By Daniel Gilbert, Oklahoma City Recruiting BattalionJanuary 29, 2013
TULSA, Okla. -- Armed with his marshmallow shooter and a big bag of fluffy white ammunition, Beau transforms his mom's flower bed into a fort and prepares to do battle with an evil squirrel captain. Beau will stop at nothing to keep the squirrels from taking all the walnuts in this backyard escapade to secure walnuts for his mother's perfect walnut pie.
Thus sets the stage for "The Great Walnut War," the first children's book by Tulsa, Okla., recruiter Steve C. Bellew, who took up writing and blogging in 2005 as a creative hobby.
Now as a husband and father of three, he is most inspired to write stories for his family.
The story of "The Great Walnut War" stars Bellew's 5-year-old son, Beau. Bellew said he didn't plan to publish the book until he saw his son's response.
"I just wanted to write a story for my son," said Bellew. "I read it to him a few times and his reaction made me want to publish it. He absolutely loves it."
In addition to Beau's excitement, Bellew's wife and personal editor, Casey, gave him an extra push. Bellew credits Casey for constant encouragement to pursue his writing.
"She is very supportive and always tells me to keep going," he said, followed by a chuckle. "She jokes
with me and says she hopes this isn't my best book."
Bellew has already begun works for his other two children. For 10-year-old daughter, Tobie, a five-book adventure series about a paranormal agency, based somewhere along the lines of Nancy Drew meets Scooby Doo. He is aiming to publish the first of the sequence in a little over a year.
His next release, however, is for 8-year-old Abbigail. "Abbi's Haunted Pancakes" is designed to help children count backwards and will be Bellew's first to also illustrate.
Bellew is scheduled to separate from the Army in 2014 when he plans to spend more time with family as well as open his own business. He intends to continue his writing with goals focused on promoting family amusement.
"I want kids and parents to have fun with the stories. That's what it's about," he said.