Meet The Author and Illustrator

Nancy Gaenzle was born and raised in a small town in southern Idaho on the Camas Prairie. Her love for wildlife comes from her grandmother, Mary Gaenzle, who had a special fondness for birds. Nancy, a retired schoolteacher, has one daughter, Marta, and one granddaughter, Luella. The Luella books are named after her granddaughter. The characters are named after actual family members to honor their legacy and their positive influence on her life.
PAUL BUSHIllustrator
Paul Bush, originally from Detroit, grew up in Idaho as a child of two engineers. He too, had his sights set on a career in engineering but decided math wasn’t nearly as fun as drawing. Paul attended Utah State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Art, with an emphasis in Illustration. While Paul is new to illustrating children’s storybooks, he has been creating illustrations and animations for the healthcare information industry for years, including illustrations geared towards children. His work has been recognized and awarded in the industry.

How it all Started

  • Just a basic timeline:

    1. While teaching 4thgrade, I dreamed of being an author.
    2. I found an owl feather while walking my dog, Ruby.
    3. I heard a pheasant crowing from a cornfield.
    4. I began writing and researching fun facts about the animals I love.
    5. I started collecting pictures of animals to inspire me to write.
    6. I wrote, edited, wrote, edited, and wrote again until my ideas turned into stories.
    7. I Google searched and found illustrator, Paul Bush.
    8. The rest is history!
  • Concept Born:

    My story began one day while walking my dog, Ruby, along a country road.  My eye caught sight of the most beautiful owl feather lying on the side of the road.  I carried the feather in my hand and by the time I reached home, I had the beginnings of “Nita the Owl”.   At this time, Luella, my granddaughter, had not yet been born.

    Other stories were started while walking my dog, Ruby, in the country.  She now wants Royalties !

  • Outlines Written:

    One day a pheasant crowed from deep inside a cornfield which inspired me to write “Luella and Frank the Pheasant” which will be released in 2019.

    I have wonderful childhood memories of my grandmother, Mary Gaenzle, trying to mimic the cooing of mourning doves.  “Luella and Mary the Mourning Dove” is based on these memories.

    My other books to be released are:  “Luella and Quincy the Quail”, “Luella Visits Grandpa John’s Cabin”, and “Luella and Sammy the Squirrel”.

    I also have ideas for some phonics based stories.

  • Local Artist Found:

    My artistic talents only go as far as drawing stick people, so I knew very early on that I would be in the market for an illustrator for all of the stories.

    I began a Google search for a local artist that painted with watercolors and was talented in drawing people as well as animals.

    Paul Bush’s name and website popped up.  I sent him an email.  He responded and we decided to meet at a local restaurant to further discuss our long range goals.  Within two days, Paul had drawn and painted two of the illustrations for our first book. 

    After our first meeting, I knew I had met a special person, new friend, and the person who would be able to take my vision and turn it into The Luella Book Series. Paul and I have created a rare and spectacular partnership based on trust and respect.

  • Development Underway:

    “Luella’s Christmas Surprise” is now in stores and on Amazon.  This story is about two Mallard ducks and a neighbor, who is a friend of the family.  This story captivates the magical feelings and wonderment the young as well as old share during this time of year.  This book is perfect for the Christmas holiday season.  It will leave you guessing until the last page!

    “Luella and Frank the Pheasant” is about a special friendship between a little girl and a pheasant during one special summer.  This story will make you laugh, cry, feel a sense of worry and wonder, and of course tears of joy. “Luella and Frank the Pheasant” will be released in the spring of 2019.

    “Luella and Mary the Mourning Dove” is about an orphan dove that bonds with Luella as a young fledgling.  As the warm summer days drift along, Luella observes and learns several things about her new friend she never knew before.  Fishing, swimming, and floating on a raft at Henry’s Pond are just some of the fun Luella and Mary have during this special summer.  Luella will eventually have to say good-bye to her feathery friend, but her memories will live on forever.  This book is about an unusual friendship and the respect they have for one another. “Luella and Mary the Mourning Dove” will be released in the fall of 2019.

  • Publishing:

    Archway Publishing Company / a branch of Simon & Schuster is publishing all of the Luella Book Series.  Paul Bush is providing all of the illustrations.

  • Marketing and Beyond:

    You can find the Luella books at most Barnes and Nobles stores and online at Barnes and Noble. Amazon carries all 3 formats of the Luella Books. ( Hard copy, soft copy, and e-books).   I am hoping to get into the audio book world soon.

    You can also find the Luella books in some local bookstores in Boise, Idaho.

    If you would like Nancy Gaenzle to visit your library or elementary school, please use our contact information to schedule your event. Nancy loves to read to the children and tell her story as to how she became an author.