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When I'm sketching ideas on those graph paper pages, I feel more creative, and the ideas just flow!

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St. Marys, Ohio...and Talking Pigs!


My former home town of St. Marys, Ohio, provided a great venue, Wednesday night, for my first book talk. Local sites were part of the inspiration for "The Piglys and the Hundred Year Mystery".

The Piglys' mansion is modeled on the GreatStone Castle (formerly the Goode mansion, pictured below, left) in Sidney, Ohio. But the idea for the mansion's facade being remodeled to obscure its origins came from the old Huber Apartment building that stood on the corner of Spring & Spruce in downtown St. Marys.

You can see, in my drawing of the building, its original ornate Victorian roofline (above, inset), full of gables and leaded glass. Exigent economic realities caused that entire floor to be removed, with the result that the building resembled nothing so much as a shoebox until it was destroyed by fire (pictured below, right) in 1997.

And no one recalled the building's glory days. I could find no one who had seen it in its splendor. All that exertion to produce a showplace on a site now occupied by a gas station! I longed for restoration, if not for the Huber building, then for a fictional beautiful building. And I wanted that restoration to result in here-and-now benefits. So I recruited some talking pigs, built them a mansion, and wrote a book that showcased the restoration of that mansion after evildoers defaced it. The chewy caramel center of the Pigly book is restoration--of the mansion and of the Piglys' fortune and family honor.

Every day we walk past, over, or through places where events great and mundane took place. High water marks, low points, watershed moments of peoples' lives, for the most part forgotten. But those events built chains of events affecting us today. Sometimes, knowing our history can change our present. And, restoration feels good.

You can buy your own autographed copy of The Piglys and the Hundred-Year Mystery on my website, MaryCoonsDesigns.com


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