By REBECCA HAZEN
Olivia McNabb, born and raised in Dade County, has published and illustrated her first children’s book, “Marvin the Turtle.”
“This is my first book. I have a bachelor’s degree in English, so I have always been interested in things like that,” McNabb said. “Marvin was a learning process for me. I have always wanted to write. I have always been afraid of showing others my work.”
McNabb graduated from Dade County High School in 2009, and she is currently working on her master’s of science in psychology in applied behavior analysis.
According to McNabb, she wrote “Marvin the Turtle” for her two children.
“I have two kids, ages 6 and 4, and my daughter has a sensory processing disorder. We homeschool, even before COVID-19. She is different, but I don’t like her to feel different, so this idea just popped into my head,” McNabb said.
McNabb said she picked a turtle to be her main character because she likes turtles.
“Because turtles are slow, people like to make fun of turtles,” McNabb said.
According to McNabb, the synopsis of the story is that Marvin the Turtle learns to be confident in his own shell as he discovers that it is okay to be different.
She started working on the story in 2019, and the book was published last month. While in the process of writing a rough draft, she thought about drawing some pictures to go along with it to help her finish.
“I wasn’t planning to submit it or anything, but I went out on a limb. I submitted it, and I sent in my drawings so they could see what I was going for. I did not expect them to keep the drawings,” McNabb said.
McNabb continued, “It took me two years to finish Marvin and work up the courage to share it. My book is different, my illustrations are different. I have come to terms with being different is okay for myself throughout this process.”
“Marvin the Turtle” can be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Books A Million and Target. She says that she has quite a few good reviews online, and that so far, people seem to like the book. She has also been asked to read the book to a couple of different classrooms in the northwest Georgia region.
“I wrote “Marvin the Turtle” because so many children and people in general are different, and they may feel left out or lonely. They need to know that being different is okay. Being yourself is what is important, and not trying to fit in,” McNabb said.
McNabb says that she has another Marvin book in the works.
“I plan on continuing with “Marvin the Turtle” and making him a teaching/learning character for not just children, but to help adults, too,” McNabb said.