Welcome to my second blog.
It’s amazing how much I’ve had to learn this last year. My entire career has been spent working in the NHS, so writing and publishing children’s picture book’s is a whole new world and at times, I have felt like the proverbial fish out of water!
I love reading to my kids and always have done. Just like my mum and dad did with me, I try to bring the stories to life…although I’m not sure I always succeed!? My kids are quite a tough audience these days though, either wanting different voices for each character or asking me to make something up on the spot!
Taking that passion for reading, I wanted to write books that were fun for kids. Books that engaged them and got them asking questions meaning that are also learning something new.
But before I started to write, I needed to be really honest with myself. I hadn’t written a children’s book before so I knew that I needed to do a whole stack of research. I spent hours in book shops, looking at children’s books – their styling, size, structures and colouring; to find out what I liked and didn’t like.
I did loads of research on the internet and that’s also where I discovered Jon (the amazing illustrator). I wrote a first draft of Swimming, Jon illustrated this and I showed some very early and draft pages to a small number of friends and colleagues and used their feedback to make some changes.
I then got 20 copies printed and took them to local children’s nurseries in Salford. That was the first real test for me. I think friends and family will always be as kind and positive as they can be but the kids were the first neutral barometer and not knowing how they were going to react made me nervous. Thankfully their feedback was all really positive and I was delighted!!
After collating the feedback, I made a few more changes, bit the bullet and got the book printed. It only took about 2 weeks for 7 boxes to arrive, filled with copies of Swimming. The second book, Trampolining, is just about finished and that will go off to the printers in the next couple of days. I can’t wait!
So, even though I’ve learnt loads this year, I know there’s still a long way to go! I’m aiming to raise awareness of Quack and Field and the books through my website and social media. I’ll be tweeting regular updates about new books and any events so follow me to keep in touch.
I really do love the books, but there’s always room to improve so any feedback is always welcome.