Steven McDaniel grew up in a Waynedale home run by a single-mom who made just enough money to pay for food. Steven, his sister Kathy, and his brother Pat were the only kids in the neighborhood near Beaver Hill who didn’t have bikes. His sister Kathy wanted to change that. In an era where kids grow up with iPhones, video game consoles, and bikes are a given, Steven McDaniel wanted to “remind his readers of a time where when small-town kids wanted something, they had to work for it.”
Kathy is the focus of his recently published children’s book, “Kathy’s Bike.”
The story is simple: how Kathy used the money from her allowance plus, whatever else she could earn raking leaves and shoveling snow to save up enough money to buy her and her two brothers bicycles from the Fort Wayne police bike auction.
One day, in the early 1970s, Kathy found three bikes at the auction selling for $5 apiece, and all of sudden the three Waynedale children had bikes!
The 35-page book, published by Dorrance Publishing in Pittsburgh, is currently in distribution with a suggested $27 retail price. A childhood friend of Steven McDaniel’s, Nick Novachcoff, completed the illustrations for the book that Steven McDaniel says took 25 years to complete. McDaniel says it was 1993 when he first wrote the story on a computer powered by DOS. It was 10 years until he had some time off work and remembered the book.
In 2003, the book went through a second revision. Becoming a published author and getting “Kathy’s Bike” published was on his bucket list, he told The Waynedale News in a recent interview.
“I was talking with a friend while we shot pool and we’d seen the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, and my friend asked me if I had a bucket list and what was on it,” says McDaniel, who continued, “And, I told him I wanted to become a published author.” His friend thought it was too lofty a goal. But, sure enough, that same year, McDaniel took the third of three cracks at getting a manuscript together to shop around to publishers.
In 2013, the manuscript was rewritten a third time and sent off to several publishers, including Dorrance, who ultimately accepted the manuscript from publication. In the last two years, McDaniel says he’s edited the book, proofed the pages, got the illustrations together, and signed off on the final proof.
In distribution since June 2015, “Kathy’s Bike” probably won’t hit stores until mid-to-late August. While McDaniel himself has sold several copies individually to friends and coworkers, he doesn’t know whether or not the Allen County Public Library or local bookstores will carry the fruits of his labor on their shelves.
What’s the next item on McDaniel’s bucket list – “walking into a bookstore, buying a copy of my book, and then, giving it to the clerk who sold it to me, for their birthday!”
For more information on the book, call Steven McDaniel at 260-247-5152.
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