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Young author pens children's books

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Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Winnie Hirsch conducts a reading of her children's books for fourth graders and Little Sprouts preschoolers last week at Hunsicker Library. As she read the Christmas adventure in her current trilogy, she paused to show the photos w

A young Surface Creek writer who has had three of her children's books published says she is planning more stories about the exploits of her reptillian protagonist -- her pet, Sepren -- a bearded dragon.

Twelve-year-old Winnie Hirsch has written three adventure stories about the exploits of Sepren. The stories are set in the holiday environments of Christmas, Easter and the Fourth of July, and Winnie is already planning future Sepren adventures set around New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day and Halloween.

"I was inspired to write by my bearded dragon, Sepren," Winnie said. "He likes to be dressed up. He was a wizard for Halloween. He likes wearing little capes and stuff."

Last week, Winnie paid a visit to the Hunsicker Library at Cedaredge Elementary School for a reading of her work to students and guests from Little Sprouts Preschool.

She read from her first book, "Sepren's Christmas Adventure." The slim volume is produced on high-quality stock with glossy photos and illustrations. As with the other adventures in The Sepren Series, Winnie took the photos illustrating the story. "Sepren's Christmas Adventure" was published before Christmas last year.

In his Christmas adventure, explained the author, a caped Sepren is found proving his heroic mettle by the kind act of lending his garment to a salamander who needed it for protection from winter's cold, and thus earning the honor of being Santa's helper.

In Sepren's second adventure of the series, "Sepren's Easter Adventure," the hero is found ready to assist another iconic character of holiday events -- the Easter Bunny. Sepren finds himself needed to help vanquish the story's villain -- the Bad Bunny.

The author then took an imaginative leap in plot design for her third book -- "Sepren's 4th of July Adventure." Winnie says, "I have a pretty good imagination. I just think up the plots before I begin to write." The third book involves time travel, with Sepren taking a trip back through time to the American Colonies as they struggled for independence from Great Britain. Winnie's plot brings Sepren to the signing of the Declaration of Independence where he makes his mark on that historic testament to freedom "for all the animals." The books are each about 20 to 26 pages long.

Winnie is being homeschooled. She attended CMS through the fifth grade. While she has written and photographed all the material for her Sepren Series books, she needed some help from Mom and Dad when it came to getting them published. Her parents are Susie Hirsch, who grew up in Grand Junction, and Jeff Hirsch who is from Phoenix. They are both local veterinarians.

They chose a firm in Grand Junction for the job of producing the books. There were 100 copies of each one published in the first editions. Copies are available at Winnie's website, WinnieHirsch.com. (Note: A search engine inquiry might turn up a different author with the same name as Winnie's. So a search for "Winnie Hirsch Sepren Series" is recommended.)

Winnie was confident that by this week her mom would have been able to arrange having the books in the Sepren Series made available through Amazon.com.

People who have ordered her books all asked for autographed copies, and Winnie says she is glad to comply with the request.

Winnie donated a set of her three books to the school library last week following her readings, "so that the kids can check them out."

Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Sepren, the caped bearded dragon protagonist of Winnie Hirsch’s children’s books, is shown with Santa from the cover photo of “Sepren’s Christmas Adventure.”
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