LACONIA — Cecilia “Cece” Comoletti had always wanted to be a writer. She might have had to wait longer to achieve her dream, but the extra time afforded by the coronavirus pandemic had a way of accelerating things for her, and her first book was published last fall.
Comoletti, a second grader at Pleasant Street School, wrote and illustrated her first book, “Gizmo’s Holidays,” as a kindergartener, according to her mother, Kayla.
“She loves writing anything, writing books, writing songs, she loves drawing. Randomly, one day she came out and had this story,” Kayla said. Cece’s teacher, Ms. Smith, was kind enough to laminate the pages and sent it home with her. Kayla stored it away for several months, until she found herself in need of a project. “During this COVID nonsense, I wondered, what is the process to publish it?”
After a few phone calls, Kayla was put in touch with Catherine Waldron, a local author as well as owner of Give A Salute!, a publishing company. With Waldron’s help, “Gizmo’s Holidays,” a hardcover, 24-page book, has been available on Amazon and through Walmart.com since September.
Cece said that she was moved to write “Gizmo’s Holidays” after her pet, a cat by the same name, passed away unexpectedly.
“Gizmo was a black cat who loved going outside. He was nice,” Cece said. She liked Gizmo, and he sometimes liked her back. Her story was a way to keep him in her imagination, she said, and to describe how he would spend each of the holidays with her.
“It’s a cute, creative little story. It shares the love of an owner and a cat,” Waldron said. “It’s a simple story, but it’s cute.”
Kayla said she wanted to encourage her daughter’s interest in writing, but was also concerned that the process might end in rejection. It was a frank conversation she had to have before they decided to try to publish it.
“I didn’t know if it was something that would happen, but she said she wanted to try,” Kayla said. “As a parent, you want to protect your kid, you don’t want to put them up for failure, but she understood that she could possibly have not gotten it published.”
The gamble paid off, of course. Waldron said she was “thrilled” to help encourage the young author. There’s a copy in the school library, and a couple of teachers have purchased a copy. Her accomplishment has been acknowledged at school.
“I really hoped it would work,” Cece said about the prospect of getting it published. She was “really happy” to hear that it would be printed, and when she finally held her first book in her hands, “It was amazing.”
As for anyone else thinking about taking a creative leap, Cece said, “You can just try.”