By Kate Quesada
Gwen Rollings loves to write. Her daughter Brittany Rollings loves to illustrate. The duo recently published a series of children’s books that not only showcases their talents, but also brings joy to young readers that may not usually have access to books.
With their rescue Chihuahua dog Molly for inspiration, the Apollo Beach residents published a series of books about Molly Tailwagger for children approximately four to eight years old with an uplifting story line and colorful illustrations.
“Our dream is for parents to read the books with their little ones, turning the pages and lingering as they talk about the pictures of Molly Tailwagger and her adventures,” said Gwen. “But perhaps even more important to us is to give the books to children who need them most.”
Gwen and Brittany are working to donate their books to young readers who do not traditionally have access to a lot of reading materials. In addition to giving copies of their books to local hospitals, they would like to be able to help charities like Metropolitan Ministries fill at least 250 Easter baskets with their stories this year.
“Unfortunately, we don’t personally have enough books for that number of baskets,” said Gwen. “Our goal is to establish an ongoing fund that would allow us to put Molly Tailwagger in the hands of children who cannot afford to buy picture books. Brittany and I feel blessed that God has allowed us to do what we love and create stories we hope with encourage, comfort, inspire and put smiles on little faces going through difficult times.”
Both Gwen and Brittany started working on their skills at a young age. In sixth grade, Gwen wrote her first play which her class performed for the school. However, her writing took a back seat to marriage and family for 30 years until her children were grown and her husband retired from the Marine Corps. She wrote multiple other books for adults, including a book of poetry, before teaming up with her youngest daughter for the Molly Tailwagger series.
“Writing children’s books turns out to be the best career I’ve ever had,” said Gwen. “I write the story; then we discuss my vision of what illustrations would work well. Brittany draws a series of characters and we make decisions based on our mutual agreement.”
The duo’s fifth book is currently in publication.
Visit www.gwenrollings.com for more information or to help with the fund to donate books to children in need.