By Sabina Mollot
While a trip to the chiropractor’s office might not be too many people’s idea of fun, one Stuyvesant Town resident recently found the experience worthy of writing a book.
Longtime resident Fran Alongi, who frequently sees a chiropractor for adjustments, said it was seeing how inviting the office has been for children and families, in no small part due to the presence of a mascot dog who humors young patients that want to chase him, that inspired her to write a story about it.
The book, her second, is called Max Gets Well-Adjusted and it’s intended for children ages 2-5. Her first book was a novel with fantasy aspects called The Moons of Koda, that she self-published in 2016. This time around she’s also self-publishing, only in this case, she’s hoping to get the associated costs crowd-funded. She currently has a GoFundMe page that’s seeking $3,000 for printing, illustration, advertising and other costs.
According to Alongi, the motivation for the book was to make children who might be scared of going to a chiropractor for a back problem or other issues more confident about the experience. She said she’d noticed while waiting to see the doctor that children who were there alongside their parents never seemed to be uncomfortable. What she soon realized was that this was because their parents didn’t seem nervous, especially since they were often patients themselves. Meanwhile, the office pooch, Cooper, was almost like a therapy dog in his willingness to run and hide from children, then letting them almost catch him.
As for her titular character, “Max is a real person,” said Alongi. She didn’t mention the name of the practice though since she didn’t want the story to seem like an advertisement, even if it is intended to promote chiropractic care.
“I go all the time; I have a lot of confidence in it,” said Alongi.
She decided to go with self-publishing for a few reasons. Along with hearing from other writers she knows about the difficulty getting book deals these days, Alongi had also been hearing how it can sometimes take two years to get a book onto the market even with a deal. She also wanted to keep control over the project, which she’s hoping could become essential doctor’s waiting room bookcase material.
“If you can get a publishing deal, I think you should try it,” said Alongi, “but the self-publishing route if you can manage it is not a bad way. A lot of times when you give your work to a publishing house, they decide what the cover art will be, who will illustrate it and they decide where it’s going to be marketed. It saves writers a lot of money, but you surrender control.”
For Alongi, it had always been a dream to become an author and she finally wrote and released her first book at the age of 63 after getting laid off from her job at a bank. Since then, she’s found a fandom in neighbors, a few of whom have contributed to her book fund. Her crowd-funding page can be found here.