A 14-year-old Tuxedo boy has published a children’s book series and even moved on to television, all for the love of
"I’ve loved writing since I was a kid," said Joshua Hood. "I started out with Thomas the Tank Engine trains, and I’d retell the stories I’d see on TV, and I started telling new stories with my own new characters, and it’s escalated from there."
The book series is called Teddy the Tour Boat. It follows a pontoon boat giving tours on two rivers that fork in the town of Peg. The series is based on an actual pontoon boat that Hood’s father used to captain on the Red River when
Hood was around seven years old.
The books are for sale at McNally Robinson Booksellers, on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and eReaders print on demand.
"It has elements from the actual boat that I remember," said Hood. "I tried to make it look as close to the real things in the illustrations, but looking back at the real pictures it looks like I’ve missed a few things."
Regardless of missing a few details the books have been taking off. McNally Robinson Booksellers held a book launch for Hood April 14.
Since being published at McNally Robinson Booksellers, Hood is making a little bit of money from his work too.
"Just right now I’m looking to get my name out there a little bit, rather than making money right now," said Hood. "But it brings in a bit."
Hood also runs a personal YouTube page that he keeps separately from his Teddy the Tour Boat series. He said YouTube pays him up to $600 a year for the hits it receives.
Josh’s mother Brenna Shearer is very supportive of her son’s creations and interests, and is proud of his creative way of bringing in some extra cash.
"It’s definitely New Age," said Shearer. "It’s nice to see that he’s found a passion and that he is dedicated to something and has found a way to make a small living out of it. A different kind of part-time job, that’s for sure."
Hood has also been approached to write eight episodes for a new children’s television show.
"It’s a kids show again about boats, tug boats in a harbour somewhere in Ontario," said Hood. "I guess I have a knack for boats."
Hood has been interviewed by a number of news organizations including local television stations. He was nervous about television, but now says he’s getting used to it.
"You don’t see a whole lot of 14-year-olds who’ve published children’s books," said Hood. "I feel kind of special in that way because I’m unique. It makes me feel a bit better about myself."
Shearer, on the other hand, always knew her son would be great.
"Ever since he’s taught himself to read he’s always wanted to publish a book," said Shearer. "He’s always wanted to do this and he made his own dream come true."