Nacogdoches woman, British grandkids collaborate on kids book

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Not many grandmothers collaborate with their grandchildren in writing a children's book. And even fewer manage it while living on different continents.

It happened in Nacogdoches, where a spring break brought the authors, Myrna Johnson and her two teen grandsons from Great Britain, together. Over the years, the infrequent visits made Myrna miss her grandchildren, including ones living in Fort Worth. Years ago, she came up with an idea to write a story with her grandchildren to encourage correspondence.

"I set up the story and wrote the first adventure, then got with my Texas grandchildren and did the next adventure, and then it went overseas to England," Myrna said.

Myrna would send her illustrations via e-mail. The ideas led to the discussion she longed for with her grandchildren.

"Every conversation had a part about the book, definitely," Cameron King, one of the authors and Myrna's 17-year-old grandson, said.

When it all began, Cameron was five. Elliott, his brother, was only two.

"Well, it's about four children all of which we are the characters," Cameron said. "My character kinda rescues Elliott or Elt from his situation.

"I'm really sweet, and I always carry my balloon and teddy bear, and they're always looking after me, and I'm always having encounters with the animals," Elliot said.

A grandmother's project evolved into the book, "Let's Take a Hike," published by the Stephen F. Austin State University Press. While in America, the authors are attending book signings.

"You kinda get a bit of feeling famous almost, but you're not, but it's cool how people come to see you and your book, so it makes you feel good inside," Elliott said.

The three are already developing a sequel. The younger authors are insisting their grandmother utilize Skype and purchase an iPad, so the collaboration can continue thru the latest, up to date form of communication.

Myrna Johnson and her grandsons will have a book signing of "Let's Take a Hike" Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Nacogdoches McDonald's on University Drive.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.