Being cooped up at home for the past several months has been a struggle for many across the city. But Naperville native Christopher Biewer was able to use the extra time at home during the COVID-19 shutdown to finalize a project 10 years in the making.
Biewer Creates Andy the Anxious Albino Alligator
Inspired by his own favorite children’s authors who created stand alone universes and title characters interacting in each other’s stories, Biewer first wrote Andy the Anxious Albino Alligator Arrives in Animalterra back in 2010, creating his own literary world using the alphabet and alliteration.
“I created AnimalTerra, this universe of anthropomorphic animals that interact in each others books. I looked on Amazon and there were no 26 book series of alliteration at the time. So I thought that would be a fun way to have unique characters that kids could identify with in a universe that is self contained,” said Biewer.
Though the first book in the series has yet to hit the shelves, Biewer has the entire Animalterra universe mapped out from A to Z.
“I like to say that the fun starts when Andy the Anxious Albino Alligator arrives in Animalterra and continues all the way through when Zelda the Zany Zinc Zebra Zips a Zillion Zippers. Because it took me about ten tries to learn how to say that last one without stuttering. Each character has their own alliterative adventure throughout. Except for X, X is unique. No spoilers, but X is a human that comes to Animal Terra.”
Crowd Funding with Kickstarter
In order to fund the publishing and distribution of his book, Biewer set up a Kickstarter, a crowd funding service with various tiers of rewards for donating to the project. The fundraising pledge goal is $3,200, which will pay for 500 copies of the book to be printed and shipped. If the goal is not met by August 31st, all money raised is refunded and Andy the Anxious Albino Alligator will have to anxiously await another avenue to fund publication.
“All the way up to Tier 10, which is the “I love my kid the most” tier. Which means for $10,000 you can buy me out of a character’s name. I will change from B through Z character’s name to your child’s name,” Biewer said while laughing. “Whether or not that one actually happens is fine with me, I just thought it would be fun for the Kickstarter.”
Having lived most of his life in Naperville, Biewer along with his wife and three children, who you may see pop up as characters in the series, recognize the longstanding connection between Naperville, kids and families in the community, and reading.
“I’ve known that spirit of Naperville being very supportive of the kids. The park district is always the best, my kids play Little League, I played Little League. We go to author readings at the library, we go to author readings at Anderson’s. I saw that community and thought this was the perfect place. That spirit is what I hope will make this Kickstarter a success.”
A $10 donation gets you a copy of the book once it is released and Naperville residents are eligible for free shipping on their orders. For Naperville News 17, I’m Justin Cornwell.
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