GCU Curriculum Developer Writes Children’s Book
By Jennifer Willis
If there is one thing Ruth Douthitt has learned over the last 20 years, it’s to follow your dreams and never give up.
Douthitt has a busy life. She is a wife, a mother, a curriculum developer at GCU for the colleges of Liberal Arts and Fine Arts and Production, a devout Christian and now a published author of a children’s chapter book.
Like most things that are worthwhile in life, the last of these did not come easily.
It all started when Douthitt was a young Marine wife living in North Carolina. Her love of art led her to want to illustrate a children’s picture book, so she began spending time at the library. As her research progressed, so did her imagination, and ideas began to form in her head about a young boy and his adventures with dragons.
Writing a children’s book, as Douthitt soon discovered, was not as easy as it seemed, and the everyday tasks of life forced her to put her book on the back burner several times. Inspiration from her young son — and the realization that there weren’t many books out there for young boys — gave her the motivation to finish it. In 2004, a creative-writing instructor encouraged her to outline it.
“Outlining was important.” Douthitt says. “It gave me the direction I needed to finish.”
With the book finally complete, she began to look for a publisher and was rejected several times. It wasn’t until a friend from a Christian writer’s forum told her about a small Christian publishing company looking for new authors that Douthitt’s dream finally started to become reality.
Last year, she signed a contract with Oak Tara Publishing. And in April, two years after completing her book and more than 20 years after starting it, “The Dragon Forest” was finally released.
“The Dragon Forest” is a book Douthitt hopes will inspire boys to be adventurous and courageous. It is the story of a young prince who sets out on a quest to try to save his father’s kingdom from evil forces, facing trials and tribulations along the way.
Taking inspiration from C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and stories from the Bible, “The Dragon Forest” provides Christians with a subtle reminder of the covenant relationship between God and His people while giving non-Christians a tale of strength and morality.
Douthitt already has second and third books in the works, following the prince as he grows into a man. She has an idea for a young-adult series and also wants to illustrate a fairy book.
In the meantime, she is promoting “The Dragon Forest.” She will be interviewed on Thursday by an online radio show, “Starstyle,” and will hold a book signing from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 20 at Ethington Theatre on the GCU campus. It’s an exciting time for her and her family.
“Never give up,” she says. “God has a plan for everything, so never give up.”
“The Dragon Forest” can be purchased through the Oak Tara website at www.oaktara.com or through Amazon.com, and it should be available soon in bookstores. For more information on Douthitt and “The Dragon Forest,” visit her blog at www.thedragonforest.blogspot.com or find “The Dragon Forest” on Facebook.
Reach Jennifer Willis at 639.7383 or [email protected].