So… I’ve written a book.

I’m trying to sound casual about it but… I’VE WRITTEN A BOOK!!!

My first book (notice the “first”) is a children’s story.

I’ve loved children’s books for as long as I can remember. As a Nanny and from working in schools, I have read A LOT of children’s books. Some awful; some barely memorable; many are brilliant. And, as someone with no children, I have an impressive collection of children’s books.

I *might* have a little knowledge on what makes a good children’s book. Though, perhaps I don’t. But I think I do.

I’ve had the first two sentences of the book in my head for quite some years, in response to a few things:people at bus stops; lack of imagination; and lack of representation of children with disabilities. 

So many times I have been standing at bus stops and, on the child asking, “Where are we going?”, the adult with them would answer snappily, “Shut up! I’ve told you where we are going!” Or, “Shut up!, I’m on the phone!” Or words to that effect. I’ve seen so many children, desperate to talk to their adult about the bus they were on, or to talk about the burning questions that every child has, only to be ignored, or shouted at. It’s sad, but I really don’t blame the adults; we’re encouraged to write stories in primary school, to allow our imaginations to blossom, then, as we get into secondary schools, we’re told to be more rigid, to not daydream, so it’s no wonder that many people feel that using our imagination is silly, or that it might feel scary to create something.

If you have read my previous blogs, or if you know me, you’ll know I live with several disabilities. I also know a lot of people that live with disabilities, and many of those are children. 

Did you know that less than 4% of books have a child with a disability as the main character? And that most of those books are about the disability? So that means that children living with disability rarely see themselves represented. And it means that children that don’t live with disabilities don’t see children that might be different to them. So, if they don’t see people that might be different  represented, how can they learn that we have more in common than what separates us? 

I wanted to create a story that wasn’t about a child’s disability. I wanted to create a book that was about a child living with a disability simply living. 

And I wanted to create a book that showed that, in the same time it takes to say, “Shut up! I’ve told you where we are going!”, you can create a wonderful, imaginary adventure, that could take you anywhere, where you could be anything. I wanted to give people encouragement to let their imaginations blossom.

And I’m fairly sure I’ve done that. With huge thanks to the fabulous artist illustrating, Art & Murals by Donna McGhie, who has done an amazing job of translating my brain.

I've Written a Book!Obviously, I am worried about releasing the book. It’s like releasing a puppy into the wild!

Will people buy it?

Will people like it?

Will the Crowdfunder work?! 

Oh yes! The Crowdfunder campaign! That launched on 28th October and it’s already hit target!! That’s incredible! I think people know this positive representation is needed. The Crowdfunder is open until 2nd December and contributions can be made until then. There’s a wide range of rewards, from donating just to support, to buying a book just for you, or a book for you and for a school or group of your choice, right up to being able to donate a book to every primary school in your city! There’s also a great package to get items not available anywhere else! The link is here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/where-are-we-going-childrens-book

Oh yes! I’m nervous and very excited!

Writing a book was on my “someday” list; something I wanted to do but thought it was unlikely.  Then, “some day” happened.

I’ve written a book!!!

Author:
Vie Portland