Local grandma and her grandkids write books together

Diana Todoro Vorsheck and her grandchildren Gianna, Will and John III at the San Diego County Fair last year.

Carmel Valley grandmother Diana Todaro Vorsheck has written an exciting new chapter in her life: She recently published two books that she wrote with her grandchildren.

“Ghost House” written by Todaro Vorsheck and nine-year-old John III and “If Grandma Lived Next Door” written by the team of grandma, John III and Gianna, 7, were published by Covenant Books, an international Christian-owned and operated publishing house in South Carolina.

The dedication page sums up the special relationship between Todaro Vorsheck and her grandkids: “For my angels…Just like your Daddy did, you make life so much more interesting….and fun!”

A page from "If Grandma Lived Next Door".
(Courtesy Covenant Books)

John III and Gianna Vorsheck are in the second and third grades at Notre Dame Academy and “The Ghost House” actually began as one of John’s projects at church camp. After reading his story about a group of Ghost House inhabitants like skeletons, a witch and a zombie, Todaro Volsheck told John: “I think we should make this available as a book,”

“I said, ‘It is a book!’” John III recalled with a giggle via a FaceTime call from grandma’s house on his ninth birthday on Aug. 7.

Despite its spooky title, John III said the book is not scary—through his child’s eye he tells a story about a diverse group of friends who celebrate their friendship by sharing, caring and playing together.

The idea for “If Grandma Lived Next Door” came from a sweet car-ride conversation with Gianna when grandma picked the gang up from school one day.

“I said, ‘I know what would really make you happy, if I lived next door,’” Gianna said she told her grandma.

When they got home, Todaro Volsheck took out a pad of paper and a pen and prompted them to use their imaginations to think of creative ways to get to grandma next door such as digging a tunnel, building a bridge or scaling high hedges via trampoline or even on a dog’s back.

“It’s supposed to be whimsical and fun, like my grandchildren,” she said of the book.

Todaro Vorsheck found a local illustrator at church at St. Therese of Carmel, Seoyoung Chung: “We just clicked.” Chung was able to bring the books to life with cute illustrations of the Ghost House crew and a grandma and grandkids that looked just like the Vorshecks.

By trade, Todaro Vorsheck is a semi-retired attorney and educator. She teaches international business law to students from all over the world at UC Irvine. She moved to Carmel Valley from Laguna Hills four years ago to be closer to her family and has found new inspiration as a book author. The two kids, and their little brother Will, spend as much time as they can at grandma’s house—additionally she volunteers in the children’s classrooms at school.

A page from "The Ghost House"
(Courtesy Covenant Books)

“I made the comment to my best friends the other day: ‘I don’t want to just get old’,” Todaro Vorsheck said of retirement. “My focus is my grandchildren and this to me is just a nice way to stay engaged with them.”

The writing team said they have many ideas for more books and fun at grandma’s house. They believe that their books are perfect for young readers: “I’m definitely reading it to my kids,” John III said.

Todaro Vorshek is scheduled to speak about the book at a Sept. 13 “Weekends with Locals” virtual event with Warwick’s in La Jolla at 2 p.m. Visit warwicks.com for details. The books are available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.