Ollie and the wise old owl

Rome resident Dan Carlton recently won second place at the 54th Georgia Author of the Year Awards for his book “Ollie and the Wise Old Owl.”

Carlton, a Rockmart native who now lives in Rome, won second place in the Children’s Book category.

He said he was surprised by the recognition since this was his first book.

“It’s just an idea that I had had late one night,” he said. “I started putting it together and I sent it to publishers and no one would publish it. I got discouraged. But then a friend of mine suggested self publishing and I decided to go that route.”

Carlton, who said his inspiration from the book coms from his daughters Katie and Callie, wants other aspiring local authors to know that even with something as simple as an idea, if they stick with it, they can be published.

“Ollie and the Wise Old Owl” teaches that there are times when we find ourselves afraid to ask questions and simply go along with the status quo. But with Ollie’s help, children might gain the confidence and ask questions and never stop learning.

“Ollie and the Wise Old Owl” is available at Living & Giving and Dogwood Books. The hardback retails for $19.99 and the softcover is $9.99.