Author of the Month - Bailey B.

Author of the Month - Bailey B.

By Emma Gutierrez / February 15, 2023

We’ve got an amazing story this month that was inspired by our author’s grandfather. Our February author is Bailey who wrote the story “Sailing Through Time” which is inspired by her Poppy’s time in the U.S. Navy and the stories that he shared with her. Let’s get into Bailey’s story which gives us some unexpected twists and turns!

This is a story about two best friends, Sailor and her grandpa who she dotingly calls Poppy. Poppy served in the U.S. Navy and Sailor is named after him. Sailor loves listening to all the stories that Poppy tells her (although, she thinks some may be made up)!

Sailor loves books! She immerses herself in all the books that she reads. She has so many books that her bedroom almost looks like a bookstore! On Sailor’s 13th birthday, her parents surprise her with a tour and visit to the U.S.S. Yorktown naval ship. She can invite whoever she wants and she knows she just HAS to bring Poppy! Sailor is so excited, her Poppy was stationed on that exact ship when he served.

Sailor loves seeing where Poppy slept and ate, and seeing the deck where the planes were. They get back from their visit, and Sailor is interested and wants more information about the ship. To the library, they go!

There is only one book that has information about the ship. Sailor’s mom thought the “words were smaller than a worm and the book was as thick as a rhinoceros.” Sailor’s mom didn’t want to overload Sailor with too much information.

As mentioned, Sailor is a bookworm. She immediately feels this book is was unlike any other book that she has read before. As she continues reading… all of a sudden the words start to disappear!

Sailor gasps and drops the book on her bed. She slowly takes a peek, and there is a yellow light that flashes.

There’s a knock at the door, and slowly it opens. It’s Sailor’s mom. But as she enters the room, Sailor is nowhere to be found. The only thing she finds is the library book on the bed. “Where could she be?”

Sailor opens her eyes and realizes that she isn’t back home. She is confused and scared. She looks around and sees a sign that says “Welcome Sailor to U.S.S. Yorktown.” She can’t believe it! She sees a man passing that has a very familiar face. The man directed her to the women’s quarters where Sailor spends the night.

She wakes up but clenches her eyes shut hoping this is all a dream. She hears someone over the speaker telling everyone that it was time to wake up. Sailor opens her eyes and sees 25 other people in the room.

Sailor walks to get breakfast and again she sees the familiar man. She tries to follow him but loses him in the food hall. After breakfast, she goes to Supply Aviation for her first day of work. Sailor feels mixed emotions, especially because she doesn’t know anything about planes.

The workday comes to an end and Sailor heads to her sleeping quarters. But on her way, she runs in a group of guys and curiosity leads her to follow them into the galley. As she enters the room, she sees the familiar man again! She tries to go sit beside him but someone else beat her to the seat to watch the movie that was playing.

While Sailor is getting into a routine on the ship, back at home, Sailor’s mom is worried. She has no idea where Sailor has gone. She is putting up posters, calling friends and family trying to find out where she went. It was time to call the state troopers.

Meanwhile, back on the ship, Sailor decides to do some research. She needs to figure out how she got here and how does she get home? She can’t figure out how she ended up on the ship. If she was on the U.S.S. Yorktown…that meant it was 1961!

Sailor paces as she thinks and lands on the idea that it must be time travel. She decides to go to work to try and calm her racing thoughts. While at work, guess who she sees? It's the familiar man again. She finally decides to follow him. She introduces herself to the man and asks what his name is. The man responds, “Dennis Burch.” Sailor couldn’t believe it. It was Poppy! She had to tell him. But how would he handle the news?

Sailor decides to tell him and shares all the information with him, from her time travel to his future wife, kids, and grandchildren. Dennis listens attentively and without questioning. Sailor ultimately wasn’t sure if he believed her or not but over the next couple of months, they spend time getting to know each other. He teaches her how to play cards, tells her stories, and they watch tv together, and he even gives her a new nickname, half-pint.

One night, the weather worsened. Strong winds and gray clouds filled the sky. Giant waves cause the ship to rock back and forth. As Sailor makes her way back to the room, she suddenly loses her balance and hits her head. The last thing she remembers is the room spinning.

Sailor wakes up to a familiar voice. It was her mom! Sailor jumps out of the room and runs to her mom who is talking to a state trooper. Just as her mom asks where she has been, the doorbell rings. It’s Nana and Poppy! Poppy says to Sailor, “Hey, half-pint! Glad you're back just in time for a Little House on the Prairie episode” Poppy looks at Sailor and gives her a wink!

Who would’ve thought that Poppy knew this would happen the whole time? We loved reading “Sailing Through Time,” thank you for sharing your story with us, Bailey!

Find out what Bailey shared with us in her interview below.

Read the Full Interview:

Where did you get your Lulu Junior kit? Who gave it to you?
My mom and I were shopping at Barnes & Noble when I saw the Illustory kit. I had to have it! I've always wanted to write a book, so when we saw it, we thought it was really cool!

Where did you get your idea for your story?
My Poppy inspired my story. I've always enjoyed listening to him tell stories from when he served in the Navy.

How does it feel to be a published author?
It feels great to accomplish this goal. I love that it's hardcover too!

What's the one piece of advice you'd share with another young writer?
Write your story first, then decide on your title.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I enjoy pretending, playing the ukulele, and spending time with my little sisters.

Do you prefer writing or illustrating? Why?
I like writing better because I think it's more fun.

What's one of your favorite books?
I have a lot of favorites, but I like the "Whatever After" series and "The Christmas Pig."

How do you like to set up your writing/drawing space?
For writing, I type on the computer and draw at my desk or the table with a pencil, eraser, markers, or colored pencils.

What inspires you to write or draw?
I enjoy reading books by a variety of authors. I enjoy trying different writing styles and different tones. Drawing comes from my imagination.

What do you want people to remember about your book?
I visited the U.S.S. Yorktown, and my Poppy was station on that ship. Always call it a ship, never a boat. Otherwise, Poppy will correct you.