Daniel Chapman didn’t intend to write a children’s book; it just sort of happened naturally.
After the 23-year-old HU alum penned a poem to his late grandfather on his birthday, he suddenly realized he had the makings of a children’s book right in front of him.
“Only after reading it for (poet and counselor) Dr. Nate Gadsden, did I realize that many people were actually connecting with my story,” Chapman said. “It came out in this rhythmic ab/ab rhyme scheme and became whimsical to read. That, coupled with the fact that it was written through my eyes from the ages of about 6 to 15, just made it make sense as a children’s book.”
Fast forward six months and Chapman officially can call himself a children’s book author. His work, “Can you Find a Four-Leaf Clover,” was published by York-based Community Arts Ink./ Three Apples High last week.
And while he didn’t set out to become a children’s author, Chapman is proud of the book he said is “about a lesson to be kept, some sort of guiding principle to always keep you tethered to what matters most.”
Daniel Chapman, center, is pictured with Brian Humphrey, left, HU Manager of University and Community Partnerships, and Doug Firestone, HU Chief of Staff
A Baltimore native, Chapman graduated from HU with a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology in May.
He plans to enter medical school within the next two years, but between studying for the MCATS, working for a Lancaster County snack food company, writing poetry, hosting open mic nights and playing music, Chapman said another children’s book could be in the making.
HU recently caught up with Chapman to learn more about his book and all of the other great things happening in his life:
Q: How did you become interested in writing a children’s book?
A: This book was actually written as a poem to my late grandfather. Conceptually, it is the conversation I have to “his absence,” after I find out he passes. I go through the years of things I’ve learned from him, or milestones I was able to reach because of his friendship from early childhood, however brief it was for me. Only after reading it for Dr. Nate Gadsden did I realized many people were actually connecting with my story. It came out in this rhythmic ab/ab rhyme scheme and became whimsical to read though. That, coupled with the fact it was written through the eyes of me from ages about 6 really to 15, just made it make sense as a children’s book.
Q: Can you briefly describe what the book is about?
A: It’s about a lesson to be kept, some sort of guiding principle, to always keep you tethered to what matters most. We all have one core thing (item, quote, favorite food, favorite piece of information) that we keep with us. It’s the thing that would calm us down. My mom would say, they were pink hair curlers (long story). Actually, though, it was a four-leaf clover. It was our thing. We looked for clovers when I was a kid. And what’s more, he ALWAYS found them. I was a seeing is believing kind of kid. And, eventually, it kind of became this thing that stayed in my mind that started as a joke. Anytime anything would go wrong, I would wish for “Pop Pops” luck. That man could find a four-leaf clover in a field full of daisies”.
But then it became a characteristic I needed to grow toward. He lent much to me in creating my first fictitious superhero I needed to try and be like.
Q: How did you go about getting it published?
A: I worked with Carla Christopher-Waid over at Community Arts Ink. Just kind of sent her the manuscript and some pictures a friend drew for me. It was published by
Q: I understand another HU Alum illustrated the book?
A: Yes! ALL the credit goes to Kevin I. Wright, who literally took the images in my head and made them a reality. He just got it. He graduated with me in May as well.
Q: Why did you focus on the children’s genre? Do you plan to write more children’s books? What is your goal career-wise?
A: Again, this was completely accidental. I wrote a poem to my grandfather on his birthday and it just came out, lol. I may write more… You might have to wait and see, ha. And my goal career wise is to enter medicine. At the end of all of this, I so badly want to positively impact the field of neurology.
Q: When did you realize you had a passion for writing children’s books?
A: I would say two minutes and 36 seconds after receiving the final copies of this book in my hand. I think it turned into a great read if I’m allowed to “toot-my-own-horn”. It’s fun to read, it introduces some important themes I think. I am honestly proud of the work.
Q: What lies ahead for you?
A: Currently, I am a Quality Control Technician for Sensible Portions. I am not in grad school; however, I am studying intensely for my MCATs planning on taking a few courses to keep myself fresh, and by spring 2019, I plan to be enrolled. In addition to that, I host an open-mic night at Harrisburg University on the third Friday of every month. I have written, and am now I am producing a web-based Sitcom. Episode 1 is dropping at the end of November. I also dabble in music to keep myself occupied (song writing mostly).
Q: Before we let you go, where can customers buy your book?