Parents in search for some good, spooky fun just in time for Halloween need look no further than the square on Saturday, when local author Erik Oliver will be signing copies of his children’s Halloween book, "Kid Cavalier on a Halloween Quest," at Mayfield Ace Hardware.
The book "chronicles the adventure of a young trick-or-treater in the guise of a superhero as he wends his way through the spooky corridors and cobwebbed halls of a sinister stronghold and determinedly dodges its denizens on a quest for toothsome treasures. Along the way, the Kid Cavalier must face formidable fears and challenge himself to find an even greater treasure."
Inspired by his "little brother" from Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Oliver wrote the book in 1996 but attempts to publish it were unsuccessful.
"I must have received nearly 40 rejection letters, and writing/illustrating wasn’t a big enough part of my life or aspirations at the time to keep trying," said Oliver in an e-mail.
"So I zipped the drawings up in my portfolio and moved on to other things — the Peace Corps, building my house, starting a family."
He returned to the book after becoming a father of two boys.
"My oldest son, almost 4-years-old now, is already reading and seems to have inherited his father’s enjoyment of Halloween," Oliver wrote. "I wanted to get my book out there while my sons are at the prime ages to enjoy it."
Oliver was also encouraged to revisit the book by the rise in self-publishing. He designed and illustrated the book, established his website and had the book printed by Associated Printing in Newton County.
Using alliteration, meter, intentionally advanced words, and subtle math, "Kid Cavalier" is the beginning of what Oliver hopes will be a second career.
"I hope this is the beginning of a supplemental career in writing and illustration. I’m happiest when I’m working with both my head and hands and when the seriousness and responsibility of my professional life is balanced with a heavy dose of creativity and whimsy," he said.