The Water Dragons: Too Heavy to Fly. Front Cover.

The Water Dragons: Too Heavy to Fly. Front Cover.

I’ll be honest here. I was approached by someone wanting some illustrations for a kid’s book. The project didn’t go ahead in the end, but I had become enthused about creating some illustrations.

I have a creative degree which I’m not currently using in my career. The two main things I want to do in life is write and create art. I thought the best way to go about this was to create picture books. I had never considered it before until someone else suggested it.

It was an easy decision. I would write my own story and draw my own pictures, what I wanted to do, the way I wanted to do it.

How can someone go from novel writing to writing short fiction for children? I always say there’s nothing you can’t learn to do. I did a course in how to write flash fiction (stories no longer than 500 words) then just applied the principles to a story aimed at children.

I wrote the story before doing any kind of research so as not to become influenced by what I read. When I did do the research I found that most of the advice was standard writing practise and I found only a few tips specific to writing for children.

The most disappointing thing I found in my research was poor quality children’s stories. I read some awful books that I would never read to a child, never mind pay for the privilege. I want to try and create something that children could read over again, that they can immerse themselves in the art, and become attached to the characters. It’s not just a story, I want to create an experience for children.

Can you remember being read to as a child? What your favourite books were? I know I can, and I have some great memories too. If, through good story telling and inspiring art, I can encourage a child to read and help create a positive experience, then what more job satisfaction can you get than that?

I haven’t forgotten my other projects, there’s still stories I want to write but I’m still learning and developing and I’ll eventually build a backlist of both short and long books. This is what I want to do write now and I’m really happy with how it’s turned out.

Thanks for reading!

I’d love to know what your favourite childhood books were, and also, if you’ve recently read any kid’s books that you hated.

In my next article I’ll be talking about the design process for my books.