Zak and Jen Flying

As I have mentioned many times before, next year will see the release of my debut children’s book. The title is a close secret at present, but several people have suggested that it might be nice to talk about the inspiration for the book and the process I went through.

It all started when I saw some oil paintings Chris had done. He had painted these simple, yet striking characters against a beautiful starry backdrop and my imagination went into overdrive.

I was speaking to him one day and commented how I would love to create a story around the characters, he told me he had actually been looking for a writer to work with. The decision was made right there.

It is no secret that I work best in the early hours of the morning. One night, when I was up trying to settle my daughter, the characters came to life in my head. I started seeing the pair flying across the night sky, floating underneath a magic umbrella, travelling to magical worlds and having all kinds of adventures. It was clear to me then, this pair were travelers, adventurers. The words for the story literally flowed out of me onto the page that night, and within 30 minutes I had a first draft (not every story is as easy!)

But I wanted the story to be more than just an adventure to a wonderful place, I wanted there to be an opportunity for learning. I knew from speaking to other parents that they were often looking for books which conveyed some kind of message. Some books had a moral to be extracted, others dealt with a key issue like bullying or bereavement.

You will have to wait for the book to see which direction I took, but feedback from a test group of friends, family and contacts has been positive which is a good sign!

The images in the book (some of which you may have seen) have deviated slightly from these original paintings. However the essence remains the same and both Chris and I are more than excited to share the full work with everyone.

In terms of the characters themselves, I took inspiration from people I have met and also the type of message I wanted to convey. One of the characters is more patient, deliberate and thoughtful. The other is more impulsive, fiery and adventurous. They compliment each other perfectly.

In some of my posts you may have seen me mention that we have already begun working on books two and three. The plan is to reveal more of the character’s personalities whilst still enabling them to explore the galaxy in their own special way.

I look forward to the day when we can announce the book is available for pre-order, but we have no news on that front… yet!

In the meantime, here is the second image that inspired me to write this story.

Blossoms growing on Jens planet