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A Friend for Otter is the story of a little girl on a quest to find the perfect imaginary friend. Imbria is a magical world where children’s imaginary friends are real. But Otter, who spends her days laboring away at a factory in the dismal town of Junkton, has never imagined a friend for herself. And she’s vowed not to imagine anyone other than the perfect friend. During her escape from Junkton and her ensuing odyssey, Otter encounters many new people and places, and eventually she finds the friend she has always dreamed she could imagine. But Otter’s newfound friend has a dangerous secret. Join Otter on her perilous quest for true friendship.

You can preview the first two chapters of A Friend for Otter here:

My daughter Sylvia (11 years old) and I (much older) are writing A Friend for Otter together. Sylvia is homeschooled, and she loves to read. One day, Sylvia told me she wanted to write a book. I remembered how I loved to read as a child and how my favorite stories inspired me. But when I sat down and tried to start writing my own book, I soon grew frustrated as the process lost steam. My desire to write compelling stories ran head first into my lack of understanding of the discipline of writing. So when I heard Sylvia say she wanted to write a book, I decided to teach her that discipline and, I hoped, spare her the frustration.

A Friend for Otter is a collaborative project. Sylvia and I formulated the story together. Sylvia is responsible for creating the people and places of Imbria. She completes worksheets describing characters and places in detail, and each worksheet is an assignment in handwriting, punctuation, and grammar. I am responsible for drafting. All along the way, we work together to ensure the story stays true to our joint vision.

I promised Sylvia that, if we saw this project through to completion, we would publish our book one way or another. Our hope is that, with your help, we can do so here on Inkshares. I hope you will support our project. And maybe our journey will inspire you to create a story with a child in your life. So join us—and Otter—on a journey of imagination.

You can also hear us talk about the project by checking out our three videos, below, where we answer questions about A Friend for Otter.


For pre-ordering A Friend for Otter, you will also receive the following:

  • Our autographs on your print copies of A Friend for Otter
  • A copy of the companion e-book, A Story for Sylvia, which explains how we came to write A Friend for Otter, as well as how you can create your own book with a young person in your life
  • A shout-out to you and your special young readers on our website and social media, including a photo if you provide one

And don’t forget to visit as at our website and on Twitter and Facebook.