It is difficult to separate “The Dream” from “The Books,” as the book called “Puddleby” sprang from the real life experiences of Miss Thea while she was fulfilling a dream. But since you ask, let us tell you the whole story.
But first to clarify, there are two books by Thea Wilcox:
Puddleby, a chapter book for readers age 8-12 and Brotherly Bliss, a picture book perfect for ages 0-3.
Now, back to the story of how the first book, Puddleby, came to be.
Long, long ago, Miss Thea made a promise to give back to a special group of people, especially to children, who were in the throes of chronic illness.
Her promise sprung from her own personal experiences with a chronically ill child and a secret little pact she made with God – one that stated she would return to these hospital corridors if this child, dear to her, survived the maladies of illness. The child indeed did survive, but the promise was swept under the demands of life. That was, until Miss Thea found a very special pony as she neared retirement.
Miss Thea originally intended for the special pony she found to become an investment. She had anticipated training him to be a pony hunter, and for him, with his incredible beauty and presence, to capture the heart of a small child and bring a big price tag.
Today Miss Thea laughs at the turn of events, when in an actual dream her promise from many years before to give back returned. At first, she ignored the promptings. Then, in another dream, the idea for a book came to her. And that was all it took. After that, whether sleeping, driving in her car, working…no matter what she was doing, all through the day and night a grand plan grew larger in front of her, and taunted her to dismiss it.
But she couldn’t dismiss it. It had grown to such a huge reality that she grasped it, with both hands, and prepared for the ride.
The first book, a chapter book called Puddleby, is a diary of sorts that Miss Thea recorded during the initial four months that she owned Puddleby. During the months it took to write the book, the characters defined themselves and took on their own personalities.
Much of the book is based on actual people and true events. For example, Windham Hill Farm, an actual farm where the story takes place, once rescued three pigs. The lore of those pigs prompted the author to include one in her story. But the name of the pig….that had to be created. At first the name of the pig changed in the manuscript on a weekly basis, but then as the pig’s personality took a life of its own, the name “Smooch” came to Miss Thea’s mind and she immediately knew it was the perfect name.
The second book, Brotherly Bliss, features Puddleby, Smooch, Cedric and Miss Thea, and is a delightful picture book for the youngest children.
We hope you join the friends on their journey.