Isn’t it amazing that God makes us each individually handcrafted as a non-repeatable, original masterpiece then we do our best to make ourselves into copies!
When my children were still at the age of picture books, about 25 years ago, I came across a series of Serendipity books. They were expensive but like all mothers, I wanted the absolute best for my children. The one I remember best was called “Leo the Lop” by Stephen Cosgrove and illustrated by Robin James. Leo the Lop
It was a charming book about a bunny who had abnormal ears. He tried hard to be like the other bunnies but finally had to realize that whatever you are is normal. I loved the concept of teaching children to accept themselves no matter what.
Later when I entered a competition run by the Eastern Province Writers Club for children between 3 and 6 years, I decided to write a story specifically for young children who felt they were somehow different. I also wanted to include counting and colour recognition. I introduce the concept of God as the Maker but in a suitably obscure way that it would not prevent non-Christian parents from buying the book. I consider it my best work to date. My daughter, Mandy, painted the pictures for me.
Since then I have come across a number of children who feel different. I have unofficially dedicated the book to Isabelle de Groot. She is the daughter of my ex boss and she got to have the first copy printed on the computer and arranged in a pocket file. She was three at the time and took it to her nursery school. The children enjoyed it. That was when I decided to self publish. Five or more years later, Isabelle got her wish, a baby sister – only Charlotte was born with Downs Syndrome and only lived for seven months. Isabelle now has a signed copy for her and Charlotte. Many other children I have come across feel different. There are others with Downs Syndrome, some with thick glasses, one is a dwarf. I would like all these children to know that God has a plan for their life. They have a purpose and can enrich the world and be part of God’s master plan which we don’t understand.
Getting the book published has been very up and down. Originally the Writers club told us that the top three entries would be published by a local South African publishing company but after two years I gave up hope of that prospect.
Later, after a lot of searching on the internet and trying to find an agent and nearly getting involved in a scam scheme. I did find an agent in South Africa. She was very excited about my book and was going to take it to book fairs here and abroad. After six months she decided to emigrate to Australia and start a new career.
I felt demotivated but still believed in my book. At my son’s advice, I decided to self-publish on Lulu.com where my book can still be ordered and printed. However, even with author discount, it was too expensive in foreign currency to enable me to buy a batch and sell them here.
Finally I found a publisher who would do small runs and a reasonable price and I had 50 printed. I have managed to get rid of most of them and I am trying to decide whether to have more printed. However I am by nature introverted and I am no salesman. None of the book shops I have approached have been interested in selling my book. Maybe I just don’t have the right contacts.
If you would like a free e copy, you can click on the sugar bowl image in the side bar and you will be taken to the Lulu.com site. The book is free but you need to add it to your cart.
I have written other books- more children’s books usually with a moral and i am hoping to find an illustrator who is prepared to come into partnership with me and we will share (any) profits.