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Local author to read her book Jaxon and the Naughty Secret Monster at library

Pratchler will be reading a part of her book at the Reid-Thompson Library on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.
Madeline Pratchler
Madeline Pratchler of Humboldt is the author of axon and the Naughty Secret Monster.

HUMBOLDT — Kids say the darndest things. For local author Madeline Pratchler, what she heard inspired her to create a work of fiction.

“If you've spent any time with kids, you know that they sometimes come up with the most golden sayings and things, just the way they view the world and how they see things or perceive things,” she said.

“I used to write them down. When I had a minute, I would just write it in a little notebook, I'd write some of their funny things down.”

One day, Pratchler decided to spin that into a work of fiction. She said she started writing one scene and thought it had potential. From them, she thought of a set of themes that she wanted to carry through her piece.

The result was Jaxon and the Naughty Secret Monster, Pratchler’s first book. It’s told from the view of five year old Jaxon Miller.

“He's very outspoken, and he has a lot of difficulty keeping his emotions clamped down because he's such a happy kid and he just blurts whenever he's thinking.”

There’s two themes that wrap throughout the book.

One is the keeping of secrets. Jaxon’s father tells him about a surprise he’s planning for Jaxon’s mother. The outgoing Jaxon has problems keeping this to himself. As well, Jaxon has a secret of his own as he plans to prank the ice cream man.

The other is about the learning that comes from planting a garden. Jaxon’s family decides to plan a garden and Jaxon, an enthusiastic participant, learns what goes towards producing food from field to fork.

Pratchler said she always wanted to be an author.

“Since sixth grade, I was always writing stories and writing books, and it was on my bucket list of things to do in my life someday.”

Then Pratchler got busy with life, until one day, she found that she hadn't really done anything with that goal of her. So she decided to start working.

It took about a year to write Jaxon and the Naughty Secret Monster, and another two to edit it. In 2020, with the pandemic, Pratchler had to put the project aside for around six months while she had to take care of her children at home.

“That's the main thing, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to do something as long as you are taking steps towards your goal, even if it's a tiny step.”

Pratchler said reaction to the book has been positive.

“Humboldt's been really supportive. There's three businesses in Humboldt who’ve agreed to stock it on their shelves.”

As well, it’s being sold at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon.

Pratchler said she plans to write more books.

“There is a possibility there will be a Book 2 about Jaxon,” she said. “Then I have another experience with one of my daughters that has been quite a miraculous journey with her and I'm thinking of putting that in words.”

Pratchler will be reading a part of her book at the Reid-Thompson Library on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.