Today was the press launch for the book I wrote called Felix and His Mayflower II Adventures. It tells the story of the building of Mayflower II in England and her voyage across the Atlantic in 1957. The story is told from the perspective of the small kitten, Felix, given to the ship as a mascot just before departure. The book is beautifully illustrated by Ronnie Rooney, a children’s book illustrator who used to live in Manomet but has moved south to Georgia.
It is great to see the book finally in print. I started working on the story several years ago with Marietta Mullen, the program manager at Mayflower II. It didn’t really click at that point so I set the story aside for a while. I picked up the story again about a year ago rereading newspaper and magazine articles about the voyage and the kitten himself. I finished the first draft of the book last November sitting in a hotel room in Indiana while waiting to give a talk to a Indiana group of Mayflower descendants.
There was a great deal of e-mailing back and forth with Ronnie as she shaped the sketches we would need. She had pictures of the ship from 1957 and other primary source material to help her with fleshing out the final illustrations. Marie Pelletier, our graphic artist here at the museum did a masterful job designing the book and seeing that it came out just as I imagined it could. Many others here and outside the museum have read the manuscript and helped get it ready from printing.
The press launch happen on a rainy and windy day. Not the greatest weather to get reporters and photographers out but it was a day we could not be working on the ship in our march towards having it ready to sail on July 22nd.
By the way — thanks Rich for all your help in setting up this blog.