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Local woman publishes children's book
W Ivey
Ivey says her book's main character was inspired by a little rooster who lives on the author's parents' farm.

    Casey Murray Ivey loved writing when she was in school, but after graduation she somehow forgot how much she enjoyed it. That was, until she read the classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown.
    “I thought, ‘Well, I could write something like that,’ ” she said. “And it’s a wonderful book, but I don’t know, I just wanted something to have a little meaning.”
    A woman on a mission, Ivey sat down with a cup of coffee one morning and began to write. In a few hours, she came up with Rojo, a little rooster who learns a tough lesson in humility. The story was inspired by Scripture, and the character was inspired by a little rooster who lives on her parents’ farm.
    “The more I wrote, the more I thought, ‘Well, darn, this is cute,’ ” Ivey said.
    She kept writing, and when she finished the story, “Rojo the Prideful Little Rooster,” she showed it to her mother, Ty Hodges.
    “She just thought it was wonderful,” Ivey said.
    “I said, ‘Casey, you just can’t let this sit in a drawer somewhere,’ ” Hodges said.
    So with the encouragement of her mother, stepfather, Daniel Hodges, and father, Bobby Murray, Ivey began submitting manuscripts to publishers across the U.S. and in Europe. 
    But success does not come easily.
    “You know, you get rejected a lot,” Ivey said, “and people will write back real nice. … Some of them just sent back and said ‘no,’ but a lot of people would write back and say, ‘Oh, it’s got potential, but we’re not doing that type of literature.’ ”
    Facing all of the rejection was difficult for Ivey, and she credits her parents and her husband, Kyle, for giving her the support she needed to keep pursuing her goal.
    After receiving many letters of rejection, Ivey saw a television news report about a family-owned, national publishing company founded on Christian principles. Because her book also teaches a moral lesson, Ivey decided to mail the company her manuscript. 
    It paid off.
    After months of waiting for a response, she was contacted by the company and signed a contract.
    And being published at Tate Publishing is no small accomplishment. The company receives thousands of manuscripts each year but only publishes a few hundred.
    Ivey said she wrote the book for children in hopes that it sparks an interest in animals and the outdoors, but she also hopes it sparks an interest in parents and children to read the Bible. Her mother has faith that it will do just that. 
    “God’s word doesn’t go out into a void,” Hodges said. “I said, ‘Casey, you can’t tell me that God didn’t put this in your head. … It’s just too good.’ ”
    “Rojo the Prideful Little Rooster” is available online at as an ebook, audio book and paperback.  It’s also available at as well as other online bookstores and retailers.

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