By Michelle Richardson, Public Relations Assistant for the Pickerington Local School District
Last week we had the pleasure of speaking with Evan J. Schmidt, author of The Adventures of Artie The Alphabet Cone.
Evan just published his first book on Amazon last week. The Adventures of Artie The Alphabet Cone is a children’s book about shells and shell collecting (“shelling”). The book is currently ranked as the #1 New Release and #5 in Best Sellers in the Seashell Category on Amazon.
We caught up with Evan at Harmon Middle School, where he is in the sixth grade. Answers are lightly edited for length and clarity.
What inspired you to write a book about shells and shell collecting?
I started collecting shells when I was two years old. I have so many shells, I opened a shell museum in my parents’ garage. My shell museum is open in the spring and summer for anyone to visit. During COVID, our trip to Sanibel Island was canceled, but I was still able to collect shells, because people from all over the world sent them to me. I have shells from Japan and Australia. I love shells and shelling, so I decided to write a book about seashells.
What kind of research did you do to prepare for writing your book?
I did a lot of research on Google but I knew a lot about shells already.
Can you tell me a little bit about how you wrote the book?
I came up with the character of Artie because he is an alphabet cone. Alphabet cones have markings that look like letters on them, and my book is an alphabet book that teaches about shells. My favorite part of the book is the pictures. I used my own pictures a lot. I have about 1000 shells. I also used an illustrator we found online. It took me a full year to write The Adventures of Artie The Alphabet Cone. I was really happy when I finally finished it.
So what is the book about?
It tells the story of Artie who is an alphabet cone shell. Artie used to live in Cone City where the cone shells run free, but since hurricane Rose swept him out to sea, he goes around the beach and ocean talking about the different seashells and animals and other things that are found there. It’s a really great book for people who like to shell or want to learn to shell. It’s very enlightening.
What’s the best thing about collecting shells or shelling?
The best thing about shelling is the joy of finding a rare shell. I once found a freak shell scallop. That’s very rare.
Evan’s book is available for purchase on Amazon at the following link: www.artiethealphabetcone.com