Kate (Monahan) Hanscom '05 was a Finance major at Stonehill, but she's seen her lifelong dream of publishing a children's book come true-with the help of her Stonehill friends and family.
Hanscom- who is married to Stonehill alum Chris Hanscom '05- has published "Literal Lily" (available now for purchase on Amazon.com), illustrated by her mother-in-law, retired art teacher Lynda Hanscom.
The illustrations of Lily were based on the author's four-year-old niece Nola-the daughter of her brother, Stonehill alumni John Monahan '00 and his wife Leigh (Bozzi) Monahan '00.
"Even the colors on the book are Stonehill purple and white-and I didn't even pick those out," said Kate Hanscom with a laugh. "It's just truly a Stonehill story of how this came together."
Hanscom is the daughter of two Stonehill alumni who met on campus-John Monahan '71 and Anne Gaffney Monahan '71.
She and Chris Hanscom, who now live in Auburn, Mass., also met at Stonehill during their freshmen year when they both lived in "the Sem." She said they got to know each other through friends and by playing basketball games at the Sports Complex.
Hanscom wrote "Literal Lily" in the middle of the night while she was pregnant with their daughter, Allie, now one year old.
"Chris and I didn't know the gender of the baby. While I was up at night, I would imagine what this baby was going to be like," she said. "So I thought back to how I was as a kid."
And Hanscom was very literal.
The book is about Lily and her mother as they go on a shopping adventure to get supplies for her first day of school. Lily is easily confused when she takes commonly-used sayings exactly as they are spoken. Through the book's humorous situations, both Lily and the little readers, learn the meaning of both the word "literal" and some common idioms.
Hanscom wrote the first draft of "Literal Lily" in about a week, but didn't think anything of it until her sister-in-law, a first-grade teacher, took a look and convinced her to send it to a publisher.
After sending manuscripts out to numerous publishers, "Lily" was accepted by Ambassador International, a small publisher based in Greenville, South Carolina.
The former business student is doing most of the marketing for the book on her own. Publicity for the book is now a full-time job, along, of course, with raising their daughter.
"I love business. And publishing is a total business. There's strategy. Publishers need to make money, writers need to make money, book stores need to make money, and how do we make that all happen?" said Hanscom.
She formerly worked in the Development Office at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester and also at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Her husband works at Babson Capital in Springfield as an investment analyst.
"My pipe dream is to write a series," Hanscom said. "Creative writing has been a hobby of mine for a number of years, so I have many stories stored in my desk at home. With hard work and a little luck, I'm hopeful that some of those stories may make it to the publisher's desk one day."
"My thought for my next book is ‘Fickle Fiona.'"