Tiny hero, huge goal

Ashland author Richard Seidman is using a creative method to get his children's book about a soccer-playing mouse published before the 2014 World Cup.

Seidman hopes to release "World Cup Mouse" this coming May, in advance of the World Cup's kick-off in Brazil in mid-June.

However, traditional publishers are currently working on books that won't come out until 2016 or 2017, said Seidman, whose book for adults — "The Oracle of Kabbalah: Mystical Teachings of the Hebrew Letters" — was released by the well-known publisher St. Martin's Press in 2001.

Seidman has launched an online Kickstarter fundraising campaign to raise $8,100 to fast-track publication of his children's book.

Donations will pay for illustrations, book design, editing, proofreading, the initial print run and marketing, he said.

"I didn't want to keep waiting until I found a regular publisher. I decided to take a shot at self-publishing," Seidman said. "My book is time-sensitive and I want to get it out on the momentum of World Cup fever."

A soccer player who has coached children in the past, Seidman created the main character, Louie LaSurie, a mouse who dreams of representing France in the World Cup soccer tournament.

It's difficult to see how the mouse can attain his dream.

He's so small he practices soccer using a dried pea. Most humans react with revulsion when they see him, regarding him as a pesky rodent.

Seidman said he's short himself, but has found that being small and quick can be advantageous in soccer.

"I'm not as small as the hero of my book, who's only one-and-a-half inches tall," he said.

Seidman said he's not that interested in children's books with heavy-handed messages, but he does want kids who read his book to feel inspired and to laugh.

"My book is affirming the spirit of play and the joy of engaging in something we love. If we enjoy something, we should not let other people talk us out of it," Seidman said.

In the book, the dogged main character has a saying: "Where there's a mouse, there's a way."

"World Cup Mouse" has chapters and is aimed at kids age 7 to 10.

Kids and adults are invited to a "Kick Louie Over the Top" Kickstarter Pledge Party from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at Standing Stone Brewing Co., 101 Oak St., Ashland.

The party will feature games and prizes.

Seidman's Kickstarter campaign ends on Dec. 21.

For more information on the campaign, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/worldcupmouse/world-cup-mouse.

For more information about Seidman, "World Cup Mouse" and his other books, visit http://richardseidman.com.

The first chapter of "World Cup Mouse" can be read at http://richardseidman.com/richards-books/28-2/.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.

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