I’m celebrating as my new picture book ‘Daddy and I’, illustrated gorgeously by Sophie Burrows, is out today! It was a tricky one to write and to be honest I wasn’t expecting a yes from my publishers at Maverick… maybe because I’d just spent so long hammering away at it, trying to get every verse to include a different rhyme for the word ‘I’. Sometimes you just wish you’d never started something!
I’d been thinking for a while of writing something that worked on two levels, the child’s point of view and the adult’s. What can be quite a mundane experience for us can be full of wonder for a child because they see everything with a fresh eye. A walk was the simplest way of expressing this, and I’ve got lovely memories of going for super-long walks with my Dad (probably quite short now I come to think of it) which we treated as a huge adventure. I thought it would add a fuller background to the story to put it in the context of a Saturday visit where the child doesn’t necessarily spend the rest of the week with her dad, so the time they have together is extra special. When I saw Sophie’s sketches I knew she completely understood what I was trying to say!
I’m glad I finally got the chance to write the idea that had been simmering for so long. Sometimes it can take a long while for a story to brew. At other times it can be very quick. One of the mysteries of the writing process!
And a last minute ‘good luck’ to anyone entering the Writing Magazine/Amy Sparkes/Julia Churchill picture book writing contest. I know a lot of my critique customers are going for this. I’ll be crossing my fingers for you!