Children need not be afraid of the dark any more

Debut author inspired to write after power outage

A power outage and a child's fear of the dark sparked a children's novel.

In the fall 2008, a power outage at Trish Factor's home scared her three-yearold son Nathaniel.

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"When the house went dark, Nathaniel's face looked angry and he looked to be on the verge of tears," recalled Factor. "I know many children go through a fear of the dark and I wanted to find a way to make him feel safe and secure in the dark."

Goodnight Angels! is the result.

Factor, Richmond News' administration manager, penned a fanciful tale of angels watching over sleeping children.

Initially, Factor wrote it for her son, never considering the thought of publishing it.

"Honestly, it took me 30 minutes to write," Factor said. "It sounds weird, but I heard the story in my mind and then I just put pen to paper."

After she'd written her short story, it dawned on her that this would make a great picture book.

"So, I started drawing three-quarters of the images in the likeliness I wanted," said Factor.

She shared the book with friends.

"I gave my draft to my friend Lisa because her child had been suffering from night terrors for more than two years," she said.

"She read it to both her kids and the next day her son asked her to read it again."

The following day, it suddenly dawned on Lisa that her son had slept through the night - a first in two years.

"Lisa told me that her son said he didn't have nightmares anymore."

Factor knew then she had a book in the making.

"I approached a friend of mine, Kent Nevins, who has an arts degree, to see if he would be interested in illustrating my story . he said yes right away."

When asked why she chose angels, Factor explained: "I like angels because they can be for anyone, they are the most positive image I could come up with."

Factor's lifelong love of literature and writing began early.

"I've been reading novels since I was seven," she said.

At 16, she penned nearly two books of a science fiction trilogy, but then discontinued, thinking no one would take a teen's writing seriously.

"At the University of Victoria, I wrote a Greek tragedy about garbage and got an A," said Factor, who earned her bachelor's of Arts degree in classical studies.

That love affair for the written word was just waiting for the right time, she quipped.

"I always knew a novel was in my stars," she said.

Nathaniel, 7, is pretty proud of his mom.

"It's good that mom wrote a book and some of my friends at school have it," Nathaniel said. "My friend Justin loves it."

Partial proceeds from Goodnight Angels! will be donated to the Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), to help find a cure.

Factor will be reading and signing copies of her book, Goodnight Angel!, at Lansdowne Centre's Black Bond Books on Saturday, Aug. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Goodnight Angels! is available at all Black Bond Books locations as well as online at www.blackbondbooks.com. For more information about Goodnight Angels! Visit www.goodnightangels.ca.

mhopkins@richmond-news.com

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