As a second grader, Kaitlyn Dorroh attended a summer camp called Author Squad. Following the two weeks she spent at the camp, she excitedly exclaimed to her parents that she would, one day, be an author.
A little bit more than a decade later, she was right.
Dorroh, a rising junior at Langtree Charter in Mooresville, celebrated the release of her first book “Adam’s Cape: The Missing Crew” in June, marking the end of a journey she set out on nearly eight years ago.
But not only does the new book let Dorroh fulfill her long-held dream of becoming an author, it also allows her to immortalize her cousin and his family through the Adam’s Cape Medical Fund.
“It’s really cool to have the book published,” she said. “Not only for me, but for my cousin that the book is raising money for.”
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On June 9, Dorroh held a book launch party at Main Street Books in Davidson, complete with a book signing and tie-dye shirt making. With many of her friends helping to run the stations and even some teachers from her school showing up to the event dressed as pirates, the event was a great success that saw Dorroh sell over 80 books and raise more than $300 for the Adam’s Cape Medical Fund in just a couple of hours.
The Adam’s Cape Medical Fund was started by Dorroh’s aunt to honor both her son, Adam, and her husband who were killed in a car accident in 2006. The accident also left her other son, Connor, with an incomplete spinal cord injury and years upon years of recovery and medical treatments. The medical fund was established to help families cope with the sometimes extreme costs of medical bills for children in crisis.
Adam, who was just 6 years old when he passed away, was a big fan of super heroes, thus giving the inspiration for the name of the fund.
“There are a lot of things that insurance simply doesn’t cover,” Katrina Dorroh, Kaitlyn’s mother, said. “The fund not only keeps Adam’s memory alive, but it allows us to give back to other families.”
It was during a beach trip that Kaitlyn first came up with the beginnings of the story for her pirate-themed children’s book, making her cousin Adam the main character with her and many of her family members also appearing in the book.
“There’s a lot of stuff that I have written down in old notebooks that relate to the story that ended up being in the book,” Dorroh said. “I even did initial illustrations for the book that, at one point, thought I would end up using for the published version.”
Rather than using her own illustrations, however, Dorroh reconnected with an artist she had met at a summer camp and the book was published through Headline Books.
“It was really exciting to see the book when it was done,” she said.
“When I saw the final manuscript back from the publisher, that was when it felt real,” Katrina said. “Seeing Kaitlyn’s name on the cover was so exciting. After that, waiting the four months from final approval to getting the first copies was the hardest part.”
Kaitlyn isn’t done, either. She has already completed the writing process for the second Adam’s Cape book and is hoping to turn it into a series over time.
“I want this to turn into a good, long series,” She said. “I don’t know how many, but that’s my goal.”
“Adam’s Cape: The Missing Crew” can currently be purchased locally at Main Street Books in Davidson and at Paige Turner Books and Boutique in Mooresville. It can also be purchased online at www.headlinebooks.com.
For more information on the Adam’s Cape Medical Fund, visit www.adamscapeadventures.org or www.adamscape.org.