Fifteen years ago, the plot of a children’s book came to Encinitas resident Jill Kramer one night in a dream.
“It’s one of the weirdest things that’s ever happened to me,” said Kramer, who was an editorial director at a Carlsbad publishing house when she dreamed up the book. “I thought I was going to forget about it in a few minutes, and it stuck in my head all day. It was the 4th of July, I remember. I wrote the whole book that day.
This book, “The Adventures of Inner-City Kitty”, recently became a reality. (An event to celebrate her book launch was held Sept. 17 at Rancho Santa Fe, home of Vicki and Art Perry. See photos from the event above.)
“I don’t know why it took 15 or 16 years for this to happen, but everything has its season and its reason,” Kramer said.
She initially shopped for the book to no avail.
“I had tons of connections in the industry, even though I wasn’t a children’s book publisher,” Kramer said. “I sent it in thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll have no problem getting it published. But I kept getting no, no, no for various reasons. “We have too many cat books, or this or that, make it longer, shorten it, do this, do that.” I just gave up after a while.
She repeated her attempts a few times over the next few years. A promising opportunity fell through due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a potential publisher telling him that the company would not be taking on new projects for some time.
“I said, ‘OK, forget it,'” she said.
Then came another lead.
A friend and literary agent, Bill Gladstone, said he would publish the book through his company Waterside Productions.
The 30-page book is about a couple who adopt three children — Miguel, 7, Erin, 6, and Carly, 5 — who want to adopt a pet and end up bringing home a tabby calico named Kitty. Some of the topics and themes of “The Adventures of Inner-City Kitty” include adoption, tolerance, multicultural issues and acceptance, and love of cats.
“It was longer than the traditional children’s book,” Kramer said. “I’ve been told it shouldn’t be more than 900 words. It didn’t work for me. I had a 900 word version, but I wanted to do it my way.
She added: “I know books, I’ve edited probably 2,000 books and I know a good book when I read it, even when it’s my own.”
After growing up in Philadelphia, Kramer graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Television and Film, with a minor in English, at age 20, according to her website. Her career took her from Boston to San Diego, where she worked as a textbook writer for a major publisher. Then she moved to LA, before ending up in Encinitas.
“I had no interest, thought or desire to write a children’s book, but I had three adopted godchildren, so I’m sure it was on my conscience when one morning I woke up and the whole plot and characters of a children’s book was in my head,” Kramer said. “It was one of the weirdest things that ever happened to me.”
The first book she wrote in 1996, “Love Dat Cat,” gives cat lovers “165 wonderful things you can do for your cat.”
“The Adventures of Inner-City Kitty” is available on Amazon.