Gordon Mercer and Marcia Mercer Global Digital Post

Diversity: When I Woke Up the World Was Yellow

Book Quote: “I’m sorry, I said sighing, it’s just, I never knew, how much you need green to appreciate blue!” Marcia Mercer, “When I Woke Up the World Was Yellow”


Franklin, NC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/23/2011 --It was Saturday morning and time to head over to Taste of Scotland in Franklin, N. C. Marcia had the 10 to 12 slot at Books Unlimited and was signing her new children’s book, “When I Woke Up the World Was Yellow.” We enjoyed the book signing. Gordon browsed and bought some books and Marcia enjoyed chatting with everyone.

“When I Woke Up the World Was yellow” is about a feisty heroine who loves yellow, but everything yellow is too much. She misses blue but when blue takes over, everyone looks like zombies. How many single color takeovers will there be before our heroine can put the world right?

We were interested in children’s (ages 3-9) comments about the book. Samantha thought the book was cool and she liked the pink colors best. Mikey liked the book because the world keeps changing colors and he especially liked the red takeover because, “it looks like blood.” Wyatt liked the orange world with the sheets of orange falling from the sky.

The children were undecided about a world filled exclusively with their favorite color. At first they thought it might be a good idea. As they thought about it and discussed it, a light bulb seemed to go off in their head that diversity creates beauty.

We asked Marcia Gaines Mercer, the author of “When I woke Up the World Was Yellow,” some questions about her book.

Question: How do you go about writing a children’s book?

Marcia Mercer: The truth is weird but it's how most of my books have come to me. I wake up and they are in my head, like they have been planted there. If it was a dream, it didn't come with a visual, just words. I write everything down over the next day or so, and then tweak it. I was sure that since this one, was in rhyme, I was doomed, even if Jamie Lee Curtis does write in rhyme.

Question: Could you tell us something about the meaning of the book from an author’s perspective?

Marcia Mercer: I felt like since the book was planted in my head, it was left to me to interpret. I don't really see it as a book about color, although it is perfectly fine if others do. I see it as a book about diversity. Gordon, when asked about politics and which side he is on, will sometimes reply that he believes in the two-party system. He will then explain what would happen to politics and how much worse it could be if we only had one view of things. I like to think in some simple way the book helps children see that we need more than one way of seeing things and that we need ALL the colors when we wake up!

Question: What are your hopes for the book?

Marcia Mercer: I would love for schools to use it on teaching diversity.
Question: Most children’s eyes light up as they read a story about a world of changing colors. Little boys, especially, see the possibilities. Do you see your children’s book being adapted to the world of movies?

Marcia Mercer: I think it would make a great film!

Question: Where can children and parents buy the book? It sold out in the United Kingdom on Amazon Books but they have ordered more copies. Were you surprised?

Marcia Mercer:
It is really hard to get word out if you are a new author. Some bookstores have it but Amazon Books and Barnes and Noble and Books Unlimited are where many of my friends are buying it. Australian readers are buying it and that is such a beautiful country in terms of colors.
I don’t exactly take full credit for it as the words were there when I woke up. Mirror publishing and the illustrator Juan Carlos Colla have been great to work with and I appreciated Barbara McRae editing it. My next children’s book, if all goes well, will be “Burley Tree.” It came to me about 7 years ago.

Gordon Mercer is international president of Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society and is professor emeritus at Western Carolina University. Marcia Mercer is a writer and columnist. The Global Digital Post columns are read in over 36 different nations. Our columns also appear in the "Franklin Press"
and "Smoky Mountain Times."