Ella Mae is a hedgehog. Yes, a cute little hedgehog, Why a hedgehog you ask? Well, for one, God loves hedgehogs. They are very special creatures with many unique qualities. They are smart, fast, and have an amazing sense of focus. They know what to do to defend themselves and can out-whit a fox every time, even though by visual comparison you would never think it possible.
When I was studying for my MBA, one book in my curriculum was “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. In this book, the hedgehog concept is introduced and used to illustrate the difference between average companies and great companies. By seeing only what is essential, most important, and sticking to that- their survival is ensured. How brilliant! Staying in an area of focus of what you do best makes you great. After I read that book I always wanted to be hedgehog-like in my approach to life and career.
When it was time to depict a character for Ella Mae, my illustrator, Liz Holt, actually recommended that she be a hedgehog. This is something I never would have come up with on my own. (I was of course thinking she should be human and look just like me.) I knew when I read the proposal that God had made the connection from my inner most desires to Liz without us ever speaking to one another. I was floored, stunned and amazed. Only He could have made that connection. I knew it was a divine proposal and agreed at once that Ella Mae SHOULD be a hedgehog. You will see in the story, she holds true to her kind in how she approaches life’s challenges.