'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 30 December 2010

Guest Post - Author Rochelle Killiner

Kids Book Review is delighted to welcome new author Rochelle Killiner with a post about writing her very first picture book.

My high school English teacher would vehemently disagree, but I’ve always loved creative writing. Although if I think back far enough, publishing my own book was a dream long before then.

As a kid I spent many hours writing poetry, recording what seemed at the time a very trying and tragic childhood. In retrospect the only trying part was the poetry and the tragedy was that I inflicted it on so many people!

But fast forward to 2009 and my dream was still the same. Life had given me a lot more material to work with, including one significant wedding, one significant funeral and one significant little girl named Ava. But busy was an understatement and my love for writing was quickly replaced by my love of sleep.

Then one very chaotic day while folding what seemed like a mountain of washing and fending off a feral toddler I discovered self-publishing while watching TV. A young woman had self-published a book about her experience with bi polar disorder. I had never heard of self-publishing before, let a lone considered it – but this I could do. So after some rampant googling I found a website for self-publishing called PublishMe and thus began the journey of Goodnight Mouse.

The story itself came to me pretty quickly as my daughter was having difficulty settling for bed at the time. I wrote incessantly for about a week until I had all my pre-requisites for a great bedtime story… A sweet story with a little rhyme, a few white lies for imagination’s sake and not so many pages that I’d need a bookmark.

After roughly nine months working with the illustrator my dream of publishing a children’s book finally became reality this year. The experience for me was a positive one that I enjoyed. Self-publishing allowed me to work alongside the illustrator and publisher to create the exact look and feel for the book that I wanted. Aside from that I also enjoyed learning about the illustrating and publishing processes which I knew nothing about.

I highly recommend self-publishing for anyone considering it. Holding a published copy of your book for the first time is such an exhilarating feeling and well worth the effort and costs involved.

I wrote Goodnight Mouse for my two-year-old daughter Ava, a mini astronomer obsessed with the Moon who believes that all living things that depart this world reside among the stars.

little Ava reading her book
Rochelle Killiner is based in Wellington, New Zealand where she lives with her husband Blair, daughter Ava and their two furry friends, cats - Radar and Fluffy. See her website for more.