By Matt de Simone
Local author Bruce Ingram recently teamed up with his son, Mark, to put together a whimsical tale for elementary school children aged 6 to 9 years old.
Ingram has written over 2,600 articles for magazines and other publications. He also is the author of books on river fishing and floating, young adults novels, and healthy living and recipe books. Ingram’s recent release is his most recent foray into a new genre.
“Horrible Holiday Gifts” is an illustrated story about a child who wreaks havoc with his siblings once a month when a holiday occurs by sending various creatures, as gifts, to torment them. Among the “gifts” featured in the story include “Nasty Gnome Nosepit Gnats in a Hat” and “Sneezed Striped Skunk Snot in Their Socks.”
“I wanted to write something different again,” Bruce said when asked about the inspiration behind his most recent tale. When it came to visualizing the story, Bruce ended up finding the visionary from an unlikely source, his son.
“We were having trouble finding an illustrator that gave the book the flair the publisher and I wanted,” Bruce explained. “The publisher opened up a ‘competition’ to various places. My wife Elaine and I asked Mark to do some illustrations of what we wanted the pictures to look like. Once the editor saw that the professional artists were doing and what Mark was doing, he objectively chose Mark. There was no nepotism. I told (the publisher): you’re a capitalist. You hire the best person. The publisher felt that Mark had the best illustrations and that’s Mark’s cover.”
This book is Mark’s first published work as an artist, who has never received formal training as an artist.
“I do (artwork) as a hobby,” Mark said of his art. “More so, I like (drawing) architectural stuff and landscapes but I don’t have a background in that. I’m self-trained. I got more into it in the last 10 years as more of a serious hobby.”
Mark’s initial submissions were all hand-drawn on colored paper, then pieced images together as a collage. He then scanned the collages and sent them to the publisher. Previously, Mark assisted his dad editing some of Bruce’s prior releases, but this is their first collaboration as father and son.
To purchase Ingram’s new book, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.