I've always loved words, ever since I was tiny. I learned to talk early and I was taught the value of words from an early age, that words are important, that they have weight and power. We can all recount words which have hurt us. They linger long in our memories. Kind words too can make all the difference to our day.
When writing for children, often with the imposition of a limited word count, every word really does count. In picture books especially, every single word must earn its place. People often think that writing a picture book must be easy and a good place to begin with a writing career but it can actually be the hardest place to start and there is a definite art to it. I have tried for years to get a picture book published and I've had a few near misses. One particular picture book text was received with great enthusiasm by three different publishers. They all said they wanted it at different times. With one major publisher we even got as far as discussing who would illustrate it but before contracts were issued they all changed their minds. I was so disappointed and this picture book text waits in a file. I still have hopes for it and believe that one day, its time will come.
It's strange how things work out and having waited for so long I had two picture book texts accepted at the same time, not by a U.K. company but by some lovely publishers in South Korea of all places! The fact that these books are being published so far away doesn't make it any less special but I am still a little bit surprised by it all. You sort of begin to anticipate rejection.
This month the first book, Sheep Can't Sleep, will be published as part of a reading scheme and it even has a little song to go with it which is a delightful and unexpected added bonus.
So the moral of this little tale is not to give up. Things happen when you least expect them and not always in the way you envisage. Never throw any writing away either. Sheep Can't Sleep emerged from a manuscript which I had written some time ago and had been sent out and rejected several times by U.K. publishers. I stripped it down to the bones, took the best bits, (which are so much easier to spot when something has been put away for a while), and re-wrote it.
I love the thought that children in South Korea will be learning English with the help of one of my stories. I hope they enjoy it.
Thank-you for dropping by and have a lovely Easter.