The time is fast approaching for my new children’s book ‘George and Maude’ to be released. I am overwhelmed by the last nine months and my dream of becoming a children’s author is now my reality!
I have visited schools, nurseries and libraries in and around Shropshire. The response from children, parents and teachers has been incredible! After an author visit I have shown the children a picture of my next book coming out soon. Children have asked many times: “Will you come back and share your next book?” If that is not great feedback for their enjoyment of my story, then I don’t know what is!
The excitement from the children has been infectious. What I have been particularly amazed with is that my first book ‘Douglas’s Trousers’, has appealed to children from age 3 to age 11. As I have performed my story in whole school assemblies I have realised it is the rhyming together with the story that truly captivates the children’s imaginations. There is something about rhyme and storytelling that is so magical. The rhythm, the anticipation of the rhyme that comes next and the sheer enjoyment of the rhyming couplets. This takes me back to the very reason that I love rhyming stories so much and how it has become my passion to write them. It was Roald Dahl’s ‘Revolting Rhymes’ and ‘Dirty Beasts’ plus his unique ability to write stories like ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ and ‘The Magic Finger’.
I can feel a real buzz about what I am doing. I was asked by a child this week: “What is the best part about being an author?” There have been so many highlights for me since publishing my book in July 2017. The best part for me has to be visiting schools, sharing my stories with so many children and the response to my story! This for me is priceless!
I made a return visit to the wonderful St Andrews C of E Primary in Shifnal this week 24th April 2018. The teachers commented on how much they loved the story of Douglas and his flying trousers. I visited the Reception class and I was greeted with a wonderful display that the children had made of his magic trousers! The staff talked about planning for me to come back to share the story with their new Reception intake. Also, about how they would love me to come back for Years 1 and 2 with my new story ‘George and Maude’. This is what it is all about for me, inspiring children and adults to fall in love with stories!
The final touches are being made to my book by my very talented illustrator Holly Bushnell and I can feel something amazing is going to happen! The wonderful opportunities I have to build relationships with schools and to be able to return and share my new stories. I also can’t wait to meet new children and staff and enjoy the journey as my author business grows and flourishes. I can only try to describe the feeling I have being a children’s author. A child asked me this week: “How does it feel to be a children’s author?”
My answer was really uplifting to share with the children. I showed them a picture of myself when I was about 3 years old. This was the age when stories became magical to read with my parents and where my love of reading and writing began. I told the children about my 5-year-old self and how I wrote a story and was praised by my headteacher. I described the feeling of happiness, like a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach. As an adult sharing my stories with children – this is exactly how it feels, happiness inside and I can feel it radiating from me. This reminds me of Roald Dahl’s quote from ‘The Twits’: “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
I am so proud to be able to say that my passion is now my profession. My lifelong dream of becoming a children’s author is finally here and I can’t wait to find out what will happen next. The new stories I will write and the places that they will take me. It really feels like I am beginning an amazing adventure.
My new book ‘George and Maude’ is due out in May 2018. Look out for it!
Thank you for reading.