Ella's Night Lights - Coming Soon!
With only one month to go until my debut authored and illustrated picture book flies onto the shelves I thought I'd take a moment to talk about the process and my experience.
I have always wanted to tell my own stories, and it's something I'll continue to strive for in my artwork and as try my darnedest to become a writer too. Many of my ideas never leave the drawing board, so to be sitting here awaiting the publication of my first authored book doesn't seem quite real. With the year being such that it has been, and launch parties and promo tours seeming impossible, the publication feels even more surreal.
I decided to write a story 3 years ago about hope during times of darkness and I had no idea how poignant that message would be to 2020. No matter how small a light, even a far away star from millions of miles away, cannot be snuffed out by even the darkest of nights. The idea that light represents goodness and kindness is not a new concept, but It's one that I visit often in my artwork and use as a metaphor in my own life too.
We, like Ella the titular character of the book, cling to glittering lights in winter when the days are shorter. We hang fairy lights in our homes and on trees and we light bonfires and sparklers. There's a child-like joy to our enjoyment of glittering and glowing things that I've tried to capture in the picture book. Ella collects light and shares it with others, she represents selflessness and kindness.
My agents at the Bright Group were fantastic at pitching my story idea to publishers, and really had confidence in my concepts which i'm incredibly grateful for. It's a hugely daunting task to ask whether there is room for your little book in the busy world of publishing.
It turned out that Walker books had some interest in creating the book with me, and I was thoroughly over the moon. Meeting with the team and working with so many experienced and hugely talented book makers was a dream come true. From developing the story, to fixing my wobbly words, the team really helped sew my ideas together into what it is today. I'm humbled, and honoured to have gone on this first authoring experience with such a wonderful team - so It's only right that I shout them out. In particular Diedre, Anne-Loiuse, Maria and Tanya, I don't know if I'll ever thank you enough!
The book releases on November 5th here in the UK and you can pre-order it if you'd like, I'll leave a link below to Amazon, It's also on Waterstones too.
Pre-orders really help the book get 'seen' when it releases.
Alternatively ask your local book shops and libraries which helps them and me immensely. Smaller book shops and libraries may only stock it if they know there'll be some interest in the book so make your interest known! (If you have interest of course! - Although I'm not sure why you'd have read this far if you weren't.)
Huge thanks to all the kind messages i've had so far, and the pre-orders you lot have made. I've had so many nightmare's and restless nights, and trust me the kindness is so appreciated!
Ella's Night Lights is a sleepy winter story, which I hope will be a gentle bedtime read for families. So snuggle up with your fairy lights and blankets, and keep one eye to the stars, you might just spot a little twinkling trail across the night sky...