by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

For Henry Herz, a life-long love of the fantasy genre has turned into a family – and entrepreneurial – affair. “When my sons were five and seven years old, I wanted to share my love of the fantasy genre with them. There are only so many good fantasy books available for that age range. I came up with a way to share the joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy – I’d write a book for them,” says Henry, who is a management consultant and an after school enrichment instructor for elementary-aged children.

Henry was pleasantly surprised when his sons Josh (now 12) and Harrison (now 10) took an interest in developing Nimpentoad with him. According to Henry, it was a great opportunity for them to work together on something fun and educational. “They devised some of the character and creature names and made plotline suggestions. Who better to make the story appealing to kids than other kids?” says Henry.

Josh and Harrison were also involved with the design elements of the book, providing art direction to the illustrator on everything from details within the illustrations to the color palette. “Nimpentoad came to life, while my boys added another dimension to their experience,” says Henry.

According to Henry, Nimpentoad tells the tale of a courageous and resourceful creature who leads his tribe through a perilous forest. “Kids aged five to ten years will enjoy the adventure and illustrations. Parents will appreciate a story that emphasizes teamwork, creativity, perseverance and leadership,” says Henry.

Throughout the journey of writing and publishing Nimpentoad, Josh and Harrison have also learned these same valuable lessons. The Herz’s self-published the book on CreateSpace™ and have been promoting the book through book signings and readings throughout San Diego. One event in particular stands out for the Herz’s as a truly memorable experience. “We were at the San Diego Public Library’s 46th Annual Local Author’s Exhibit. In attendance were fellow authors Chris Ryall (of IDW Publishing) and famed graphic novelist Eric Shanower. Both of these gentlemen – after my sons asked for their autographs – graciously asked for my boys’ autographs,” says Henry proudly.

Nimpentoad is available at www.nimpentoad.com, www.amazon.com, Del Mar Barnes & Noble, Mysterious Galaxy, Readers, and Vroman’s bookstores. It retails for $12.95.