The Story of how it all began…
It all started when my son was born… seriously, it did! I decided to quite work and hang out as a stay at home dad for his first year. After about 4 months and about my 100th movie that I watched, my wife came home and said, “you know, you do actually have to make some money.” I was a bit lost, then I found out she signed me up to teach Shakespeare for Kids classes at the local rec center.
I’ve always loved drama, and I am an engineer by training, which, in itself, is an odd combination. But, I started out with this tweaked Hamlet script that I came across and called the class, “Hamlet in a Can”. It was 6 weeks, 1.5 hrs each week and the kids had a BLAST! It was fun, and I thought that was it, till about 3 of them came up and asked, “what play are we doing next?” A bit dumbfounded and taken aback, I thought quickly and replied with, “Midsummer!”
The kids were excited and the classes started that following week, so I went home that weekend and wrote my version of Midsummer. This happened for the next 9 months as I wrote all the plays as I had to direct them, by necessity…
But, in parallel at that first Hamlet performance a mom came up to see me afterwards and said, “I need you to teach this to my homeschool kids up in Atascadero.” Well, that was a bit far away for me and I replied in such a way to get out of doing this, in which she replied, “I’m not asking you…I’m telling you. We will pay you for gas, but you have to do this!” Well, I’m a sucker for kids, so, I started doing two rec centers. And then a third came on within a month or so that was WAY too far away, so I did turn that one down. In the meanwhile, I had 3 different drama groups request to buy my scripts from me so they could perform this with their kids.
At this point, a real job came along. So, I put the Shakespeare for Kids down for a while, until I came across publish on demand. So, I started writing my books and have not stopped since. My goal is to do 3 books per year. I have even enlisted another writer to help meet that goal.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
BRENDAN P. KELSO is known to the kids as Professor Peculiar because of his unique and humorous personality, came to writing modified Shakespeare scripts when he was taking time off from work to be at home with his son. “It just grew from there”. Within months, he was being asked to offer classes in various locations and acting organizations along the coast of California. Employed as an engineer, Brendan never thought about writing. But, he has always believed, “the best way to learn is to have fun!” Brendan makes his home on the central coast of California and loves to spend time with his wife and son.
KHARA C. OLIVER first fell in love with Shakespeare in 8th grade after reading Hamlet, and she has been an avid fan ever since. She studied Shakespeare’s works in Stratford-upon-Avon, and graduated with a degree in English from UCLA. Khara is lucky to have a terrific career and a charmed life on the Central Coast of CA, but what she cherishes most is time spent with her husband and children. She is delighted to have this chance to help kids foster their own appreciation of Shakespeare in a way that is educational, entertaining, and most importantly, fun!
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATORS
ADAM T. WATSON, a nomad of sorts, recently found himself in the central coast. His love of art music creativity and people compels him to push forth in his dreams and endeavors. Presently, his recent venture into the sea of creative competition amongst designers and artists occupies his time whilst he prepares his dreams for future incursions and the snowboarding season. Though an artist by trade and heart there still remains a place for his love of snow, snowboarding and snowboard instruction. He hopes that through his life he is able to encourage people to love, dream and create in a way unrestrained by fear, oppression and doubt.
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