Barbara Simpson Carducci doesn’t look far for inspiration when writing a story. She often relies on the rural surroundings of her Round Hill community to come up with likable characters and intriguing plots.
For her new children’s book, Carducci, who goes by Bobbi, found a muse that was never far from her mind: herself.
As an 8-year-old, she discovered her love for writing and telling stories. Childhood memories would serve as the basis for the lead character in her latest book, “Storee Wryter Gets a Dog.”
“The character has been with me for a while,” Carducci said.
The 60-page book follows an 8-year-old girl, Storee, who loves to read and write. Her ideas for writing are inspired by her adventures with her cat, Critique.
In the book, Storee’s friend Kyria suggests she get a puppy. Storee follows her suggestion and starts getting ideas for her next book while watching her puppy, Addie, become a trained therapy dog.
Carducci said the characters Kyria and Addie are based on personalities from Loudoun County.
Kyria is named after Round Hill native Kyria Henry, who at 12 years old founded the canine companionship program Paws4People in 1999. Addie is named after a therapy dog involved with the program.
The book includes writing prompts in which children can express their creativity by developing their own stories. Weekly writing suggestions are posted on the Storee Wryter blog, where readers can contribute their ideas by e-mail.
Carducci said that some submissions from the writing prompts will be posted on the blog. “Kids are natural storytellers. Their creativity shines, and their characters take off. They absolutely love it,” she said.
Or perhaps they love having the opportunity to share their imagination with others. Last year, Carducci published “Thanks to Tank,” a book written by Leesburg native Maureen Howard and illustrated by Fairfax County resident Emily Schell.
As an eighth-grader, Howard wrote a story about a long-tongued turkey who saved a family. The story was turned into a book four years later.
Carducci said she wanted to reach a younger audience through Storee. She said the character’s ultimate goal is to inspire young readers to share their stories.
“My hope is to tell a good story and encourage kids to write stories of their own. I wanted to let young people know telling stories is a fun and interesting thing to do,” she said.