I’ve been asked to be part of an exhibition for the Women of Leadership Conference hosts by the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce. This is what I shared to accompany an image in the exhibition:
‘I’ve almost cracked it’ – a most often heard quote in Emma’s home as she describes to her husband and three daughters how close she feels to exploding through the banal admin’d days and into the land of success, fame and fortune… Well, it is wishful thinking really, but Emma is fortunate to be driven by passion and has a stubborn spirit so when she sought advice and was told by those “in-the-know” that her publishing model was flawed and wouldn’t make money; that the education program she was experimenting with wouldn’t be welcome in any classroom, and that to be self-published is second rate – she was determined to prove the naysayers wrong!
By changing tact ever so slightly and not being constrained by convention, Emma is now is an award winning author, speaker and publisher and she has been teaching the craft of writing and illustrating to children and adults for the last eleven years via her Child Writes program. Her publishing business, a small press with a big purpose, Boogie Books, is the largest publisher in the world on Amazon of children’s picture books written by children for children. These same books also fly with Jetstar as part of their in-flight entertainment system! She is a regular guest on ABC Southern Queensland Radio with host Belinda Sanders talking about books, and if she isn’t consuming them herself, she is creating them. ‘Imagine’ won two international awards – an IPPY gold medal and a gold Moonbeam Award, both for the eBook version. Her latest projects, as publisher, are with author Jo-Ann Capp’s novella ‘Four Hot Chips’ and a children’s picture book for adults with illustrator Mary-Kate Khoo, ‘Where is the True Ewe'. Emma wrote and originally published ‘Lily Fabourama Glamourama’ in 2004 and it has been reimagined and gets a second lease of life with Ester De Boer as illustrator. This book has been translated into Indonesian and was gifted to The Priscilla Hall Foundation. Interested in the challenge of producing a picture book in a limited timeframe, Emma coordinated a successful picture book project for the Condamine Alliance ‘Finnley’s Great Escape’ and recently, one for the Melanoma Awareness Foundation, ‘Melanie & Me’. This later book has been reprinted three times in the last six months. Emma is also the founder of the charity The Child Writes Fund, which supports International Read to Me! Day campaign, (focusing on the importance of reading regularly to children). It is also a platform for which she can co-ordinate a regular book collection drive with printing partner Stuck-On-You to ensure pre-loved books make it into the hands of those in need, from outback Australia, to Kenya and beyond. She has developed on online course ‘LiveWriteShare’ – bringing creativity to adults via the Teachable platform and sells her own text book ‘Child Writes – Creating a Children’s Picture Book is Child’s Play’ in print and via Amazon.
With a little bit of spare time up her sleeve, she is still following her instincts, is answerable to an incredible mentor and is working on her second novel, ‘Felt’ which she may pass it on and be subjected to the vagaries of the conventional publishing world – or maybe it may be a groovy audio book she narrates herself… The best thing to say to her is ‘surely that won’t work’ and see what happens!