How often do you find a group of school aged children sitting quietly? However, on Friday morning as I entered the children’s library in Meaford that is exactly what I found – over twenty children sitting on the floor, hanging off of every word Linda Hamill was reading them! Who could blame them though, the book Scarecrow Invasion has it all, suspense, teamwork, a happy ending and best of all, it all happens right here in Meaford!
Linda Hamill, a retired teacher, wife, mother of three and grandmother of six can now add published author to her resume. The Scarecrow Invasion, a short story surrounding a little girl’s desire to make the day perfect for her grandparents visit. When things aren’t quite the Dodie (the main character) wants them you find her and her friends traipsing all over the streets of Meaford in hopes of setting everything to rights before her grandparents arrive!
Linda Hamill finds much of her inspiration for her stories in the day-to-day actions and interactions with her grandchildren. Although none of the characters in her book resembles a grandchild specifically, they all contribute in the development of the characters!
Linda’s love of writing may have originated from watching her own mother keep journals of special events – something Linda herself has done for each grandchild over the last eight years. However, it wasn’t until after she retired from teaching that she was able to dedicate her time to writing, taking a second course at the Institute of Children’s Literature and putting pen to paper.
When Linda isn’t busy writing or spending precious time with her grandchildren, you can find her helping out with the actual Scarecrow Invasion festival that occurs each September to October in Meaford. Linda works with the head scarecrow, Marilyn Morris in building the scarecrows and is a member of the Scarecrow Marching Kazoo Band.
When I asked her if she had a theme she would like to see in the future for the festival, “better be careful here in case I get myself into a lot of work!” However, I think you will find Linda Hamill in a lot of scarecrow work for years to come!
***In addition to her first children’s book, Scarecrow Invasion, Linda Hamill is presently awaiting news on the publication of two more book – Keep an eye out for this grandma on the literary rise!