A long-time resident with ties to several noted Mercer County families has recently published her first children’s book and is already at work on her second.
Ginny Constance, who grew up in Pennington and graduated from Central High School, is the author and illustrator of “The Adventures of Cassie and Hip,” an undersea adventure story intended for young readers.
It’s a story of two young sea creatures, who find a surprise on their way to school and have to make the right decision on what to do.
“I wanted to have a lesson to be learned in this and future books,” she says.
Constance, 59, has been a Mercer County resident for most of her life. She has owned and operated her own cleaning service for more than three decades. Today she lives in Titusville with her husband, Chris, his African gray parrot, Woo, and her black cat, Lilly. She has a 32-year-old son, Jason Machusak, who is an EMT in Trenton. The book is dedicated to his children, Zoey, 7, and Liam, 6.
She says she started work on the book five years ago, but put it aside a few years later after she Chris bought a fixer-upper on River Road that took up much of their free time.
After the pandemic forced her to temporarily shut down her business last spring, she resumed work on her book. The characters of Cassie and Hip are loosely based on Liam and Zoey. Another main character in the story is Gail the Snail.
“I’ve always loved the ocean and stories about it,” she says. “I researched the sea life and plants to make the backgrounds somewhat realistic for that part of the ocean.”
Children have always been a big part of her life. “I’m the youngest in my family, with five nieces and nephews, and I was the family baby sitter and got lots of experience,” she says.
When Covid-19 hit, she suddenly had a lot of time on her hands — and no income. She says it took her about six months to finish all the illustrations and find a publisher.
She grew up behind the high school on Pennington-Harbourton Road, the youngest of four sisters. She attended Hopewell Valley Schools, starting at Bear Tavern Elementary before going on to Timberlane Middle School and Hopewell Valley Central High School.
After graduating from CHS, she studied art at Mercer County Community College. She later went to Bucks County Community College and graduated with a degree in graphic design.
Constance’s parents were Albert and Helen Weasner. Her father was the co-founder of Twin Pine Sales, originally on South Main Street in Pennington, along with her uncle, William “Bill” Weasner. Twin Pines Sales started out as a hobby shop. After they started doing repair work as well, they changed the name to Twin Pines Sales and Service. Albert Weasner did electronics repair, and Bill Weasner did heating and cooling.
Later, Albert Weasner started working for CBS in New York City, a job he ended up doing for more than 40 years. Constance says after that, her grandmother, Irean (Hulfish) Weasner, ran the shop on weekdays, with Constance and her sisters taking turns running it after school and on weekends.
Bill Weasner went on to own and operate Twin Pines Airport for many years.
Now that her first book is published, Constance is hard at work on a second: “The Adventures of Cassie and Hip: A Trip to Great Reef.”
“The lesson in this one is to listen to your teachers. And Gail’s cousin, Vale the snail, will be introduced and she will play her game,” Constance says. “I’m not sure when it will be done. Hopefully in the summer.”