King Phillip the Good and his husband, The Most Excellent Don Carlos Emiliano Felipe de Compañero y Campañero, live sedate, uneventful lives until King Phillip dreams of having a baby girl. Structured around The Hero's Journey, King Phillip must follow his mentor, the Blue Star, and encounter allies (a newt and a bluejay) and overcome gatekeepers (a biting fish and a bear) as he completes a series of tasks to prove himself worthy of becoming a father. Once proven, the Blue Star presents him with a baby girl in the middle of a fairy circle of a thousand different flowers in a thousand brilliant hues. He returns home to present Baby Milliflora to his husband, and the loving husbands joyfully become loving fathers.
Genre: Children's Books
Publisher: Camille Lancaster Literary Children’s Books (2018)
All is Assuredly Well is available as an ebook and in print at Amazon.com.
Book Giveaway Contest!
To win a copy of the book All is Assuredly Well by Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson, please enter using Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on July 8th at 12AM EST. We will announce the winner the next day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!
Professor Gore's proudest hours were spent in Federal Court testifying as an expert witness and plaintiff against the city she loved. The city commission had passed an amendment that banned Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate from the children's section of the public library. A storyteller, Professor Gore is delighted to contribute to the canon she once defended.
Co-author Maestro Phillip Wilson is a retired band director, music teacher, composer, and arranger. A poet at heart, his love for word play and ear for rhythm and meter lend themselves well to the lyrical art of storytelling.
Artist Angie F. M. Trotter holds a BA in Religion and Fine Art. Her pen and ink illustrations are an amalgamation of icons, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass window design, and her spiritual life. Her work has been compared to the masters of the Golden Age of British book illustration.
You can find more about All is Assuredly Well and the authors and the illustrator online:
-- Interview by Nicole Pyles
WOW: What inspired you to write the book All is Assuredly Well?
Professor Gore: I spent two hours on my 47th birthday on the witness stand in federal court testifying against the city of Wichita Falls as an expert witness and as a plaintiff when the city passed an ordinance that effectively banned Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate from the children’s section of the public library and would ban any similar books in the future.
I was certified as an expert witness because I was a multicultural education professor with expertise on how literature affects children from diverse groups. I was a plaintiff out of conscience. Make no mistake. I loved and still love that city. But my city had passed an ordinance that violated the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and I joined the group of citizens who would not sit back and let that happen.
Because of that case, I began, with intense interest, to watch the miniscule canon of picture books depicting families of same-sex parents. The canon didn’t grow. Not until 2006 did the wonderful And Tango Makes Three come along. People were not writing great picture books depicting children of same-sex parents because librarians didn’t want to become the targets of book-banning activists. The Big Five (now Six) wouldn’t publish books without a strong library/school library market. Indies would have to take on the challenge of publishing such books out of conscience, understanding that their market would be miniscule.
As I neared retirement, I decided that I was called to add to this tiny canon that so desperately needs quality literature.
I wanted to write a book in which the parents’ sexuality was a non-issue. That bears saying again: I wanted to write a book in which the parents’ sexuality was a non-issue.
I wanted to write a beautiful fairy-tale bedtime story in which an older king wanted a little girl to make his and his husband’s life complete. I wanted it to be full of stunning illustrations with exquisite details and symbols hidden within the paintings. I wanted the language to be lyrical, the cadence melodic. I wanted to write a literary children’s book that followed The Hero’s Journey as a man sought to prove himself worthy to be the father of a little girl.
I imagined a father holding his little girl in his lap and reading the book to her at bedtime. He would read her the lyrical prose, and then he’d ask her thoughtful questions about the story. She would point out flowers and birds in the pictures, and they would talk about those. She would see a family like hers, one with two daddies and a little girl, and she would see how much the daddies in the story loved their little girl, and she would know how much her daddies loved her.
That’s what inspired me to write All is Assuredly Well.
WOW: How did you choose your co-author, and how did working with your co-author change your usual approach to writing?
Professor Gore: Writing All is Assuredly Well with my co-author was a different experience altogether.
When I became a professor, I was expected to write, and write I did for twenty years. The year before I retired, I had more books in academic and public libraries than any other faculty member on campus. (The reference librarian checked it out for me.) My books for teachers and parents were in more than 1,200 libraries around the world, on every continent except Antarctica.
I knew I could write, and I wanted to start writing that beautiful fairy tale for the children of same-sex parents that I’d been yearning to write for the last thirteen years.
But I didn’t want to write it alone. The book was too important to write alone. I wanted to write it with the person who had originally been my first linguistic encourager, Mr. Wilson, my junior high band director.
He was recently widowed and retired for decades, so I called and asked him if he would write a children’s book with me. He lived 350 miles away in New Mexico, and I lived in Wichita Falls, Texas, but he agreed. I said that we would have to talk every night on the phone from nine to ten to write the book. He agreed, and my husband didn’t mind because he went to bed by nine anyway.
First, I taught Mr. Wilson about the Hero’s Journey because I wanted the book to be structured around it. Then, over the next four months, we invented a world, one under a bright blue star. We began playing with the characters. We developed their histories. We knew their strengths and weaknesses, their fears and deepest secrets. We could hear their voices. We played make believe night after night over the phone. I learned that Mr. Wilson was as good at playing make believe as he was at playing music.
In my head and heart, Mr. Wilson (who by this time I had begun to call “Dad” at his invitation) was Don Carlos. He was kind of King Phillip the Good who goes on the Hero’s Journey, but his personality was more like Don Carlos who stayed behind and waited, strong, silent, and dependable. In addition, being born and raised in the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico where his childhood friends were Hispanic, and having lived his entire life in New Mexico, his heart is Hispanic, even if his DNA is not. In fact, when he’s exhausted, he sometimes lapses into a mild Spanish accent.
Based upon what we would talk about at night, I would write the next day. I was in charge of the plot that followed the Hero’s Journey, but the specific wording was a joint effort. Before our nine o’clock phone call each night, I would email him what I had written, and he would read it back to me when I called. We would dissect the cadence and the specific words I had chosen, changing a word here and there to make them flow mellifluously. As a musician, he had a marvelous ear for the melody and rhythm of the language, and as wordsmith himself, he delighted when I suggested phrases like “rootled and dived.”
After four months, when we had read it over every night for two weeks and didn’t want to change a single word, we agreed that the story was finished.
In short, I chose as my co-author the man who encouraged my linguistic skills as a child. Instead of creating a character by myself as I lay in bed before falling asleep, we created our characters together as we tossed around ideas and slowly reached a consensus as who was who and what made them tick. Finally, instead of following a character around in my head and writing down what she was doing, I plotted it through the Hero’s Journey. Then instead of selecting the specific words I wanted to use, he and I tossed words back and forth and played with them until we found the words we wanted and created the cadence we wanted. I can’t remember a time when one capitulated to the other. We simply reached consensus.
I still like to write by myself, but I can’t wait to write with him again.
WOW: More books are coming after All is Assuredly Well that follow Milliflora (the princess in All is Assuredly Well). What can readers anticipate from these books?
Professor Gore: Book Two, another picture book, is Most Assuredly Well. In Two, Don Carlos must go on his own Hero’s Journey to save the two-year-old princess when she flies off on the back of a turkey vulture who takes her to his lair in the mountain. The trip is long and dangerous, but Don Carlos, whom Milliflora calls NoNo instead of Daddy (Can you guess why?) doesn’t hesitate for a moment to go. (King Phillip is Papacito, and if you know many bilingual families, you will understand why this is the reverse of what you would expect.)
Book Three, the third picture book, sees four-year-old Milliflora furious at her fathers. She tells Don Carlos to have the groom prepare her pony and both her fathers’ horses because she’s running away.
Books Two and Three will each take about two years because wonderful artist Angie can produce one exquisite two-page painting a month (16 per book), and Dad Wilson and I need about six months to write the books. We’ve started Two, and Angie will begin painting January, 2019.
Book Four is an easy reader, 48 pages with a dozen paintings. In Four, we discover that Milliflora isn’t magic, but the special gift bestowed upon her by the Blue Star is that she can talk to birds, and they to her.
Book Five is a mystery in which ten-year-old Millliflora investigates why objects are disappearing from the castle grounds and why Ginger Cat is acting so strangely.
Book Six is a coming-of-age book when the princess is fifteen.
Book Seven (and we must have seven books because that’s the Judeo-Christian number of completion) is dark and disturbing. Not appropriate reading for many readers under the age of fifteen. Milliflora is seventeen and about to be crowned when King Malachrion from across the sea invades her kingdom. Malachrion hates gender non-binary people and has his army kill all such people whom they encounter in the most gruesome of ways, except for those whom they hang in cages in trees and fatten up to eat.
While Don Carlos rides off to the southern kingdom where he was born to ask the archer-warriors to come help fight, King Phillip seeks his swordsmen allies in the north. Meanwhile, Milliflora must go through her own Hero’s Journey, aided by her army of birds, forest friends, and supernatural allies, to fight the invaders.
WOW: What do you hope people take away from your book?
Professor Gore: That love will always triumph, and that love knows boundaries; not ethnicity, nor gender, nor species, nor space, nor time. And that in the end, all will be well. Most assuredly well.
---- Blog Tour Dates
July 2nd (Today) @ The Muffin
Grab a morning treat over at Women on Writing's blog The Muffin and read our interview author Professor M.C. Gore and enter to win a copy of the book All is Assuredly Well.
July 3rd @ Mari's #JournalingPower Blog
Author Professor M.C. Gore will be a guest writer over at Mari's #JournalingPower blog where she talks about writing the hero's journey.
July 5th @ Mommy Daze: Say What??
Come by Ashley's blog Mommy Daze: Say What?? where she shares her thoughts on Professor Gore and Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well.
July 6th @ Coffee With Lacey
Get your coffee over at Lacey's blog Coffee With Lacey where she shares her thoughts on the book All is Assuredly Well.
July 7th @ Cassandra's Journey
Stop by Cassandra's blog where she interviews author Professor Gore about her book All is Assuredly Well.
July 8th @ Madeline Sharples Blog
Author Professor Gore is a guest writer over at Madeline Sharples blog where she shares her thoughts on alchemical literature and how it affects her thinking as a writer.
July 9th @ Bri's Book Nook
Stop by Briennai's blog Bri's Book Nook where reviews Professor Gore and Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well.
July 10th @ Break Even Books
Come by Erik McManus' blog Break Even Books to find out what he had to say about the book All is Assuredly Well.
July 10th @ Georgia Ball's Author Blog
Come by Georgia's blog where she features a blog post written by Professor Gore about how the author found her illustrator and who she is.
July 12th @ Mommy Daze: Say What??
Professor M.C. Gore will be a guest writer over at Ashley's blog Mommy Daze: Say What?? where the author describes her experience on the witness stand as an expert witness when the city of Wichita Falls, Texas banned Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate.
July 12th @ George Ball's Author Blog
Come by George Ball's blog where she shares her thoughts about Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well.
July 14th @ A Storybook World
Professor Gore is a guest writer over at Dierdra's blog A Storybook World and she'll be writing about how her local writers’ club convinced her to self-publish, and why/how she started her own micro-publishing company (including how a MAJOR publishing company editor she pitched to told her that she would buy the manuscript, but not the illustrations because she had a “completely different vision” for the book).
July 15th @ The Late Bloomers Blog
Come by Gigi's blog The Late Bloomers blog where she shares her thoughts on Professsor Gore and Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well.
July 16th @ Auden Johnson's Blog
Stop by Auden Johnson blog to read Professor Gore's guest post on her supernatural experience involving her Advanced Graduate Statistics professor and how that relates to this book.
July 17th @ Coffee With Lacey
Come by Lacey's blog and read her interview with Professor Gore, one of the authors for All is Assuredly Well as well as with the illustrator of the series, Angie F. M. Trotter.
July 19th @ The Writing Dreamer
Come by Jessica's blog where Professor Gore will be a guest writer and will be talking about how a workshop on screenwriting made her a better story writer.
July 22nd @ Just a Place to Drop My Thoughts
Stephanie will be reviewing Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well. Come by and see what she thought about this impactful book!
July 23rd @ Cassandra's Writing World
Check out Cassandra's blog to find out her thoughts on Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well. Professor Gore will also be discussing her thoughts on why attending conferences and workshops are worth the money (and how to make the best use of your time at one).
July 24th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog
Come by Anthony Avina's blog where he shares his thoughts on Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well.
July 26th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog
Check out Anthony Avina's blog where he will be sharing Professor Gore's guest post on why she selected Maestro Wilson as her co-author and how they worked together.
July 27th @ The Faerie Review
Come by Lily Shadowlyn's blog The Faerie Review where she reviews the book All is Assuredly Well.
July 28th @ The Faerie Review
Make sure to catch Lily's post today featuring author Professor Gore, one of the co-authors of All is Assuredly Well, and illustrator Angie. F.M. Trotter, as they talk about what it was like working with each other on this book.
July 30th @ Books and Motivation
Come by Prakash Vir Sharma blog and read his interview with author Professor Gore.
July 30th @ The Faerie Review
Come by Lily's blog where author Professor Gore writes about fighting academic freedom after a student complained about Professor Gore's class material about LGBQT class material.
August 2nd @ Cassandra's Journey
Stop by Cassandra's blog where she review Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well.
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