Author, Elena Caudle
Illustrator, Bethany Kerr
To paraphrase Webster’s:
Serendipity is what unexpectedly causes things to come together with happy or pleasant results!
Well, actually, that’s not exactly how it happened, but almost! In reality, Elena fell in love with the unbelievably realistic eyes of a whimsically attired squirrel drawn by the amazing artist Bethany Kerr, and was reminded of a long ago ditty/poem that my sister and she had written. Elena asked Bethany if she’d illustrate it for her to give as a gift for her sister. Elena then tossed out a semi-serious statement to the effect of “heck, I’ll write poems for all your critters!”
They first knew they were kindred spirits when they realized that they both owned very unique, easily recognizable vehicles. Bethany’s “Fun Bus” and Elena’s “zipper” were known all over town and created the perfect reason for an introduction over coffee. Although their first conversation was not what one might have expected from two girls, their friendship has actually been all about their mutual love for creativity right from the get-go.
They’ve been blessed to work together on several different projects over the years…. from wedding planning, art, and photography to now publishing this book. Their different creative styles, ideas and platforms have mixed and mingled serendipitously!
Although their differences may be what make their projects unique and so much fun, it’s the things they have in common that give them such a strong foundation upon which to build. Things such as a true and abiding love of helping others, and coffee. Coffee is, of course, a given!
Bethany is an artist’s artist. She’s well known in Cullman, Alabama for her paintings and artwork, with city businesses there full of walls of murals with her name on them. Her beautiful pencil portraits are known all over the globe because of her beautiful story collection and pencil portrait book, Precious Infants. Married to James and a mother of eight children, she has a soft and strong heart for all things “motherhood.” Bethany is a wonderful photographer and loves to play stringed instruments. She embodies strength, tenacity, and creativity. Her own experiences give her special insight for those who have gone through the difficulties and heartbreak that come from things like HG, miscarriages, and premature babies.
Elena’s rich enthusiasm for life, contagious sense of humor, and deep desire to help and serve others make her words come to life in an amazing way. Though never having had children of her own, she treasures being an aunt to eleven nieces and nephews, and has been blessed to work with children of all ages for many years. Because of the extreme blessings and heartbreak she experienced with one specific and amazing young friend, her heart has a special place that “needs” to help in the area of childhood cancers. Elena has been married to her husband, Roger, for 28 years. Together, they spoil a dog, named Jiro!
The unexpected coming together of Bethany and Elena has brought these beautiful books of realistic critters and their stories to life to share with you and the world! From the moment they dreamed up the vision, the opportunity seemed to them to be…
We truly feel that the ideas and inspiration for Serendipitous were “given” to us as a way to share not only our unique and fun view on life, but also the many blessings we’ve been given together and separately. Serendipitous has given us another opportunity to help, if in no other way, than by just spreading a bunch of smiles!
We are grateful to each and every one who has supported us, from purchases to prayers, in this endeavor, and we hope that you find as many blessings here as we have!
Thank you all!
Bethany and Elena