Gayle and Ian Moore-Morrans sign copies of their new children’s book

Gayle and Ian Moore-Morrans sign copies of their new children’s book

Story inspired by a childhood pet

Vernon writers — and spouses — Ian and Gayle Moore-Morrans have collaborated on their first children's book

When a writer meets and marries an editor, the result is books.

Ian and Gayle Moore-Morrans have just published their first book written together, a children’s book called Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louis.

Their previous books, written by Ian and edited by Gayle, are From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada, a memoir, and Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie.

The couple included members of their extended family, great-grandchildren Leland German, then 11, as reader, and Hannah German, then nine, as illustrator.

Jake, Jimmy & Big Louis is a book to appeal to anyone of any age who has ever loved and raised a pet. Ian draws on his own experiences raising a cockatiel to tell the story of a boy who takes on a budgie with a disability and an at-first unwanted raven, and follows their adventures and growing friendship.

Ian, 82, still has vivid memories of the first time he ever saw a book. He grew up in poverty on the West Coast of Scotland.

“I must have been about four. My brother brought home a book from school and it had pictures in it. It was such a temptation. I went to school until I was 14 and got good marks in writing. My teacher told me I should be a journalist but that seemed too far beyond me,” he recalled. “I joined the air force and it was the first time I had sheets on my bed and three meals a day.”

He later became a blacksmith, then an industrial machinist and has written a book, Metal Machining Made Easy.

Gayle also showed an early aptitude for writing and wrote for church papers and magazines while she was a parish worker. She married a pastor and lived in Germany for eight years, keeping up her writing and editing and detailed scrapbooks. She was widowed when she returned to the States and met Ian, who had lost his wife, in 2003 in Winnipeg. They made their way west and decided they liked Vernon after performing here as Mr. Scotland and his Bonnie Lassie, a singing duet, at a KalVern Celtic Society Ceilidh.

Ian said they started to write the book a couple of years ago.

“I had a dream about this little budgie and thought if I’m ever going to start writing this story, I better start writing it now.”

Gayle added, “We dedicate this book to our children and great-grandchildren.”

Ian and Gayle are now working on a new book, Came to Canada, Eh? Continuing  Scottish Immigrants Story. Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie is available through www.createspace.com/5114278 or Amazon. Their blog is at www.ianmooremorrans.com and their publishing company is Moomor Publishing.

Ian and Gayle will have a book signing Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. at Teach and Learn in Vernon.