About the Author
Darla M Duvall
Thank you for visiting Charlie's website. This sweet book has been a huge part of my life and dear to my heart for the past 5 years. I knew that I always wanted to write a book be it a children's book or a non-fiction. Finding a starting point was always the challenge. The idea for Do Ladybugs/Ladybirds Have Eyelashes?, came from a beautiful sunny day shared with our dear friends Mark and Val while on vacation in Los Cabos San Lucas, MX. While the guys were golfing Val and I swapped great conversation about marriage, life and children. While discussing the topic of the funny things that kids say, Val shared that when Mark, (who's English) was a little boy he would always ask his mom; "Hey mum, do ladybirds have eyelashes"? I swear the world came to a screeching halt!! Val was still talking and laughing, however, I cannot tell you what she said after that, all I know is 4 hours later I had the first draft of this book finished! I ran into the resort and asked for a pad of paper and a pen. Once Val uttered the words "do ladybirds have eyelashes I was immediately consumed and obsessed and had the first draft written by dinner time. It was at the time I knew that this was not just a big idea; it was indeed a mission!
The character Charlie in this book is a little English boy inspired by Mark and when I read it to my boys they crack up when I use an English accent. Ha!
To honor my British friend Mark, my original manuscript was written about a ladybird. However, for my American readers I changed the ladybird to ladybug. I am so thankful to Mark and Val.
I'd like to also thank two other very special people who helped me bring this book to fruition. First, thank you so much to not only, my amazing cousin but the illustrator of this book Mikey Gardner. I just cannot express how amazing your art work is. Even though I created this character, it was you who introduced him to me. Your art work has brought this book to LIFE, and you were meant for this project!! You are also meant for my future projects!! HA!
Second, thank you to one of the smartest most beautiful girls I know; Jill. You were also meant for this project. Jill was the glue that pulled all this together, she is the reason there is a physical copy in our hands!! I met her on a boat trip over the summer, once I found out what she did, I basically forced her into this project, poor thing!! HA! I love you Jill!!
I have a dear friend Gina that uses a great line all the time, "when you know, ya know" and I knew instantly with Mark & Val's story, Mikey's art, and Jill's graphic design talent that this was the team I needed to fulfill one of my life's dreams.
Also thank you to all my friends and family who always believed in this project from day one, you helped keep this dream alive by always asking me about it.
Three other special people I need to thank and who made this possible were my amazing patient husband Bobby who has been my biggest supporter and our two precious boy's Price (10) & Brogan (6) who have had to listen to this story 9,000 times and give me feedback while edits were made. Tough critics by the way!!
Lastly, thank you in advance to all who purchase this book for their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, neighbors, school library, church or simply for themselves!
May you all have a little curious and sweet "Charlie" in YOUR world, who keeps life interesting, silly and lighthearted!