Grab your copy of Come Fly With Me today.
When did you become an author?
I officially became a children's book author the day Come Fly With Me was released, 13th November 2020.
Do you have a writing background?
I don't have a writing background. My closest to such is a BB in Higher English Literature and Language at GCSE in the 90s. I have always had a love for reading though.
How did you come up with the story?
To encourage my children to brush their teeth for 2 minutes I would sing rhymes to them. Often rhymes we knew and often ones we would make up. Come Fly With Me originated from a rhyme I made up whilst brushing our teeth.
How did you come up with the character?
Bird and Bee just seemed to naturally go together. So did Frog and Toad and Moon and Stars. Then due to me being a mum of two girls it felt natural to include mother and daughter characters.
How do you select names for your characters?
I just kept their names as they were collectively known.
Did you hire an illustrator or do the illustrations yourself?
I knew someone who did illustrations through a friend. I had previously purchased a drawing from Zoe and found out she had released some books. Her style of illustrating perfectly fit the images I had in my mind.
Are you self-published or published through a publishing company?
I am self published. Zoe coached me through each step as she had experience in self publishing.
From the day you came up with the idea for the story until you were holding your published book in your hand, how long did it take you to complete this book?
I had the rhyme in my head for quite a while. Then when I was sat at home in the rain in lockdown for my 40th birthday instead of by a pool in the sun, I took the decision to turn my rhyme into a book. So from this moment to release date was just under 6 months.
What made you want to publish a children's book?
I wanted a permanent record of my rhyme so that it was a memory of fun times that could still be remembered as my daughters grew. Initially it was a hard copy just for them to own, however I took the plunge to share publicly.
What is one thing you wish you knew before beginning your book publishing journey?
I wish I'd known just how many children's picture books there actually was available to buy.
Any tips for future children’s book authors?
Even though the children's picture book market is heavily saturated and with a lot of celebrities releasing picture books too, I still think it is worthwhile pursuing. If you believe in your story then that is all you need.
What is the best reaction from a reader, so far?
I have had some people tell me that they were not prepared to cry at the end. I suppose being a parent pulls on several heart strings daily.
What is something you’d like people to take away from your book(s)?
The art of taking time to share a story together. Whether its at bedtime, an afternoon read or in front of a classroom.
Where do you get ideas for your stories?
My children are my muses. Most of my daily inspiration comes from them.
What's your writing process like?
Good old pen and paper. Any ideas I have have been wrote down on bits of paper, in notebooks and sometimes on receipts.
Do you have any other books in the works?
A lot of people ask me if I am going to do another book. As Come Fly With Me was running around in my mind for a long period of time, I need to find time to let it go. However, never say never.
What does literary success look like to you?
For me literacy success is people reading my words. Whether they have purchased it, borrowed from a library or been gifted to by a friend. Of course a Top 10 selling book would be utterly amazing, however just knowing there are people that have a copy and have taken the chance on an unknown author is more than I could ask for.
Do you read all of the book reviews you receive?
I love receiving feedback from people, especially from those who I don't know, as they are the ones that tell you the truth.
What was the hardest thing about getting your book published?
Putting yourself out there is the hardest thing to do. Have faith in yourself.
What's your favorite(s) children's book of all time?
Some of my favourite books of all time vary depending upon certain times of my life.
- Choose your own adventure books. I loved being able to feel like you were making your own story up within a story. It was magical knowing your decision could alter what you were about to read. You felt like the author of the book.
- Sweet Valley Twins/High by Francine Pascal. Probably the first complete series of books i owned. I loved following the life of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield all the way through high school.
- The Witches by Roald Dahl. The imagination of Roald Dahl could draw you in and make you question real life people if they could be witches.
- You Choose by Nick Sherratt and Pippa Goodhart. A favourite for my daughters and I to share. We can read over and over again and still come up with new stories.
- Marley Mole by Trisha Patel. A beautifully written and illustrated self published book released the week before Come Fly With Me. Trisha has created a fun interactive rhyming book that gets my youngest daughter doing the actions everytime we read it.
-The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. The lands they visit at the top of the tree makes you want to climb every tree as a child, just for your chance to visit these lands too.