How Henrietta the Hexagon was Born …


Just wanted to share with everyone how the idea of Henrietta Hexagon was born. Unlike Mortimer, this wasn’t an idea that was with me all along. Last November, I was browsing the internet trying to find some small magazine to submit a short story or poem to while I was working on doing illustrations for my second book.  I don’t remember how exactly but I happened upon Guardian Angel Kids E-zine website and looked at their submission guidelines. Their theme they were accepting submissions for at the time was a tough one …. MATH. I sat down and began to think, “What in the world can I do to make math into a fun story?” I googled math books just to get ideas of what was out there and decided to focus on shapes. I thought of the name Henrietta Hexagon and ran it by my kids and they loved it so it was decided but I had one problem, what do I write about her. I decided to tackle that later and in an attempt to get the kids involved, I asked them to draw what they thought Henrietta should look like.  This is what my oldest two came up with. (As you can see, Blayke’s was VERY close to how Henrietta looks!) I saw it and loved it. Dalton’s was cute too but looked a little older than what I was going for.

After coming up with how I wanted Henrietta to look, thanks to my kids, I began writing (actually typing on my phone.) Once I was finished, I proceeded to submit my story to the E-zine. Almost immediately after submitting, I began to throwing around the idea of making a picture book out of Henrietta’s story and possibly even a new shape series. I contacted the E-zine and asked them what would happen if my story was selected for publication? They responded back saying that they would pay me a flat fee and they would own all the rights to my story. This is when I decided to withdraw my submission and move forth with my picture book idea. Thanks to the help of Brandi Linton, Apryll Tillotson, and Michele Parish I was able to have my book proofed before print. I also want to point out that in the book, there are several drawings by children hanging on the walls in the Triangle home. Those drawings were donated by my children and nephews. The one’s in the living room are by Dalton, Blayke & Evan and the artwork in Henrietta’s room were done by Jaiden and Bronsen. Thanks to all of you for your wonderful art!!  :o) I have several more ideas for different shape stories too in the future but I’d love to hear ideas from my readers  as well if you’d like to share as a comment. I like to stick with names that start with the same letter as the shape and I want to touch on issues that children deal with on an everyday basis. I am wanting to use shapes that aren’t as well known too so keep that in mind. Your idea could become a book! Hope you enjoyed finding out how Henrietta came about!! Have a wonderful day!

Mandi Tillotson Williams


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