In 2010 when the Icelandic volcano erupted, throwing air travel into disarray, I was in England visiting my family and couldn’t return to my home in Spain,’ writes subscriber Peter Hayward. ‘What seemed like a slight inconvenience turned out to be one of the most important periods of my whole life.
Spending extra time with my grandson, Ashley, telling him countless stories, I was rewarded each time with: “That was a great story, Granddad.”
From this point, my stories for children began.
I wrote the stories initially for Ashley, but altered them when my granddaughter, Lilly, was born. More and more people began to read them and their positive comments encouraged me to get the stories published.
Watching some parents interact with their children, I realised that some adults needed educating just as much as some children. So, I changed the ethos of the series and Learn with Alex and Anna educational stories for children began to take form.
I sent manuscripts to agents and publishers, those who replied weren’t looking for new authors! Undeterred, I joined a writers’ guild, engaged an editor, taught myself to draw, designed the book, helped create the website, and learnt how to self-publish. Four years later the first six books in the series have been published and printed.
Little did I know that I’d come across prejudice with the marketing and promotion. One reply: “We don’t review self-published books”; another, without looking at the books, suggested I “get the illustrations professionally drawn”. Still not discouraged, the marketing and promoting continues.
HRH Prince Charles sent me a lovely letter wishing me every success. The Dept. of Education wrote: [we] “are always interested in authors who aim to improve the educational experience of children”, and included a list of local authorities and schools in their reply.
I’m now getting interest worldwide.
My first steps towards becoming a professional author, illustrator, publisher, and agent, together with being an all-round good egg are great.
This article was in the 'Writing Magazine, (UK) February 2015 www.writers-online.co.uk (Warners Group Publication PLC.)