In the world of Ryan E. Racer and the Evil Ruler, it's OK to write in books.
What is usually a no-no in a mom's world has become a great business idea for Cindy Ray of Plano. The Stapler Caper, which encourages kids to write their own stories, first came to fruition on a family trip to San Francisco. That's when Ray agreed to buy her son a wordless chapter book if he'd write the story.
"He loved to read, but he didn't want anything to do with writing," she says. "Just getting him to write a thank-you note was a chore. When we went back to the hotel and he started writing in this book, my mouth was hanging open."
She then realized that maybe getting a boy to write didn't have to be like pulling teeth — and that she probably wasn't the only mom who had a hard time cultivating creative writing.
So Ray — already running an event-planning business — assembled a team of talent, including a copywriter who, as a child, dreamed of pencil characters, she says. Thus, the cartoon characters of Pencilworld were born.
"We are finding our niche," says Ray, who already has related projects in the think tank. "I'd love to find a sponsor where we can make life-size characters and go into children's hospitals. ... And can't you just see these characters on TV? Wouldn't that be great?"
Screenshot from The Stapler Caper