Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.

This is the brief story of what happens when inspiration becomes reality, and the fact that it's never too late to follow a dream, even if it's one you didn't know you had.

Enter, "The Hero Behind the Sand Dune," by Susan Houck Blanchard of Monroe, New Hampshire.

"I never thought I'd actually write a book.   I just asked myself "what is behind this sand dune" to create this fictional children's book, even though it's based on a real photo.  Because it's this photo that stirred my creativity and I thought, why not try to write a book, even if it's just for David and the family?"

Susan Houck Blanchard
Susan Houck Blanchard
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The day this photo was taken, Susan's grandson, David, was told not to run beyond the sand dune.  So being a creative child himself, he didn't run beyond it, but behind it.

Mackenzie Craig courtesy of Susan Houck Blanchard
Mackenzie Craig courtesy of Susan Houck Blanchard
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"Anyone can benefit from inspiration and just write, I mean, if you want to.  Just ask yourself a question about something and let your imagination run wild.  I just asked myself, "what did David see behind the sand dune", and my storyline was born."

Mackenzie Craig courtesy of Susan Houck Blanchard
Mackenzie Craig courtesy of Susan Houck Blanchard
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And Susan's not the only first-timer in this situation where imagination meets ingenuity.  High school junior Mackenzie Craig from Bethlehem, New Hampshire, illustrated this beautiful book and is now in line for college art scholarships.

Susan Houck Blanchard
Susan Houck Blanchard
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Susan then contacted Portsmouth publisher Mindstir Media, and now her book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Eventually, Susan says she hopes to keep this New Hampshire-based dream alive by getting her book into New Hampshire-based bookstores.

"It's amazing how our grandchildren can inspire us.  I'm hoping you may see a photo of something, anything, that inspires you to write a story."

By the way, if you're wondering what happens with David, the seagull, and the puppy he saw behind that sand dune, you'll have to buy the book and read for yourself how David learns that he doesn't need a cape to be a hero.

Mackenzie Craig courtesy of Susan Houck Blanchard
Mackenzie Craig courtesy of Susan Houck Blanchard
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PS: The reviews are amazing.

Are there any other New England-based authors you love reading or would recommend?

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