WATROUS - A new book for children has been released by the team of Konn and Emily Hawkes of Watrous.
Flowman and the Magic Mullet is written by Konn, with Emily providing the art.
“Flowman and the Magic Mullet is a rhyming picture book about a young hockey player whose superstitions get the best of him,” explained Emily who grew up in the states in the small town of Walpole, New Hampshire.
“Flowman is Team Captain of his hockey team, he is a superstar on the ice with a beautiful head of hockey hair.”
From the book:
"In the City of Calgary he is Captain of his team.
He's got a sweet mullet and he is livin' the dream.
His lettuce is fresh and the ladies they all stare.
His name is Greg Flowman...they call him, "The Hair."
“Flowman 's hair is adored by everyone...well, almost everyone,” said Emily. “One night Flowman's mom decides she's had enough of Flowman's unruly mullet, so she cuts it when he's asleep. When Flowman wakes up to find that his precious locks have disappeared, he grasps onto the idea that his mullet is magic, and that without it, his ‘game’ will suffer tremendously. In that very moment Flowman swears he will never cut his hair again, and this magical journey truly begins to unfold.”
"From this day forward, it is this I declare ... my flow will fly free for my name is 'The Hair!' "
“Will Flowman overcome his fears and self-doubt and lead his team to victory,” asks Emily. “You'll have to read this 'harrowing' tale to find out!”
So where did the quirky tale come from?
“You see, I'm a bit of a prankster, and this book actually started out as a harmless prank,” explained Konn. “Back when we lived in Washington, DC, I played hockey with a good buddy named Greg Lowman. That's Lowman with an "L". Now Lowman had the sweetest head of hockey hair I'd ever seen so I decided to give him the nickname ‘The Hair’ and it stuck.
“Greg ‘The Hair’ Lowman is now a co-founder of a company called HockeyHair Co. along with my friends Jamie Allard aka ‘The Petawawa Peach’ and Rich ‘Reno’ Dizzino. HockeyHair offers a wide array of creatively marketed hockey inspired hair products and apparel such as 'Sin Bin Shampoo,' 'Off Ice Conditioner' and 'Celly Jelly Strong Hold Gel,' among other things.
“So, one day after seeing yet another picture of Lowman's radiant locks, I asked my wife if we could write a book about him, and so FLOWMAN and the Magic Mullet was born.
“We never intended for it to take off like it has, we're actually pretty surprised about that part. We've already sold out of hardcovers and have just had to order more.”
The early success has the couple thinking about more stories to tell.
“Yes, this is our first book, but certainly not the last,” said Emily. “We've already got two more books in the works. The next book is a farm story about a cow, and then we've got another hockey book.”
Hockey and farming is certainly writing what he knows for Konn.
“I was born and raised in Watrous. I grew up on the family farm there, and that's also where I developed my love for the game of hockey,” he said.
“After playing most of my minor hockey in Watrous … I went on to play for the Melfort Mustangs of the SJHL. It was there that I was scouted and recruited for the Sacred Heart University Pioneers, a Division 1 hockey program, located in Fairfield, CT.”
It was while at Sacred Heart Konn met Emily.
“I now farm 6,000 acres with my dad and my brother where we grow a variety of crops including wheat, lentils and canola,” added Konn.
The artwork meshes with Emily’s interests nicely too.
“From a very early age I had a love for drawing, especially cartoons,” she said. “Drawing was simply a hobby for me back then and I never pursued or explored my artistic talents beyond that.”
While the book is for children that doesn’t mean it was exactly easy to write.
“I wouldn't say the writing process was easy. Rhyming is always a bit more challenging because there are only so many words that fit together, but that's the part that's so fun,” said Emily. “When you finally get your sentences to fit together in a rhyme, each rhyme gets more exciting and funnier.”
The art too took some time to get just right.
“The art took some time; I'm a bit of a perfectionist and if something is the slightest bit off, I'll scrap the whole drawing and start again,” said Emily. “There are a total of 24 illustrations in this book, but I probably drew at least 35 before choosing what to use. I tried to keep the style as consistent as possible.”
Interestingly the real challenge was not telling the world too early about the project.
“Honestly, keeping it a secret for two years was the most challenging part,” said Konn. “We never told Greg Lowman we were writing this book about him. He only found out when we sent him a copy of the book in the mail.”
(We’re) “happy to say, Greg was thrilled -- shocked, but thrilled nonetheless, as was his mom,” added Emily,
So what does the couple think is the best aspect of the book?
“It's definitely unlike any of the books I read as a kid, and being a hockey player I personally think it's pretty hilarious,” said Konn. “I think it's awesome that adults find it just as funny as the kids who read it.”
“We are so pleased with the story overall,” added Emily. “We just did a virtual book reading to the Watrous Elementary Students, and it was so much fun to see the kids reacting to the story by laughing and clapping -- brings a smile to your face.”
The book may appeal to a broader audience than one might think too.
“This book was written for adults just as much as it was for the kiddos so there really is no age cap on this story,” said Emily. “There are some hockey terms and references hockey players and fans will recognize more than non-hockey fans, such as ‘Lettuce’, ‘Slapper’, ‘drag’ and ‘dangle’, but I think anyone who enjoys hockey and wants to laugh will enjoy our book.”
Hardcover books are currently available at Indigo and McNally Robinson both in Saskatoon.
It will also be made available at Indigo Books in Regina in the next couple of weeks.
For those who shop online, hardcover books can be purchased from SaskBooks in Regina at Skbooks.com. Paperback and e-book formats are available for purchase on Amazon.ca & Amazon.com and can be ordered from most local brick and mortar bookstores.