2020 · author · Back to school · Book signing · books · bookstore · charlie's head · Charlies Head Series · Children's Books · erin · illustrator · kids and parents · Literature · Picture Books · Story Emporium · Storytellers · the rusty palette · The Story Emporium · Uncategorized · whalen · Writing studio

Discover the magic of the “CHARLIE’S HEAD” picture book series

Here we are in October of 2020…. 20 years later and I am typesetting the final Picture book in the series along with my very first YA Novel.

  • “Charlie & the Missing Element” (March 2021) Lily & Co. Publishing
  • “Cirque’ de Trash” (October 13, 2021) Lily & Co. Publishing

I am so excited to bring you these stories I have worked on for over 20 years.

Here is a re-cap of Charlie’s adventures thus far…

A synopsis of the Charlie’s Head Series

In the first book of the CHARLIES’ HEAD series we meet a boy named Charlie who learns through many mishaps that he has a powerful magic inside of his head. He is fearful of this at first but soon learns he can control it. He befriends his imagination which leads him to find the magic of creation.

We see him next in CHARLIE GOES TO SEA, where he teaches his best friend Ellie about the fun of creating whatever you want inside your head. Together they imagine a colorful and brave new world. By doing this, Ellie conquers her fear of crabs and is able to save her precious goldfish. They soon realize that two imaginations are more powerful that one and together they are more powerful to create change.

We meet up with him once again in CHARLIE GETS SPOOKED when his Mom and two sisters travel to Salem Massechusetts for Halloween. Suddenly their Mom disappears. They are now lost in a costume parade when an evil Witch abducts the three of them. She attempts to steal their imaginative powers and bottle them up so she can sell the power potion to her evil friends! Charlie and his sisters combine their will to win. They team up to defeat her. After this frightening ordeal, they realize how much power the imagination actually holds and that it belongs only to them. Charlie and his sisters vow to always protect their new found power.

In the upcoming picture-book CHARLIE AND THE MISSING ELEMENT (October 13, 2021) you will meet up with Charlie and his sisters once again. The three of them work together only to find their powers are super strong. They search for the missing element to open the bottled up potion they all hold. The beautiful revelation they discover leads to the realization that together they can unlock super powers to create the world they have always wanted to live in.

THE CHARLIE’S HEAD SERIES teaches that all human beings have a special magic within themselves. You only need to find the missing element to activate it. Even the famous ALBERT EINSTEIN knew this.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge”

Albert Einstein

In closing, I really look forward to meeting and speaking with all my young readers. I am very excited to teach them about the abundant world of imagination that we swim and breathe in daily.

Be sure to check out Story Time Live with Erin at The Altered Story Book Theater Channel on Youtube.

Until next time,

Stay Creative!

art · author · Children's Books · illustrator · Literature · oil painting · Picture Books · Story Emporium · Storytellers

Summer Awaits Us!

Hello everyone! No doubt you are excited about the summer season approaching. We are too and are excited to say that The Story Emporium is welcoming 2 more children’s illustrators to work in our studio! Now when you visit you can watch 3 children’s illustrators working away at their desks. Feel free to stop by and ask questions or just watch these creatures in their natural habitat. We will be posting the name of the two new illustrators soon… but you’ll have to wait.

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Willa Perlman Visits The Story Emporium

                     Come join us on April 28th to see Willa Perlman! 

She will be reading from “Pocket Kisses” and “Goodnight, World” but that’s not all! Following her readings she will be doing crafts with the children. Each child can make their very own pocket kiss and create their very own picture book. To download a flyer click here.

Willa Perlman is the Managing Partner and founder of Ligature   Partners, Inc., a boutique executive search and consulting firm with a practice specialty in education, publishing, and media.  She hasbeen a search executive for twelve years.  Prior to recruitment, Willa garnered more than 20 years of senior level experience in book publishing, intellectual property development, and general management roles.  Her executive credentials include:  President of Hasbro Properties Group at Hasbro, Inc.; President of Golden Books Publishing Group; President & Publisher of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Books Division; Vice President, Editorial Director of “Willa Perlman Books,” an imprint of the HarperCollins Children’s Division.  Willa began her career at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich where she held positions in marketing, publicity, and advertising and launched the children’s imprint, “Gulliver Books.”  She was ultimately named Director of Harcourt’s Children’s Trade Division andworked collaboratively with Harcourt Education on the development of the highly acclaimed “Treasury of Reading” textbook program.

Pocket Kisses: How the story came to be

When my son Jonathan (now 18) was a toddler, I was a publishing executive.  I traveled extensively and worked very long hours which meant, regrettably, that I missed many of Jonathan’s day-to-day toddler experiences.  I tried to get my full of them on the weekends, of course.  But in some sense those “make-up” days made the work week’s distance between us seem even greater.

Jonathan had to learn how to say good-bye to mommy as a very young child.  And I had to figure out some way to stay connected to him.  Cell phones were just becoming available but each call was very expensive.  Skype was just a dream in the mind of a Silicon Valley inventor.

I realized that the thing that I missed most was those many moments, throughout the day, when a kiss was the instinctive way to reward an accomplishment, express a sudden rush of love, or comfort a stumble.  Those missed kisses were emblematic of the constant mommy presence that I was unable to provide.

So I came up with the idea for creating imaginary kisses to give to Jonathan before I left for work or on a trip.  They were kisses that he put in his pocket and could take out whenever he wanted one from me.  This became a ritual and a tradition that survived many, many years and provided comfort and a psychologically healthy tool for each of us to deal with my frequent absence.  Today, “pocket kisses” are still doled out in our house.  But now I send them to Jonathan via text message.

I hope that this story will resonate for other working mothers who have to juggle careers with motherhood and deal with the fact that sometimes you feel as though you’re unable to give either commitment everything it demands.  But it is possible to do both.  And there are creative ways to overcome the obstacles and stressors.  Pocket kisses are a tiny example of one mommy’s solution.  Perhaps they can inspire and/or reassure some other frazzled mommy’s out there trying to keep too many balls in the air.

Goodnight, World

As the world appears to become even more polarized amidst a growing lack of acceptance of differences between people and nations it is good to look for common denominators.

A simple common reference point that even the youngest child can grasp is the fact that people of every color and culture say the words “goodnight” when they separate from friends and family at the end of their day.This is a simple bedtime story experience.  The story also introduces the concept of night falling sequentially as the earth rotates around the sun and the moon rotates around the earth. And finally, we learn how to say, “good night” in many different languages as a means of fostering some connectivity as a citizen of the world.

art · author · Book signing · bookstore · Children's Books · fireplace · gift · illustrator · Literature · oil painting · Picture Books · steampunk · Story Emporium · Storytellers

Dusty Butterfly and other characters…


I have put another painting on THE STORY EMPORIUM wall, this one is of The Dusty Butterfly who plays quite a large role in “A Trashy Novel” –  my latest book that is in the editing stage… hooray! While writing this novel I thought I would never see the end of it but finally after years of thinking and percolating ideas then 2 years of putting it together I finally have the evidence of a finished piece of work. When I wrote and illustrated my three picture books the same process took place where I felt hopeless and couldn’t finish. I have to say the novel was the worst of all four books when it came to the ominous feeling of complete and utter doom that I would never reach the end. The great part is the more I wrote it and got to know each character and how they all related to each other the plots twisted into each other naturally and a real world full of fantasy blossomed and came to life. What a feeling of accomplishment! All I have to say at this point in the process is I truly hope you come to love and enjoy the characters I created and get lost in the world I created for them. If you do then I can happily say, I’ve done my job.

Thank you everyone who follows my work and especially those who pass the word on about it to their friends. It’s through you that my work becomes known and enjoyed by others and to be quite honest is what makes the many hours of creating worth it.

Please feel free to visit my studio any Saturday at http://www.thestoryemporium.org and see what my latest creations are.

Until next time…. keep creating!


art · author · Book signing · bookstore · Children's Books · fireplace · illustrator · Literature · Picture Books · Story Emporium · Storytellers

RI Monthly Magazine Visits The Story Emporium

First off let me say that RI Monthly Magazine is a wonderful publication with amazing workers. They came to The Story Emporium and spent the entire day taking in the atmosphere and if I’m not mistaken, we had a wonderful time! I am excited to say we will be featured in the March issue in the “CURRENT” section edited by Jamie Coelho so be sure to keep yours eyes peeled for that piece!

I am also thrilled to announce that my wonderful Mom has completed my 1700’s style steampunk outfit for me to wear at The Story Emporium on Saturday’s during The Farmer’s Market. I chose this outfit to wear not only because I love the Steampunk era/style but also because my novel coming out this year is reminissant of this period clothing so I have decided to conduct all of my book signings for “A Trashy Novel” in this amazing new costume.

So if you happen to see a victorian style dressed woman wandering the halls of The Farmer’s Market at The Hope Artiste Village be sure to follow her into The Story Emporium because you can bet there will be a children’s author or illustrator waiting inside by the fireplace reading to children, doing crafts, and signing their own books!

So in summary I would like to thank the wonderful team at RI Monthly for coming out to do a story on our cozy little corner of The Hope Artiste Village at 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket RI as well as my beautiful Mother who works so hard everyday to keep The Story Emporium looking beautiful.

Thanks so much to everyone involved in the creation and upkeep of the THE STORY EMPORIUM. I believe so deep in my heart that we can change the lives of all our little readers whether it be helping them read, expanding their talents in art and writing, or just giving them a safe haven to sit in a world of make-believe for a little while. Let’s all keep up the good work together!

                      Erin T. Whalen

            Children’s Author & Illustrator    

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Thanks to Community We Thrive!

Leslie Bulion joined us today and educated us on so many different types of BUGS! She is an unbelievably talented poet and an all around wonderful person. I interviewed her for our ‘AUTHORS CLUBHOUSE’ show and will post that in our Author’s Clubhouse link on this blog as soon as the edit gets finished.

I have to say it touches me deeply to be able to meet so many wonderful children’s authors and illustrators. I feel so honored to meet with each and every one of them. Being an author/illustrator myself I know how hard the process can be and it really helps to connect with those authors around me and learn their techniques and writing styles.

I dressed up in my new ‘steampunk’ costume that my Mother crafted for me and will be wearing more often. It just brought a bit of light and fun to emporium today and that is what I want The Story Emporium to be. FUN. Sure it’s a place for children to visit each week and meet with a different children’s author or illustrator but I find we have a sense of warmth and family there as well. Many customers look forward to returning every week and that makes me very happy. It makes me feel as though I am part of something bigger than myself. I have a real sense of community when I turn the key in the door and open The Story Emporium to the public.

I encourage anyone who hasn’t stopped by on a Saturday to do so and experience the pure joy we get from each other. It has done more than met my expectations, it has grown into a magical place and continues to branch out and touch people weekly.

I want to thank RI Monthly magazine for taking the time to come to visit with us and get our story out to those who don’t yet know our hideaway in The Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket RI. Please everyone, keep your eye out for the March Issue of The RI Monthly and do comment on this blog as to what you think of the article and feel free to ask us any questions here.

Like I said, My goals of becoming a place of community where children and authors can meet, chat, and be mentored has grown so fast and into so much more than I could have ever imagined.

Thank you to everyone out there who has been spreading the word and please continue to let everyone you know that we are here for your retail needs, social needs, book and movie groups, and writing workshops as well. We are continually growing and look forward to having you grow right along with us.

From the bottom of my heart…. Erin T Whalen

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Our Wednesday Visiting Author is….

Good Morning! I would like to announce that tonight from 4-7 Joan Creamer will be fireside at The Story Emporium signing her MAGIC SEPTER SERIES. A beautifully illustrated series of picture books. Joan is not only the author but the illustrator as well. Come visit us tonight and purchase a present that will surely touch someone’s heart this Holiday season.