Now the Tabernacle author is publishing the antithesis to a horror story: a new children’s book titled “Goodnight Monsters.”
“A lot of people started talking about how their children are having trouble sleeping at night,” Lacy said. “The moms are freaking out, or they’re spending all of their time walking around telling the kids ‘No, this is that’ (or) ‘No you need to go to bed.’ So I decided to create the book, to be able to help those moms that are feeling guilty.”
“Goodnight Monsters,” released on Nov. 8, is a rhyming picture book that follows a kid who tries desperately to fall asleep while ordinary objects constantly turn into new monsters around her.
Lacy hopes the book will offer a lesson for parents and kids alike.
“Adults can point out that in life, when times get dark and things are scary,” she explained. “We can look past the shadows and discover the truth on our own.”
Lacy herself is no stranger to scary times. After teaching and owning estate sale, thrift and photography businesses, she dropped everything in January to spend time becoming an author. Since then, she’s self-published twice, a children’s book, “The Stinky Diaper,” and a memoir, “Butterfly — From Daughter to Mother.”
After “Goodnight Monsters,” she will publish a series of sight-word books, starting with “Once There Was a King,” expected to publish in December.
While working on her already-published works, Lacy did everything herself, from writing and Photoshopping illustrations, to publishing online on Amazon and marketing herself. For “Goodnight Monsters,” she recruited 17-year-old Mount Holly artist Willow Phillips to do the illustrations.
“I just really thought that it would be an awesome advantage for (Phillips) to work alongside,” Lacy said. “She wants to be an artist, so I figured that we together would create this book. She’s the artist and I’m in charge of everything else. And I wanted her to learn how to work on such a large project.”
Phillips drew inspiration for “Goodnight Monsters” from her favorite childhood author, Dr. Seuss.
“Even as a child, I would look at the illustrations in the book really closely,” she recalled. Phillips, who drew the “monsters” as whimsical creatures, relates to the main character.
“It shows these monsters that aren’t really there,” Phillips noted. “I was a very imaginative child and I would see things like in the shadows in my room at night. I hope this helps other kids realize that it is all in their head and that it’s okay to just relax.”
Lacy’s next book, “There Once was a King,” will also be illustrated by a young artist, Seneca student Kira Steiner.
“I’m hoping someday, if one of my books hits it big, then all of these books and all of these illustrators will come right up along with it,” Lacy said.
The author is passionate about creating opportunities for young people to chase their dreams. Each week, she teaches a young author class at The Math Accelerator on Main Street in Medford.
“Kids are scared to write nowadays,” she said. “They hate creating because it seems so tedious. But I’m working with these kids and we’re creating books together.”
“Goodnight Monsters” is available at daniellelacy.com in print and Kindle editions. Those who purchase on Lacy’s website will receive a copy signed by Lacy and Phillips and will be entered to win one of three Zoom video calls with the author.