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Diary of a Children’s Author #3

The way I am writing this children’s story is a bit of a slow process. For every chapter I write, I send the description of the images to my illustrator (aka, my mum), so she can start working on those. Of course, it takes her much longer to draw than it takes me to write a first draft quality chapter, especially for a first chapter’s book.

There is the added problem that I planned for five chapters and it has now gone onto ten. I had already foreseen this, but ten might be more than I had expected. Things are happening though, and Maven and Perry are in the middle of it all, as usual.

I am also trying to add a bit of humour to the story and there is loads of new characters. While we met Maven’s family in the passing in the Christmas story A Star for the Tree, here we will get more interaction with Maven’s father, King Leofrick, as well as her mother, Queen Mirabelle.

In this kid’s story, the children will confront their first villains too.

Children’s Stories with Message

But, as you know, I like my stories to have a bit of a message, or something children can learn from. You might or might not know that I am a bit fan of fantasy, but also of manga (and anime). A lot of characters in these type of stories have this one trait: they never give up. This has been very important for me for many reasons.

To start with, giving up was my thing. If it was too hard, to long, I would give it up. For many years I beat myself up about it too, thinking I was lazy and stupid and I would never get what I wanted. But many years and a lot of self-discovery later, I realized that what I was avoiding wasn’t as much the hard work (though there was some of that), but the stress created by the uncertainty of the situation. Anxiety played an important role in how successful I have been so far. My anxiety is not crippling, I don’t have panic attacks or anxiety attacks, but it is enough to throw a spanner in the works.

Now that I am a mum, the message of these children’s stories ‘don’t give up’ is even more important. My kids can feel very frustrated when things don’t go their way. My son might throw a tantrum and my daughter doesn’t even want to try anymore. This is partially because they are very young still, but I’d like to save them the trouble of waiting thirty-five years to get over it. I want them to have dreams, and not hesitate about those are. They should be able to make decision and grab the proverbial bull by the horns.

So, you can expect both Maven and Perry to grind their teeth and keep going, because that is going to be the message arc of the series.

In the meantime, I’m having a lot of fun writing the story. Return to Windy Forest is shaping up to be quite cool, if I do say so myself, and the illustrations will be amazing.

I’m hoping to have the children’s story done for Spring some time, but I think it might be Summer after all. I’ll keep you posted!

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