When people ask me what my passions are, straight away I say “my kids, reading and writing; in that order.” Then they ask me what kind of writing I do. Well I am not ashamed to admit that it is children’s picture book writing.
“Picture book writing hey? Why?” they ask. The answer to that is quite simple. I became a parent almost six years ago and when my oldest boy was two, he developed a taste for picture books, quite literally. Whenever he got a new board book, he would go to town on it, munching away. Of course, only when no one was watching.
I decided around then that it would be nice to write stories that would one day be published, so that I could go to him and say, “Look Jesse, Mummy made this.” I want both my sons and other children to get the same enjoyment from reading I did when I was a child.
There is something about seeing the wonder and enjoyment on children’s faces as they take not only the story in, but also the pictures that go along with it. Every night I read a story to my boys and it doesn’t matter how many times it’s been read to them before, they always get a kick out of having it read to them again. And now that Jesse is learning to read at school, he is learning as well as enjoying.
To be honest, I get a kick out of reading the stories to them. I love making the different voices of each of the characters. Of course if I’ve read the book before and it’s been a while, it can be difficult to remember the exact voice I used the last time. And my kids, being ever vigilant, will pull me up on it if it’s not the same as last time.
The other reason I write picture books for children is that I like the challenge; the challenge of writing a story that has to gel with the illustrations, the challenge of choosing words little ones will understand and the challenge of trying to keep the story at around 500 words, which is probably the most difficult challenge of them all.
At the end of the day, if I get just one book published for my boys to enjoy while they are still young, then it will be worth it.