Sterling College Art Professor William Morse Publishes Children’s Books

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When William Morse’s three children were small, they enjoyed the graphic design characters and stories he created for them. Through the years Morse has used those same characters in animated CDs, videos, and, most recently, books. Now that Devin, Morse’s oldest child, is 23 and a gaming major in college, he wants to help his dad use the characters in a 3D game.
It all started when Morse, now the chair of Sterling College’s art and design department, and his wife, Dana Jo, were looking for Christian videos and books for their children. “I wanted things that would grab their attention,” said Morse,” but there wasn’t much like that then.” He decided to create his own graphic design characters, and pretty soon friends were asking for copies of the animated stories. The demand grew, and Morse began responding to requests from churches and Christian camps. In 1997 he created Doveworks Interactive, a small business that “pioneered on e-books and publication for online marketing.”
When people told Morse they would like the stories in book form, Morse began researching publishers. He wanted ownership of the design, and he chose to work with AuthorHouse, a self-publishing company that allowed him the greatest control. He also wanted to reduce the costs for his readers, so two of the books, “Hank Gives Thanks” and “Spirit of America,” were published in 2009 as a flip book with one binding. “After you read one of the stories, you flip the book and read the other,” said Morse. “This way people get two stories for the price of one book.” Dana Jo wrote the text for “Hank Gives Thanks,” which is about Thanksgiving, and they collaborated on the text of “Spirit of America,” a Fourth of July story.
Those two books feature the Kurkle Kids, animated characters that also appear in “Pirate Lostman’s Great Adventure” and “Bogie’s Journey through Creation,” stories which will be published in a flip book this spring. Morse also has two books scheduled to be released in the fall: “If Doves Could Speak” and “Mr. Stooges.” Though these books do not feature the Kurkle Kids, they do teach lessons, as does “Bip and Bulb,” the Christmas story published this past fall. “The character Bip always means well, and when something bad happens, he views it negatively. In this book he learns to see his circumstances differently, to see that the difficult and hard things are actually working for our good.”
It is spiritual lessons like this that Morse hopes children learn in his books. “I first created these characters to teach my own children; now I hope they’re used to teach others,” said Morse. “I want to be where Jesus Christ would be—among the children.”
Pictures of all the books and Morse’s contact information are available at Morse received his Master of Science in Art from Texas A & M University, Kingsville, in 1995 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts & Advertising from Texas A & M University in 1993. Morse has a Masters Certification from Sessions School of Design, New York, in Graphic Design, Web Design, and Multimedia. His work, consisting of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography and digital compositions, can be found in many private and corporate art collections. He began teaching at Sterling College in the fall of 2006