Lila (www.princesslila.com) is a polite six-year-old girl who lives with her mama and papa in New York City. She has two cats, and would now like to have a dog–except dogs are not allowed in her apartment building.
After thinking about it for awhile, Lila asks her parents if she can have an invisible dog. Her parents agree, and together they decide to name the dog Fluffy. On their way to the pet store to buy invisible supplies for the invisible dog, a black and white Aussie appears from around the corner and introduces himself to Lila, saying, “My name is Fluffy.”
In a series of fun adventures that follow, Fluffy introduces Lila and her family to the invisible people of Iceland, who live inside the boulders of Central Park and the cornerstones of New York City buildings. One day, the invisible people discover that the birthmark on Lila’s left forearm is the sign of their Elven Queen, and just as she turns seven, Lila is made a princess. Can anything be better than that?
Author Mark J. Grant is better known in financial circles than in children’s literature. A fixture on CNBC and Bloomberg networks, for thirty-seven years he has held senior management positions on Wall Street, has run capital markets for four investment banks, and been on the boards of directors of four investment banks. He writes "Out of the Box," a commentary on the financial markets that is distributed daily to approximately 5,000 large money management institutions in forty-eight countries.
So what made him write a children’s novel?
“There was a dinner party at my house where any number of parents were complaining that there were no decent books for children,” Grant explains. “Every book at the book stores, I was told, was full of ‘he who could not be named’ or giant spiders, or monsters, or vampires, or skulls and crossbones. I found this hard to believe, but these parents kept assuring me it was true. So I smiled and promised to personally write a wonderful story for children. Those who did not know me so well hesitated, but those who knew me better waited for the book to be written.”
In six months, Grant wrote LILA: THE SIGN OF THE ELVEN QUEEN, which was inspired by both a real-life Lila–the young daughter of his friends–and some folklore he learned in a lecture he attended on a cruise in Iceland. “In Icelandic tradition, if there’s a new building or road project, there is a federal agency that must first investigate to see if there are boulders that invisible people might be living inside. If so, a detour must be made. Lila was excited when I shared this fact with her. So, I put them together!”
Grant expects the readership to be ages three and up, with younger children having it read to them by their parents. “I would like to think that some smiles will brighten the faces of a child as Lila heads towards being seven and, along the way, not only grows older but learns to become a young lady. And perhaps some parents, as they read the story to their young children, will recall the days of their own youth and the wonder of each new day.” He intends LILA to be the first in a series.
He emphasizes with pride that, “There is not one scary thing in this book. It’s just a fairy tale, and I wrote it that way on purpose. There’s nothing in this book that will prevent a kid from going to sleep.”
ABOUT AUTHOR MARK J. GRANT
Mark J. Grant, a graduate of Occidental College, has been on Wall Street for thirty-seven years in various senior management positions. He has run capital markets for four investment banks and been on the boards of directors of four investment banks. Grant also writes "Out of the Box," a commentary on the financial markets that is distributed daily to approximately 5,000 large money management institutions in forty-eight countries. He is the author of Out of the Box and onto Wall Street: Unorthodox Insights on Investments and the Economy (Wiley, 2011). LILA: THE SIGN OF THE ELVEN QUEEN is his first novel.
Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen
230 page hardcover, $14.95 US / $17.00 CAN; ISBN: 978-1-62086-357-2
Published by Mascot Books (August, 2013)
Available wherever books are sold