Growing up in Valley Stream, Devon Felix would often observe his father on his days off from work, getting into trouble around the house over little, silly things.
He jotted down what he saw, and now Felix has written a children’s book about it.
The 27-year-old author released his debut book, “When Dad is Home,” in December, highlighting the exploits of his busybody dad, who is always doing something around the house. And everything he does has an impact on the family.
The fictional dad doesn’t exactly fit neatly into the stereotypes assigned to father figures. He’s not your clean-cut, handyman dad, and his efforts to fix things around the house often end in catastrophe. He tends to leave his shirts lying around the house, to the dismay of his wife and kids. Nor is he the stern, stoic disciplinarian with a soft heart. He openly cheers his kids at games and unabashedly sings and expresses his love for his wife.
Instead, Felix sought to capture the real, unfiltered essence of a father being present in the lives of his children.
All of the little things his dad did account for “the funny aspect of the book,” Felix said. “I decided that it can’t just be funny, though. We also had to talk about the good things that my father does and that, most of all, nobody’s perfect. So, it was important to show people could do things and it could be annoying and funny, but they also have a purpose as well.”
In the book, Felix said he shows that while his fictional dad is funny, he is not cast as the “bumbling dad” often seen in the media. It’s his presence and authentic interactions with his family that earn him the love and respect of his loved ones.
Felix said his own journey to finish the book was rocky. He started writing it in 2019, but finally decided to get it published last year.
He had to make a few edits to get the ending just right and communicate the important, more meaningful things that his father does for his family that were not initially included. He made his revision last April and began the process of getting it published with AuthorHouse in August.
“At the moment, this is my dedicated job,” Felix said of being a new author. “I decided to just go ahead and start making my ideas come to life. We release a lot of ideas, but your day is nothing if you can’t make them tangible and bring them to life.”
The release of the book was a breakout for Felix, helping him gain the confidence to do more creative projects in the future. He even quit his job earlier this year to pursue his passion for writing full-time.
Along with planning to write more books, he’s also in the process of working on selling clothing. He aspires to be an entrepreneur, but whatever he does, he said he hopes to be productive at it.
He added that he hopes his debut book will help deepen the appreciation and understanding of fathers and their worth in the lives of their children.
“This is a book for everybody, not just children,” he said. “When they read this book, I want them to laugh and smile with a parent. I wanted a book that could be read over and over, and it could be passed down. After growing up, the kids can say, ‘Hey, this is a book I read when I was small, and when I become a dad. I need to do this and do that.’ I want it to be like a guide.”