Burton W. Cole showed up on my radar over two years ago when he pitched during #FaithPitch. It was June, and when I read his pitch, I knew instantly I was interested and immediately liked it while sharing our submission criteria. Then, I waited for his submission to arrive in our inbox.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited some more.

And, when the submission and manuscript never showed up in my inbox, Mr. Cole’s pitch became a distant memory as I moved on with company business, new releases, planned events, and more.

Two years, y’all!

We are inundated with submissions on a regular basis. In fact, we recently adjusted our guidelines because of the number of queries arriving. Yet, while it’s not common, it does happen that a writer will decide that a publishing house is not a good fit, and I determined that Mr. Cole, who has been published before, felt we might not be a good fit. This is okay because just as we do our due diligence when we offer a contract to an author, we hope that writers are doing their due diligence to ensure that the agent or pub house they partner with will be a good fit as well.

And as we all know, timing is everything! God knows where we need to be to not only receive what He has in store, but for our work, our efforts, and our ideas to be received by our audience.

Fast forward to Summer 2020. We’re in the midst of a pandemic. We are facing political unrest. We’re unsure about the future on a personal and business level, and guess who shows up on my radar again. Yep, Burton W. Cole. Only this time, Burton was answering a middle-grade fiction inquiry on an publishing association loop. As a member, I saw the chat about middle school books and it triggered my memory. This time I reached out to him directly (and immediately).

And, as “they” say … the rest is gonna be history because we are kicking-off January 2021 by welcoming Burton W. Cole and BOTH of his chapter book series to the Little Lamb Books family! Yes, you read that correctly! Burton will be authoring a brand new series tentatively titled, The Duck Detective Agency for upper elementary readers as well as continuing his popular middle-grade Bash and Beamer series. So, pull up a seat and get ready to giggle and guffaw as you get to know Burton!


Where do you call home? I live just outside the Garrettsville, OH, village limits

Describe your family. I live with my wife, Terry Cole, and between us, we have an adult son, Jeremy, an adult daughter, Melissa, who is the mother of our grandson, Sebastian, and a deceased son, Joshua.What is your professional background/work experience? I am the features editor and humor columnist for the Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator daily newspapers in Warren and Youngstown, Ohio. My humor column, Burt’s Eye View, also runs weekly in the Star Beacon in Ashtabula, Ohio.
What is your earliest memory of your childhood?  I remember my Grandpa Art standing in the kitchen of our house, looking out the window into the backyard, and telling my three imaginary friends, Goo Goo, Gee Gee and Ga Ga, to get off Mom’s clothesline. I was probably three years old. I couldn’t understand how Grandpa could see MY friends whom I’d never seen. I sure couldn’t see them then no matter how hard I stared. I even asked Mom. But shortly after this, my baby brother grew up enough to be of practical use, and we had a pet beagle, so I was fine to let Grandpa be friends with Goo Goo, Gee Gee and Ga Ga.
What do you think makes a good story? For humor books like mine, a familiar, realistic situation stretched all out of whack by crazy circumstances and unreliable decisions, which give the reader an enjoyable wild ride to a satisfying conclusion. Almost unnoticed on a conscious level will be the heartbeat that grounds the story with hope, faith, and grace. 
What is the core message for each of your two stories? For the new Bash and Beamer adventure, the core messages are that God extends grace even when we mess up, and that there are eternal rewards, and rewards right now, for holding fast to your faith even when others laugh at you. For The Duck Detective series, it’s if anyone lacks wisdom, let him or her ask God, who gives liberally; and surround yourself with good, faithful friends, enjoy each other, and listen to their wise counsel.
How can a teacher or parent best use your book?  My books already have been used to reel in reluctant readers. Boy-centric silliness and farm pranks have drawn readers in. They can lead to discussions of God’s truths, and what kids think God wants them to learn from the stories.
What are your favorite children’s books (and authors)? Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne; all the short essays about Young Pat and Crazy Eddie Muldoon by Patrick F. McManus (not a children’s author, but eventually, a number of those tales were collected into a children’s book); the Hardy Boys series (the classics) by Franklin W. Dixon; Thornton W. Burgess animal books. (Notice the W.—Franklin W. Dixon, Thornton W. Burgess, Burton W. Cole…)

Do you have any quirky or unique writing habits? I prefer to write with smooth jazz or inspirational instrumentals playing in the background. Music keeps my mind calm, but I can’t have lyrics because I’ll either start writing the lyrics into my stories, or I’ll quit writing to sing along.
Is there anything that give you a fright? I prefer heights to be where they are supposed to be, which is above me. Otherwise, they would be known as depths, which is a lousy term for something high. So I’ll stay right here on the ground, thank you. You go ride that roller coaster or stand on the edge of the cliff and look down. Somebody needs to stay behind to call the ambulance.
Describe your favorite way to spend a day off? Sitting in my easy chair reading classic Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck adventures. Yes, I still read comic books. I call it “research.”

As you can see, Burton brings his trademark humor and wit to all things, and we are blessed to welcome him into our Little Lamb Books author family. We encourage you to visit his brand new website as well as your favorite social media channels, including Facebook or LinkedInThroughout the next year, we will share more from Burton and any new details we can about the new crew of The Duck Detective series as well as the always fun and funny Bash and Beamer, so stay tuned by signing up for our monthly newsletter! Welcome Burton! Let’s do this!

Lambie Love,