From little things, big things grow – taking an idea and turning it into a story.
Over the years, I have written many MANY stories. As a child, I was always thinking of great storylines and loveable characters – I am regularly lost in my imagination. One thing that has been constant in my story writing years is where I get my ideas and inspiration from. And that is……from everywhere!
Sounds a little broad doesn’t it? But it’s true – the simplest of things from a colour to an illustration to a dream, as well as much more obvious things like experiences, places I’ve been or things my children say, can all trigger a story idea.
One day earlier this year, I was laying with my baby son Ryder and hushing him to sleep. I really enjoy those kinds of moments with my kids – when they’re calm and restful and we can touch and bond.
I started singing to him softly – the usual lullabies and favourites, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle, and then as my imagination wandered and my words came out without much thought, I found myself singing him a lullaby of sounds. “Swish Swoosh” says the breeze in the trees….. “Tweet Tweet” chirps the birdies as they fly. And just like that….a story idea began to bloom!
As soon as Ryder was in a deep lull, I grabbed my computer and started writing. I tapped away at the keys madly for a couple of days – changing, thinking, editing, imagining, feeling, listening and writing. And before I knew it – I had a finished manuscript that I was proud of and truly loved.
Writing a story, something that has never been published before, is such a rewarding process. And here, I had found myself with a new story that took children into a happy place of using their sense of sound. A place where they had to acknowledge hidden noises around them, as well as more obvious, dominant ones.
I was able to use my teaching background to put educational aspects into it too – such as letter repetition, storyline build-up, suspense and a sequenced inclusion of the days of the week. My editor got to work with my manuscript and together we perfected the storyline and flow. Illustrator Trevor Salter then started to bring my words to life with his drawing talents – it truly was an exciting process to watch unfold.
Everything started to take shape and after several months of hard work, So Many Sounds was born!
As an author, my favourite part is looking back on the process and seeing how a simple idea turned into a story. Watching it blossom and develop is timely and sometimes a little overwhelming, but also a truly satisfying experience. I am about to start a workshop program for lower primary classes on how they too, can turn their ideas and inspirations into a scripted story. You can find out more about these programs and teaching sessions on my website.
So Many Sounds, published by Rydell Books (2013), can be purchased from all great online book stores. And if you check out the Parents & Teachers Resources page on my website, you will find a huge selection of educational activities, all for FREE download and use. Your kids will also love the downloadable So Many Sounds song, written by myself – with music and vocals by Martin from Sound Achievements. I encourage you to take books beyond the page, and truly allow your children to experience literature in their day-to-day learning and living.
So Many Sounds Blog Tour
12th July: Kids Book Review - that's us!
13th July: Official Launch Party!
14th July: Kidspot Villiage Voices: Taking Books beyond the Page.
15th July: Life, Love & Hiccups
16th July: My Little Bookcase
17th July: Karen Tyrrell: Author Interview with Claire.
18th July: BabyMac
19th July: Homely One
22nd July: Seven Cherubs
23rd July: Octavia and Vicky
24th July: Suzie's Home Education Ideas
25th July: Children's Books Daily
26th July: Trevor Cairney