Children’s author uses Geneva Lake and her dog as inspiration for new book | Local News

A children’s book author recently used her love for Geneva Lake and her dog as inspiration for her newly published book.

Alicia Boemi of Barrington, Illinois recently wrote a book entitled “The Mailboat Dog,” which is an illustrated tale about her dog Izzy working as a mailboat jumper on Geneva Lake.

Boemi obtained the idea for the book during a boat ride on Geneva Lake last summer.

“My dog Izzy is someone who loves the lake. She loves swimming. She loves going for boat rides,” Boemi said. “We were on a boat ride with her and we just saw the mailboat and the mailboat jumpers, then I looked down at Izzy and the idea came about ‘What if Izzy became a mailboat jumper in a fictional world?,’ and that’s really how the story came about.”

Boemi wrote and published the book herself, a process that took several months to complete. She said even though writing and publishing the book was a lot of work, she enjoyed working on the project.

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“I created my own publishing company to publish this book. I wanted a little bit more control over the storyline and who I worked with for an illustrator,” Boemi said. “The illustrator I worked with is amazing. She just does beautiful work. She’s from Madison, and she knows the Lake Geneva area very well, so it was very important for me to work with someone who really knew the area.”

“The Mailboat Dog” is set to be the first book in a series featuring Izzy. Boemie said she plans to publish at least two more books for the series.

“She’s kind of the main character. She’s really the one that’s up for adventure, more so than humans half of the time,” Boemi said. “So she’s kind of the catalyst for these books. There will be other characters introduced, but she definitely will be at the forefront if it.”

Besides the series featuring Izzy, Boemie plans to write another children’s book series in the future.

“I’m not really ready to publish it or talk about it yet,” Boemi said. “It’s another children’s book, and it will be a part of another series. It’s centered around dogs, as well, because dogs have been such a big part of my life and background.”

Boemie studied English and writing while attending Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She had wanted to write a children’s book for several years. Boemi also owns a pet care business and is the social media coordinator for the Illinois region Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators.

“My goal has always been to write children’s books,” Boemi said. “But after college, I kind of lost some of my inspiration for writing. Then in the past year a half since having my daughter, that has all come back to me. So between my daughter, the lake and my dog, that inspiration came back and that is what got me going on this children’s book and wanting to write the series.”

“The Mailboat Dog” is set to be released May 3; however, copies can be preordered by visiting The book can be purchased through Boemi’s website, and Barnes & Nobles online or at Dust Bunny Books, 152 Center St. in Lake Geneva, and Great Lakes Antique Boutique in Antioch, Illinois and Grayslake, Illinois.

Boemi is donating $1 for every book that is sold to the to the Madison Reading Project.

“They connect the surrounding communities to free books and literacy resources, especially for those who might not be able to afford books or resources,” she said.

Boemi is set to host an author signing and story time event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., May 28 at Dust Bunny Books. She also is available for school visits and writing workshops.

Boemi grew up in the Lake Geneva area and still visits the area quite often.

“I missed it so much that I rented homes in the area,” Boemi said. “I live below the Wisconsin border of the Lake Geneva area. So we have a boat up there and family up there still, so we’re still quite involved in the area.”

Boemi has owned Izzy for about 14 years and said the dog has been an important part of her life.

“I had her since she was a little baby puppy. I got her when she was about 10 weeks old, so she’s been with us for nearly 14 years,” Boemi said. “She still acts like a puppy and still gets into trouble sometimes. She’s the adventurous one.”

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