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Lycoming College is pleased to recognize the outstanding achievement of Emma (E.P.) Klopp ’23, design and technical theatre major with an entrepreneurship minor, on self-publishing her debut children’s book titled, “An Orange Dog Named Blue.”
Set to release August 23, the book follows a young boy named Walter as he and his dog navigate their small town, Emerville. In the words of Klopp, “This heartfelt comedy is an adventure of a boy and a dog who are guilty, innocent, heroes, and villains all at the same time. ‘An Orange Dog Named Blue’ is an invitation to stand up for what’s right and uncover the truth, no matter the challenge.”
When Klopp’s dad brought home an orange and white Brittany puppy for the family, Klopp felt inspired to write, discovering the characters and finding the words one at a time in the family training sessions and nights of puppy-sitting. The story of Walter and Blue entered her mind with elements of their characters inspired by Klopp’s own life.
“With this story, I want children to know that they have the ability to change their communities and the lives of those around them,” said Klopp. “Learning how to become a better person is a large part of being able to change the world. If you fight fire with fire, the whole world will go down in flames. If you meet fire with cool water, then you have a chance of putting it out.”
After Klopp drafted the manuscript, she reached out to members of the College community. Stephen St. Francis Decky, M.F.A., visiting assistant professor, offered constructive feedback and developmental edits on the manuscript while Bailey (Spencer) Innerarity ’23, English major with a minor in history, worked as a copyeditor.
“‘An Orange Dog Named Blue’ is a highly evocative tale set in a bygone era that is nonetheless exuberant with a spirit and warmth all its own,” said Decky. “Wally’s ability to sense deeper meaning in the people and events surrounding him sets the reader right there on the page with him, and the story’s twists feel surprising even when the narrator’s insight has told us well in advance that he knows what’s coming. This is a fun, compelling read from start to finish and a promising debut from E.P. Klopp.”
As a design and technical theatre student, Klopp credits her studies in being able to analyze and understand her characters. “We create so that the characters have a fitting world to live in, and we need to understand that world and how every element–from props to sound–impacts our character’s choices. For me, the same technical elements drove the actions of my characters. Things like sounds are emphasized, emotions are shifted by props, and settings change the atmosphere of the chapter or objective,” said Klopp.
With two more books expected to follow in the series, the audience can anticipate different animals, adventures, and characters, the next two revealed as Rose and Sage. Klopp shared that if it were not for her liberal arts education and the community at Lycoming, the novel would not have come together as it did.
Following graduation, Klopp would like to pursue prop design at Sight and Sound Theatres in Lancaster, Pa. She carries a number of stories with her and hopes to get traditionally published in the future.
Stay up to date with Klopp’s achievements by subscribing to her blog, Tall Tales from a Small Woman, online at Substack. Her debut children’s book, “An Orange Dog Named Blue,” will be available on Amazon.com and on the Barnes & Noble website.