Beverly Daniel of Casa Linda was a teacher for 24 years, but she’s always been a writer and a cat person. “Cats have such personality, and each one is different,” she says. Now and then, she would write a poem about one of her cats, and eventually, she realized she had a pretty healthy stack of them. She decided in 2005 to use the poems in a lesson for her theater arts students at George Washington Carver Learning Center. A colleague noticed the students had memorized passages from the lesson and were reciting them in the hallways. So the colleague asked the children to make illustrations for their favorite poems, and they surprised Daniel with them. Last year, after she retired, Daniel compiled those drawings and her poems into her first children’s book, “Too Many Cats in the Bed.” Daniel’s sister-in-law is a mystery novelist who had bad experiences with small publishing houses, and she encouraged Daniel to self publish. Daniel started Cataloony Gazette for “Too Many Cats in the Bed” and her sister in law’s children’s book, “Pete Goes to Brat Camp,” which Daniel illustrated. Earlier this year, she published, “A Rainbow of Kittens,” another book she illustrated. Her next book, which is still in the editing process, was inspired by her niece. It’s titled “Madilyn Millicent Middleton Meow,” and it’s about a little girl who goes through the closet door, and it becomes another universe. Daniel prints her watercolor illustrations on children’s T-shirts and baby onesies for gifts. She recently started selling them, along with her books, online and from booths at local craft fairs and art shows. She’s working to market her books, and as long as she enjoys it, she thinks she will find success. “I believe in what I have because I’ve seen how children and adults react to it,” she says. “Now it’s just about getting the word out.”
• Find Beverly Daniel’s books online at cataloonygazette.com.
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