Local Author Has a ‘Yarn’ to Tell in Second Book

Lois Petren
Lois Petren

Just in time for the Christmas season, San Marino resident and avid knitter Lois Petren has released the latest in her series of yarn-based children’s books.
The fully illustrated “Lulu and Lainey … A Christmas Yarn” was released Nov. 28 as the sequel to “Lulu and Lainey … a French Yarn,” which debuted in June. In the latest book, the titular character, Lulu, visits her grandmother in France and brings along her prized knitting kit. However, an adventure unfolds when grandmother’s cat steals a ball of yarn and then loses it in the days before Christmas.
“It has the same characters and includes some new ones,” Petren said in a telephone interview. “Same locale, new season.”
The concept for the books was born while Petren was vacationing in France and lost a specific ball of yarn she needed to complete a project.
“I’ve knit all my life. I was an art history major and I’ve always had an interest in the arts,” she explained. “In joking around, I commented about the ball of yarn having a great adventure in Paris and from there, it just evolved. Eventually it became the first book. It was kind of done on a whim.”
Petren said she used the Amazon.com service CreateSpace to publish her books, which are available in printed copy and in digital versions. Their watercolor illustrations are done by Tanja Russita.
Since the release of her second book, Petren said sales for her first book also have picked up. She added she has been taking advantage of modern marketing via such social media sites as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to promote her work.
Looking to the future, Petren said she has a draft of a third book and will be working to release it in the spring ahead of “Worldwide Knit in Public Day.” It is slated to take place in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.
“The chapters in that book will be taking their yarn outside and there’s a whole other adventure,” she said.
A business analyst by day, Petren also is mother to twin girls who attend Westridge School. She said one helped to craft the early illustrations of her story idea and both serve as her “editing team” of sorts. Petren said she encouraged anyone with the dream of writing to give it a shot and noted that it gets easier with experience.
“The first book was a little bit of an exploration,” she admitted, “but I was more intuitive with the second and third when it came to the size of the story.”
Petren’s website is loisapetren.com.

Leave a Reply