2014, There are Fairies at the Bottom of Our Garden was born. Mary was thrilled as were her family and friends. Her daughter Shelagh, an invaluable member of the team, went to work helping Mary promote her book, both in person and online, and two or three retail stores championed the book hosting signings and displaying it with care in their stores. Experienced booksellers were thrilled to have a book of such production quality in their stores. It was beautiful and everyone responded with enthusiasm and eagerly bought copies for themselves and for gifts. And soon, Mary had some young fans who followed the book’s page on Facebook and helped to spread the word about the fairies.

This year, Mary published her second book, Mary and the Fairies. And she is at work on her next book.

Will there be more fairies? We will see, she says.

Visit therearefairies.ca to learn more and to order copies of the books. You can also buy books at several stores. If you are in the Orangeville area, drop into Sproule’s Emporium, in Winnipeg, McNally Robinson Booksellers and in Toronto, Mabel’s Fables.