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Daily Inspiration: Meet Danita Mahler and Sarah Rice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danita Mahler and Sarah Rice.

Hi Danita and Sarah, can you start by introducing yourselves? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
We are a mother-daughter writing team and create stories about the special relationship between grandparents and grandkids. A local, award-winning illustrator brought our characters to life, and each page brings delight and some unexpected surprises. Our first book, Hip Hip Hooray, it’s Grandparents’ Day, celebrates unique GRAND names (Grammy, Gramps, Nana & Papa, just to name a few!), along with the special activities the families share (singing, camping, doing crafts, and much more!). Hooray, it’s the GRAND Christmas Play shows our familiar GRANDS preparing for the Christmas play – Gramps and Papa building the set, Gram baking cookies, and Glamma, of course, blinging out the costumes! At the end of each book, you can record details about YOUR family, and it becomes a keepsake to treasure for generations to come.

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Writing the story was probably the easiest part. Finding an illustrator was a huge hurdle, followed by the printing and shipping process.  As with most small businesses, Covid brought additional challenges, mainly by canceling arts & craft shows and not being able to do author visits in local schools. With things slowly returning to normal, we are looking forward to returning to the public with our books again. We talk to a lot of authors, and many of them do not enjoy the marketing aspect of writing books. Thankfully, we are both extroverts and truly love sharing our work with children, parents, grandparents … anyone who wants to bring the joy of sharing a unique book with the special child in their life! We’ve learned wonderful lessons throughout the journey … never give up on your dream – mine took 50 years to achieve, set-backs will come – deal with them, and ENJOY the ride – even when the path is long and winding!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
Both of us have “big girl” jobs by day. I (Danita, AKA: Grammy) am a compliance officer at Edward Jones … serious stuff, right?! Sarah (AKA: Mommy) was a kindergarten and first-grade teacher in Rockwood School District for seven years but has been home for the last seven years to be a full-time, stay-at-home mom. Her Master’s Degree in education has been put to good use in the classroom, her home (raising four children), and now as the new Guest Service Trainer at Wally’s (Home of the Great American Road Trip). We live less than a mile from one another and love spending time together. We camp, attend sporting events and have game nights regularly. Trips to Ikea, St. Charles, or even a Target “swoop” usually end with loading up the back of our vehicle with the deal we just couldn’t pass up, and no outing takes place without lots of laughter and some sweet treat! And when Grammy came up with a crazy idea like “let’s write a children’s book together,” Sarah answered with a resounding YES.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
We both were born and raised in the St. Louis area. I (Danita) bought the home I grew up in and then raised my family here. So, I’ve lived in the same house for over 50 years! We both LOVE so much about St. Louis and its many family-friendly places. Just a few of our favorites: the zoo, Grant’s Farm, the Arch, the Magic House, and Lone Elk Park. Of course, the Cardinals and Ted Drewes would be at the top of our list too! The thing we like least is the recent rise in crime. We never used to feel nervous about going into the city, but we find ourselves being a bit more guarded these days.


  • $17.99 for our hardbacks
  • $4.95 for our softcover activity book

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