Doug and Anna Cosper are a father/daughter team that have been exploring and gathering inspiration for years together. This picture was taken in 2005 while exploring the floating village on the Tonle Sap lake near Angkor in Cambodia.

Meet the Author

            The journey that led to this novel has been long and winding. I have always found journeys to be more interesting than destinations. Looking back, it makes sense.

            At university at SMU in Dallas, my troubling lack of direction during the 60s compelled my parents to request I take a career aptitude test. These things, are, of course, easy to manipulate, but I determined to play it straight for their sake. Besides, I was curious about what science said I was fit for. The results were sublimely absurd.

            1) adventurer, 2) librarian, 3) lawyer

            Now, a lawyer I could abide. But an adventurous librarian? The dichotomy confirmed my basic distrust of such tests. Now I’m not so quick to laugh.

            At age 25, after a dalliance with a hippy waterbed business, I built a road van and traveled around the country for a year, crashing on friends’ couches. My appetite whetted, I withdrew my $4,000 savings and embarked on a 2-year, solo backpacking trip around the world. This was the summer of 1977. A journey like that transforms one.

            Soon after I returned home, I got married and had Pippa, the first of two daughters. My only skill was travel, and that didn’t pay. It dawned on me that I had perhaps better take this concept of financial responsibility more seriously. I thought maybe I could be a fiction writer. A professor of literature at the University of Austin, noting my life predicament, quickly disabused me of that notion and suggested perhaps that journalism might be more prudent. So that’s what I did, and I loved every minute of it for 33 years. The world is a cherry to a newspaper reporter. Every day is a deeper dive into life.

            After a stint in teaching at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I lucked into a career training journalists in developing democracies. I think this is pretty much where the adventurer and librarian predictions intersect. Getting paid by NGOs, the State Department and various Fulbright grants, those 11 years were glorious to me, and wondrous. I worked with some of the bravest people in some of the roughest places in the world. Both taught me a lot. I was Case meeting Mira and Toma. A short list of assignments includes Romania, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Timor-Leste, Bosnia, Myanmar and South Sudan.

            It was mostly during these times that the story of Case, a 12-year-old who worked at his family’s carousel in a quirky mountain town in Colorado, and Flinder, a giant blue butterfly with ulterior motives, took shape. Case and Flinder were already old friends, having been characters in stories I made up for my little daughters at bedtime. Mira, a young Rohingya refugee, came from my time in Burma (now Myanmar), as did Ko Yin, a little novice monk. Toma, a young Bushman in the Kalahari Desert, arose from by time in Botswana. Adventurous librarian, indeed.

            My youngest daughter, Anna, often traveled with me, and together we gathered observations personal, geographical and cultural that would find their way into the story and into Anna’s illustrations.

            Most recently, in semi-retirement, I was an operator at the Carousel of Happiness – a magnificent wonder machine created by my friend, Scott Harrison. Scott carved dozens of whimsical animals from wood and drenched them in color. Watching the wonder on children’s faces as the carousel spun brought all of those characters and places into focus. The result was “On Wings of Wonder.”

            Thank you warmly for reading it. I hope you enjoy the journey.

            If you’d like to learn more about my work training journalists in developing countries, see my website,


Doug Cosper, Nederland, Co.

Meet the Illustrator

Anna Cosper studied illustration at CABK Art Academy in the Netherlands. She created stop-motion animation for television and galleries before becoming involved in puppet theater productions in the Netherlands and abroad. Anna has taught workshops in animation and puppetry in the Netherlands, Myanmar, Thailand, Botswana and the US. Currently Anna is based on an island near Seattle, Washington, where she is writing and illustrating children’s books.

Anna sketches a Baobab tree in Botwana, while . . . 

Doug fusses with a manuscript beside a Baobab tree trunk.

Contact Anna

Contact Doug