Diane Welch was excited to return to Langley last weekend for the unveiling of a new childrenâ€™s book that has its roots in this community.
Introducing Mr. Nobody is a collection of short stories about Welchâ€™s family, including her four â€œenergeticâ€ children and Mr. Nobody â€“ all of whom were born in Langley.
Mr. Nobody is a mythical creature who can apparently â€œgo invisibleâ€ â€“ and who first came to life with the Welch family some eight years ago, the author explained.
Her first encounter with Mr. Nobody came shortly after Valentineâ€™s Day, when her youngest August (Austin in the book) was only two.
Welchâ€™s husband Dave had given her a box of chocolates to mark the romantic occasion. To hide them from her kids, she thought herself wise to stash them away in her underwear drawer.
â€œBut they found the chocolates, and they ate them all,â€ Welch said.
She came upstairs to find her bedroom in shambles, and chocolate smeared all over the floor and her bed sheets.
â€œAll I could hear was this muffled giggling,â€ Welch recalled, noting that she followed the sound to discover her three youngest children hidden under one of their beds, each whispering to the others to be quiet.
â€œI ripped back the sheets and shouted in a deep voice, â€˜Who ate my chocolates?â€™â€ Mom recounted.
Thatâ€™s when one of her four-year-old twins, Galatea (the bookâ€™s Hope) replied, â€œMr. Nobody did.â€
The mythical creature, who has only ever showed himself to their children, has not left the Welch household since.
And now, that character lives on with them, and in the pages of this book. In fact, that initial encounter and the story of the chocolate bandits serves as the basis for one of the nine stories in her new book.
â€œIâ€™m committed to raising my vibrant children with grace and a sense of humour, while trying to keep up with Mr. Nobodyâ€™s shenanigans,â€ she joked.
Marking the release of her book with an autographing session at the Langley Chapters seemed fitting, given that Langley is where it started and where many of the stories were created, Welch said.
This book was written by Welch, but illustrated by her husband Dave, and told through the voice of their son, who was six at the time she started writing the stories.
In addition to profiling the fun, exciting, and sometimes mischievous adventures of Mr. Nobody, the book also features their other children, Kaylee (Katie in the book), and Portia (Page in the book), as well as their dog Apollo (Zeus in the book).
While it is set in a little yellow house they currently live in on Maple Street in Abbbotsford, â€œsome of the nine short stories actually refer to life experiences during their time in Langley,â€ Welch told the Langley Advance.
â€œLangley feels like home, and I hope to move back one day,â€ she said, noting that her parents also live here.
While much of Welchâ€™s time is currently consumed promoting her first book, she said sheâ€™s already working on a sequel, and sheâ€™s almost finished another called Mr. Nobodyâ€™s Christmas Treasury.
Both those books, she hopes, will be out in the next year or so.
WIN A SIGNED COPY
How to win an autographed copy of Diane Welchâ€™s Introducing Mr. Nobody:
One lucky reader will win a copy of her childrenâ€™s book
â€¢ Click on the live link in the story about Mr. Nobody at www.langleyadvance.com, and tell us why you want a copy of the book.
You will be entered into the draw. ENTER BOOK DRAW
Preference is given to Langley residents.
Postings must be received prior to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11, and the winner will be announced on the on the Langley Advance website. No staff or family of the Langley Advance or Glacier Media are eligible. This giveaway is restricted to online participants, 19 years or older only.