The Mythical and the Magical – Longtime classmates team up to start a children’s book club

Author Adam Defoe

Written by Wayne E

Staff writer

Adam Defoe feels that there is nothing more precious than watching his young child’s face light up as he reads a heartwarming original story about moose and otters.

Wanting to share Adam’s gift of storytelling with other children, two childhood friends, Dan O’Connell and Red Allen, came up with an interesting business idea.

Let’s start a subscription book club.

When January arrived, the trio launched the Mythic Moose Book Club. Subscribers can choose a print book ($6.99) or an e-book ($2.99). Or, subscribers can go with an annual plan ($31.99) and save 10%. Every month, a unique new book written by the Mythic Moose team is delivered to your subscriber’s mailbox or inbox.

The website is

news I reached out to Adam, Dan, and Reid this week asking the writer and business partners the following questions:

Business partner, Dan O’Connor

BN. How long have you known each other, and how did you become close friends?

Adam: Dan and I have been friends since about the age of six (she grew up in Bridgeton). Reid grew up in Sebago so we didn’t meet him until middle school. The three of us spent a lot of time working on creative projects together as kids whether it was for school or for our own entertainment.

BN. How did you come together to launch the Mythic Moose Book Club?

Adam: Reed reached out 15 years later to see how things were going. I felt like we never missed a day. I shared with them that I’d written a book for a kid, and that got us brainstorming ideas.

BN. How did you come up with the name for the club, and how did you decide to go in the direction of the book club?

ADR: We wanted the name to be fun for kids while also talking about our roots growing up in Maine. The state has a lot of beautiful wildlife and moose photos are always amazing. Legendary made sense since we all still have a child-like appreciation for magic and mythology and we felt it would be appropriate for a young audience as well. This came after a long list of names that we didn’t feel really worked out.

Business partner, Red Allen

BN. What roles does Dan Reed play?

Adam: There are responsibilities that each of us individually have, but the majority of tasks involve input from all of us. The collaborative work is one of our favorite parts of doing this project. Generally, I write books, coordinate illustrations, and do some social media posting. Dan is responsible for marketing, copywriting and editing. Not only is Reed a reliable sound cutter, he’s the designer of our website and brand, and he formats all of our books for print.

BN. You mentioned that a book club is your chance to share your passion for education, storytelling, and art. Where/when/how did you develop this “passion”?

Adam: After graduating from college, I had various jobs that weren’t really right for me. I’ve experimented with the world of education and finally found some professional success (he’s a Year 7 private tutor at Wyndham Preparatory School). Knowing that teaching was one of my strengths and could benefit others really helped fuel this passion.

BN. Adam, as a writer, what motivated you to go in this direction (what former teacher, etc. encourages/inspires you to write)? What do you enjoy writing?

Adam: No one inspires me more than my family. I wrote the first month’s story, “You Otter know We Love You,” for my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and I had fun writing something I thought she’d love. She enjoys rhyming and rhyming books, so I wanted to create that for her. Creativity has been an important part of my life and I know the same is true for Dan and Reed.

BN. What prompted you to write children’s stories and why did you decide on the 0-5 age group?

Adam: I wrote the first story for my daughter. I love books in this age group because there seems to be room for creativity and expression. We hope to offer stories for additional age groups in the future.

BN. What goes into the following story to tell?

Adam: Anytime I feel inspired by story ideas, I jot down a basic outline. Then I sit and see where my imagination takes me.

BN. Since you’re introducing a new book every month, it must be quite an effort to come up with a new story while also teaching during the day? How do you do that?

Adam: We definitely worked some late nights on this project! We all have different traits that keep everything on track. I don’t think it would be possible to do it alone.

BN. Besides a good story, the artwork is also very important for a child to see. Who explains, and how did you go about selecting the individual(s) – what were you looking for?

ADR: We worked with a variety of artists that we selected based on their style and ability to convey the emotions of the book in a visual way. We want pictures that are fun, colorful, and simple. Our goal is to focus on the Maine community and partner with as many local artists as possible in the near future. We’re excited to actually start this process!

BN. An early response to the club and books? What do people seem to like the most? requests?

ADR: People have given us great feedback on the stories and the price. We wanted this to be something that everyone could enjoy so we made this a priority and did everything we could to make it possible.

BN. Complete the following, “The Mythic Moose Book Club will be successful if…”

ADR: People who choose to subscribe enjoy our books and the moments they spend reading them with their children.

BN. Why did you decide to donate a percentage of book sales to St. Jude Children’s Hospital?

ADR: We felt that donating to charity was very important and it was something we all agreed on right away. We chose St. Jude’s because of its mission to help heal children who are dealing with things they don’t even have to imagine.

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