Casper author Casey Rislov and illustrator Zak Pullen will be at a book signing Saturday, March 16. Their signing of Rislov’s fifth children’s book “Rowdy Randy” will take place from 1-3 p.m. at Wind City Books.
“‘Rowdy Randy’ is a about the legend of a cowgirl named Randy,” reads a press release for the new book. “But this isn’t any run-of-the-mill tall tale. This is the original story of how one small horsefly with a tall personality can rile up a whole heap of trouble, leading to a full-blown stampede. Giddyup!”
Rislov said the title character is named after her mother Randy Day. She said her mom, who died in 2011, has some things in common with the book’s Randy, a tough horsefly living in the American West.
“I made her tougher then any Western character so there is lingo you will hear referenced from past cowboy characters,” Rislov said. “Someone who loves the West will enjoy the many characters Rowdy Randy proves she is tougher, bolder, and faster than.”
Rislov’s decision to write her first book “Time Together, Time Well Spent!”, which was published in 2011, was also influenced by her mother.
“Those life changing kind of things make me go for things,” Rislov said.
Rislov said she and Pullen started working on “Rowdy Randy” two years ago. She and Pullen are the same age and both went to Natrona County High School, but Rislov said they didn’t really know each other in school.
When they started the project, Rislov said they knew they wanted to feature animals from Wyoming in the book. But they also wanted to make sure they approached the chaos in the story in a manageable way.
“We knew we wanted it to be something small,” she added.
Rislov said that after she sent the book’s text to Pullen, it was important that the two of them didn’t have too much interaction.
“His illustrations and my words should not overlap too much,” she said, adding that while the text and illustrations complement one another, they also have differences. “The pictures sometimes tell a story that isn’t in the words.”
Rislov said she enjoyed working with Pullen on the project, but also really enjoyed making her own creative edits to the book.
“I went back through several times in different ways,” she explained. “One of my favorite creative edits was to make sure she was bigger and bolder than any legend out there.”
Rislov said she’s already gotten positive feedback on the book after reading it to her two boys.
“They love it, especially my nine year old,” she said. “They said it’s my best book.”
Rislov, who has her Master’s in Elementary Education and has early childhood and special needs endorsements, said that she loves sharing the book with children.
“My favorite part besides making the book is going to the schools,” she said.
“’Storytelling is an important component of building early literacy skills,'” Rislov is quoted as saying in the press release. “‘By listening to and telling their own stories, children notice the world around them, learn to use their imaginations, and find ways to connect to others. Reading development studies show that storytelling increases early literacy and nurtures social-emotional development.’”
Rislov said that Pullen has helped her in other ways besides illustrating “Rowdy Randy”. She said Pullen introduced her to her publisher Aimee Jackson at Book Bridge Press. She said that Jackson has done three of her books.
Rislov said that while she already has ideas for future projects, for now she wants to focus on sharing and enjoying “Rowdy Randy” with the community.
More information about “Rowdy Randy” and Rislov’s other books is available at her website.
The March 16 book signing will take place at Wind City Books, located at 152 South Center Street.