Humble beginnings . . .

Here's a flawed little jewel from the vaults: Darryl and the Magic Potion. The lone survivor of at least 5 or 6 storybooks that I "published" in Grade 3. Every student had to write and publish only one book, but apparently I had a talkative muse whispering in my ear, because I ended up churning these things out faster than Stephen King.

The cover art is a little sketchy (I'm pretty sure the back cover is a "house ad" for another of my storytelling masterpieces), proudly Made In Canada with obviously absolutely no planning put into the placement of that title.

When you're 7 going on 8 years old, Etheridge is a very difficult name to spell, even when it's your own. So I opted to write under the pseudonym Darryl E. Why is there a Blue Fairy hovering around the cauldron? No idea.

Dedicated to my Mum. That's right, because every great author dedicates their first work to their mother.

More blue fairies, a bad Broom Hilda knock-off and a rhyme-scheme torn directly from William Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Apparently, I got stumped when it came to illustrating a monster turning into a human so I just stuck with not-Broom Hilda mixing up the strange brew. I'm assuming her wig fell in the cauldron.

A little better. Hair's back and at least I've got a man turning into a beast, that or some naked guy peeling off a Godzilla costume.

And we wrap it all up with the critics' praise for the author!


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