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Becoming a Children's Author

So, I've identified as an Alexander Technique Teacher for three decades but is that really me?

I never, ever thought of writing as a career. Ever. Writing essays at university really put me off! 'Compare and contrast the themes of blah, with reference to the central blah blah, to determine whether the main protagonist who cares no thank you'.

Then one day, 7 years ago, I was wishing I could write brilliant and original stories like Julia Donaldson, and a little voice in my head said, at least try!!!! So I tried. I needed subject matter, and rather unimaginatively chose my dog, as she happened to be there. I liked narrative verse and found it fun; the ideas grew and I began to realise that I was enjoying myself. I didn't need to be like JD - I was ready to do my own thing.

Initially a lot of time passed between me getting on with life and getting round to writing-related-things. I'd do a bit, put it away, forget about it and come back 6 months later... I'd find an illustrator, discover they couldn't draw people, or dogs or something and be put off for another year. But the pace gradually increased. I wrote 5 proper stories during lockdown; got them edited a couple of years ago; found my illustrator in 2023 and in 2024 I've been working hard at it, often for 12 hours per day.

So, can I identify as a children's author?

Well, I'm certainly calling myself one - I've got a proof copy of Chloe and the Bight Idea which I'm reading in primary schools and will be publishing in July. I've got a marketing plan, an accountant, a copyright, an editor, an illustrator, a business... If I can get into major stores, sell books, gather momentum, there's a fair chance I could earn a living - and then I'll really feel like I'm a children's author. That's the plan :)

Hers's an excerpt from Chloe and the Bright Idea - one of my favourite pages:


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