Stapleton resident Nicholas Hutchinson took a crack at writing a children’s book; the result “far exceeded expectations.” His book, Barry’s Wild Ride, was published this past May and jumped straight to Amazon’s bestseller list.
Hutchinson has always been a writer but never really considered children’s writing. He studied English at Kenyon College and got his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado-Boulder. He has done freelance writing for magazines and publications in Denver and Boulder.
As well as journalism, he enjoys creative writing, poetry and writing songs.
He isn’t exactly sure how or why he came up with the idea for the children’s book Barry’s Wild Ride.
It first began as a scribbled note in 2003 when he became inspired by spending time with his three young stepchildren. They read children’s books and went for walks through City Park where they watched fox and geese. He became immersed in a world of childhood imagination filled with animals and silly characters. “I’m basically an overgrown kid,” he says. He has always loved reading and remembers as a child reading Go Dog Go and Dr. Seuss books.
The idea for his book remained mostly dormant until 2009 when he became exhausted from writing a memoir of travels with his family. He needed a break; his escape was writing Barry’s Wild Ride, the story of a curious bear that lives in a cave near the beach.
Barry munches berries and does yoga. Hutchinson describes him as “whimsical, friendly, playful and adventurous.” He says, “Barry’s a soulful bear. He strums his guitar in the moonlight.” After surfing, Barry and his animal friends have a jam session around a bonfire on the beach.
Hutchinson showed a copy of the story to his family, who loved it and encouraged him to pursue the idea. “I probably wouldn’t have even published it if there weren’t people telling me to do it,” he says.
He started a Kickstarter campaign and raised $5,000, enough to publish the book. Hutchinson then found a professional illustrator with an “edgy style” who captured Barry’s character.
For two weeks after Barry’s Wild Ride was published, it consistently stayed at number one on Amazon’s bestseller list. The book is also available at Denver Public Libraries, and Hutchinson may do a story reading at the Sam Gary Branch this fall.
Hutchinson says he already has an idea for a second children’s book that is basically written, but he plans to wait a little while before publishing it.