An Imagination That Spans The Universe
Michael Szczurko and Johnna Bond are an out-of-this-world SCV couple. They love spending time locally at bowling alleys and various parks with their 15-month old son, Lincoln. Life was normal and sweet, when their powers of imagination cosmically combined last year, bringing the story of Ally Galaxy to life. Their debut self-published children’s book teaches us that everyone is different, but our similarities are what can connect us throughout the universe.
The couple began dating in 2006, which is around the time that the concept of Ally Galaxy first became a blip on their radar. They married in 2011, but it wasn’t until the birth of their son in 2018 that the story once again gained momentum. Both Michael, a visual effects producer and Johnna, a network executive, have eyes for detail; but their new parent point-of-view made all the difference. Their new perspective highlighted the potential for adversities that all children face, now becoming a possibility in their young son’s future. Ally also serves as an empowering female role-model, which was an essential piece of the puzzle.
The couple’s path to self-publishing Ally Galaxy was a learning process, but relatively quick – it took only months to process and finalize. And their advice is both simple and classic: you can do it too, if you believe. Believing in your craft and dedicating the work to making your goals a reality are essential tools needed to bring a journey like Ally’s to life.
“We all have those moments where [we] don’t feel that [we] fit in,” Johnna notes, and Ally is no different. In Ally Galaxy, Ally is a “fish out of water” when she intergalactically relocates to a new home. This new planet comes with new experiences, and though the initial adjustment is scary, Ally learns a valuable lesson about relating to the friends – and galaxies – around her.
The story is written in a rhyming, poetic fashion that is suitable for young kids, before they can even read for themselves. It is an extra-terrestrial tale written to ease a relocation to a new school or home for its readers. But, children of all ages and adults alike can each take something special away from the message of Ally Galaxy.
This is the first book that the two have published, but definitely not the last. The first Ally Galaxy is currently available for purchase in some stores nationwide, and online from over ten booksellers or AllyGalaxy.com. Ally is projected to have her own book series of outer-space adventures coming in the future, showing and teaching us about the fun that can come from living in a place where we feel different. With the help of Ally and her new alien neighbors, Michael and Johnna remind us all that “we are all the same, and that’s just the start.”
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