A retired professor pens his first book Life & Arts

Fans of poet and author John Secor filled CoffeeTree Books for his new children’s book.

Secor, a retired professor of Morehead State, signed and talked with fans about his first children’s book, Off the Wallabies & other Creature Habitshappy Friday.

“After one of my grandsons was born, I started writing,” poet and author, John Secor, said. “I wrote something like a yak suffering a snack attack. I did not have any images in mind, I just wrote it as a fun thing.”

Secor’s started writing the children’s book before the pandemic started. He said he wanted the book’s theme to be based around an animal making a sound or activity as well as a landform.

The illustrator of Off the Wallabies & other Creature Habitsis Secor’s son James, who lives in Central Vermont.

“I started sending James these small lines of poems and he started to imagine what the illustration would look like,” said Secor. “We did not plan to create a book, but James got a number of pictures illustrated so we kept going until we made one.”

Secor lived in Western Kentucky after he retired as a professor of French phonetics at MSU. When he comes back to visit the area he stays with a good friend of his, Carolyn Franzini.

“Even though John is a close family friend, I am a big fan of his work,” said Franzini. “It was a great surprise to hear about John’s first children’s book. I am getting a few for my grandchildren, and I know they will love it since they know both the author and illustrator.”

James even used his father’s high school typewriter to type the lines of poetry within the book to add more meaning to the pages. Franzini said she thinks it’s a thing for a father and son to work together on a project such as a children’s book.

“Even though James lives in Vermont and John lives here in Kentucky,” Franzini said. “With online communication, you can do and accomplish anything.”

Individuals can purchase Secor’s first children’s book, Off the Wallabies & other Creature Habits, at CoffeeTree Books as well as Amazon.


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