How long does it take to go from the birth of a story to its publication? Much longer than most authors and illustrators would like! The first word of Slow Down Sarah! found its way to a blank page some time in the early part of 2010, but the concept of writing a children’s picture book was conceived even earlier than that. As I read picture books night after night to my four young children who voraciously devoured every word, it sparked a hunger in me to create my own piece of magic to share with my precious darlings. ..
Here at Child Writes, we’ve been talking about Sarah for a long time! Child Writes’ Business Development Officer, Ainsley Shepherd, wrote the story Slow Down Sarah! a few years ago. OK, maybe longer… But Sarah will soon be arriving. It will be a double celebration at the Child Writes office, with the arrival of Emma’s book Imagine if, also expected. ..
Have you experienced the sense of frustration which comes from staring at a blank piece of paper (or a blank screen, or a blank canvas) and honestly questioning the validity of you being there in the first place? Merely moments ago, you may have been wishing to write, and you have probably even started. Now, nothing happens. What if the conversation is no longer valid; when did I think my contribution was even worth making; how is it possible to be creative when there is a list a mile long to conquer; surely there is a better way to use my time... ..
Character shopping is an art used by writers all over the world. To do this, all you need to do is find a public place with high pedestrian traffic and then you sit and people watch, pen and paper in hand, and jot down notes if you ‘see’ the perfect person or a person’s particular physical characteristic! I find it is perfectly useful when you need a character who may have a cameo role in a story or even if you are looking for ‘that’ perfect trait to identify an existing character. ..