Local author publishes ‘Frog of Arcadia’ novella

June 16, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Isabel Buckmaster

A classical-style story taking inspiration from Narnia and other children’s adventure books, Frog of Arcadia by new local author Blake Bobechko will appeal to anyone with even “the most basic toad sensibilities.”

While Bobechko says he “always wanted to be an author”, his recently published book, Frog of Arcadia was written as a gift for his two children. Publishing the book didn’t even occur to the real estate appraiser-turned-occasional author until his wife encouraged him to take a chance.

“I’m a big fan of adventure stories so Frog of Arcadia is a traditional children’s story in the sense that it’s classically told but it’s for young and old,” said Bobechko, who lives in Orangeville. “People get tripped up when they hear it’s a children’s story, they somehow instinctively think that it’s a book for like little babies or something like that but kids love it, and adults love it too.”

Since the book launch, Bobechko has received nothing but “positive feedback,” most of which has been “energetic and encouraging.” Even children in Bobechko’s eight-year-old son’s class have their parents reading it to them before bed.

“I’ve had people who are smarter than me, kind of praise it and gush over it and that’s a very big compliment to me,” said Bobechko. “It’s good because you put your name out there, I didn’t use a pen name, and so you know, you hope for the best. I’m not very sensitive, but you hope people are going to think ‘wow, this is okay.’”

But it’s not all writing and book signings. Because Bobechko is self-published, he’s had to do the legwork “to get the word out there” about his book. Luckily, his brother Matlock illustrated the novel in full.

“To me, what’s been harder than actually writing the book is marketing the book,” said Bobechko. “I’m very uncomfortable talking about myself, I don’t really want to go around telling people all about me, but that’s kind of part of the process of marketing a book I’ve learned and so that part’s been very challenging.”

However, Bobechko’s love of writing is something he would pursue even if his books hadn’t attracted a local audience. Thomas, the frog was created for Bobechko’s children “to grow into,” since all of their favourite fairy tales featured similar amphibians. However, Wind in the Willows, Bobechko’s favourite book “of all time” was “certainly an indirect influence” on his toady tale, he noted.

“In all anamorphic fairy tales, the classic ones always have a frog, especially in little kids literature,” said Bobechko. “And because I was writing to my kids, hoping they would grow into it, I wanted to use a frog because all their favourite stories did.”

Fans of the book will be excited to hear that there is a sequel in the works and that the author has ideas for a third to round out the Arcadia trilogy. Until then, the best way to support the author is to buy Frog of Arcadia or leave a review on Bobechko’s website:

The book is also available at Booklore in Orangeville.

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