Hersham children's author
When I started out on this amazing journey as a children’s author, I was really excited but had no idea what lay ahead. I knew that it would be hard work but also that it was what I was destined to do.
It’s just taken me a while to finally realise it – and for everything to align to support that decision.
Aside from my family, nothing means more to me than being mum to my gorgeous little boy. So it’s an absolute honour when I receive emails from other mums who tell me how I’ve inspired them and that they too want to take the plunge and follow their dreams.
It’s not always an easy decision to make, but following your heart and your passion is always the right thing to do. It’s what will make you happy and in turn, make those around you happy too.
Of course with all decisions like this, there is usually a balancing game involving time / money somewhere along the line.
But allowing any fear or self-doubt to creep in, is just defeatist. It’s like the negative committee turning up to rain on your parade. And I for one don’t plan to entertain anything they have to say.
In this pursuit to follow my dream, I have already encountered so many amazing people and supporters. I also get the odd blank look followed by, “But what are you going to do next?”
And when I respond with, “I’m going off to pursue my dreams,” I’m either met with a mix of overwhelming enthusiasm or plain looks of confusion. The confusion comes as they enjoy working nine to five for someone else, as I have done for many years. And you may well be in the same position and are happy with this as your choice.
But it is a choice – and decisions that we make change where we head in life. I don’t want to look back and regret what I haven’t done – and so for now, this is my time and I literally can’t wait.
I received a beautiful message in a birthday card the other day from a childhood friend. She said, “I really believe that 2017 is going to be your year.”
It is support like this and hearing from others, especially mums, that means the world to me. Being a mum isn’t always easy. We become professional jugglers literally overnight, trying to keep everyone, including ourselves happy. But all too often our wants and needs, come at the bottom of the pile – secondary to those of your loved ones. It comes with the territory. Being mum = being selfless.
That said for what it’s worth I believe that I owe it to myself, to J and to those who have been in touch to keep going, even when times get hard. Even when any doubts appear on the horizon (though I’m determined to nip them in the bud) and even when I’m not sure how this is going to pan out. It might sound strange – but I just know that it will and I can’t help but smile at the possibilities that lay ahead.
Thank you to everyone who has been in touch to let me know about the path you’re beginning or are about to begin, or who has messaged me just to say hello. It makes this dream – that bit more special.
Ps Book number two is on its way later this year. The illustrations are complete and the text is with the publisher. I can’t wait to share all of my plans with you x
It’s Children’s Book Week and a perfect opportunity to remind us how we can all play our part in inspiring young people through the power of the written word.
When my son was born, within weeks I started reading to him. It makes me incredibly happy to see the enjoyment he now gets from turning the pages, learning new words and going on special adventures.
We regularly get through at least five books every bed time. He, of course has his favourites. And it’s great to see him now being able to say whole sentences back to me, without any prompting.
Book Trust who run Children’s Book Week, say that those youngsters who love reading do better at school, and are happier, healthier and more resilient.
It’s also true that books allow children the freedom to imagine and to explore away from TV screens and the busyness of everyday life.
Just last night I spent a good 20 minutes pretending to fall into a bog, before my 2-year-old ‘washed me clean’. He has taken to doing this, and makes me follow suit, thanks to his love for the fantastic Room on the Broom. Julia Donaldson (of whom I’m a massive fan) has a lot to answer for!
So, if you are reading this and are wondering where to begin – why not do as I did? Enrol your child / grandchild in a local library and find the books that you used to love as a child. Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr is another firm favourite at this end.
Above all else, happy reading! And as an added bonus, it’s also a great excuse to have extra cuddles too… x
It seems like a long time ago that I came up with the idea of writing my book – James and the Amazing Gift.
I’d been saying for years that I needed to write one, and whilst this isn’t what I initially had in mind, it was an idea that came to me whilst I was out running.
That was early 2015, as I was trying to shift the excess weight caused by my copious cake eating in the latter stages of pregnancy.
Fast forward to now and James and the Amazing Gift has been given a publication date of Friday 28th October.
It’s perfect timing as we head into Christmas, not least because of the messaging behind the book.
I’d love it if the story helped to inspire a young generation of book lovers.
But more than that, I’ve teamed up with a very special UK charity called Contact the Elderly, which helps to combat loneliness among older people.
The charity element isn’t something I planned, but if James and the Amazing Gift as a book, can have a wider impact on others, then all the better.
For every copy sold, I’ll be donating £1 to Contact the Elderly to help raise vital funds for the work they do. I’ve been fortunate enough to see how the tea parties that they arrange can impact, and really change lives.
So whilst I’m busy behind the scenes, getting everything ready for what will be an incredibly busy few weeks, I’d just like to say thank you.
Thank you for being with me on what feels like an already long journey.
Though I know that in publishing terms, 20 months is a mere drop in the ocean…