Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 2, 2014

Turning a New Page

Stephens releases children's book

Burnside —

When you’re trying to get a book published, the most difficult thing to deal with is rejection letters. They’re virtually inevitable. In order to deal with it, perseverance is needed, the ability to face one’s fears.
Fortunately for Melissa Step-hens, all she had to do was open her book to get that needed dose of encouragement.
“I’d get a little discouraged, but you just have to keep trying,” she said.
It paid off. Stephens, a resident of Burnside, has written a children’s book that’s now available through online booksellers.
A hairstylist at Reflections Salon and member of Jordan Baptist Church in Burnside, Stephens wrote “The Many Adventures of Filbert the Frog.”
The book, which came out just this week, tells multiple stories with positive, useful messages for youth — one about sharing, one about facing one’s fears and one about following the rules.
The characters include some of the most fun figures in the animal kingdom — a baby frog, raccoon, and rabbit.
Stephens never necessarily saw herself as an author, but has always enjoyed creating stories.
“I’ve just been writing here and there for a while,” she said. “I enjoy reading to kids, reading to my boys.”
Stephens, has two sons — Patrick, age 6, and Aaron, 4. It’s because of them that she made an effort to get “Filbert the Frog” into print.
“I never really thought about trying to get anything published (but) my older son was talking to me one day, asking me why I never tried,” she said. “He thought they were good.”
So Stephens submitted her work to publishers. And submitted. And submitted. And finally, it paid off.
“I was very excited,” she said of the moment she found out a publishing company was interested. “It was hard to believe.”

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