Well I'm sure I've mentioned before that being a self-published author can be a somewhat solitary affair. There's no one else to write this blog-post, for example, unless I get a LOT more famous. Also all those hours spent drawing sausages, and painting all their smiles and looks of astonishment, devilish smirking, or open mouthed awe, yup.. that was me too. All the Instagram posts, all the Facebook content.. and yes.. it's me that turns up to the author events as well.
Also.. in quiet contemplative moments, or rather, intervals of barely contained excitement when I get to sit and think up stories - that's me too.
However, let it not be said that the journey is a solo one, and if you've been reading the last few weeks, you'll have heard me talk about other authors as well. Indeed, my first notion of being an author, was when I met the very talented and lovely illustrator, Jacqueline East. We met in a boho cafe in Glastonbury as I recall (hello Jackie if you're reading!) and discussed my idea for the book and I showed her my sketches. So you see, the real journey proper starts with other people.
That's why this week I want to talk about other authors again. I've met a few more recently.. and it just brings it home to you how we're all going through the same process. Listening and talking and sharing information about yourself, you realise that although it's a new path to you, individually, it's not a new path, and there is much you have in common, and many of the same frustrations, tribulations and joys.
A big shout out to Jimmy Jute on Instagram today (who sells the most fabulous painted bags) because reading one of her posts, I realised that it's not just authors, but anyone who has a shared interest and meets others with shared interest has a wonderful opportunity to share that with other people, be it a facebook post or Instagram page.
So I think it's time to open up my blog a little bit wider. Yes it's for fans of Singing Frog Publishing and the stories, but I'll be widening the net to introduce you to other people and things out there when I can.
Anyway.. as said.. enough about ME. I'd like you to hear about another fabulous children's author out there this week, Joanne Hutchinson.
Joanne is already a published author and her first book is called Og and is about a fairy tale Ogre.. but not just any fairy tale Ogre, he has some special qualities..and a great mentor in a little girl called Lucy. But more about him another time! This week, I'm excited to mention Jo's new book released this week - Hagwitch.
It's here you have to mention the pictures, the story is brought to life brilliantly by Kris Lillyman, who also illustrated Og, and there is so much to look at on every page, that I had to read it straight away again with Emma, my three year old daughter. Hagwitch is brilliant and she fights a Wizard who wants to steal the colour from the land (neat idea!) but I have to say, he's drawn so well, I was kind of drawn to him too!
Will she vanquish the miserly magician?
The rhyming is slick and humourous and would give Julia Donaldson a run for her money. The effect of the whole is super charming. I'm sure lots of young children will be awaiting more adventures with this wonder woman. That said, I think the aspect I like the most of Joanne's books, is that they hang together. There's a newspaper in Hagwitch, and it references Og... but there's even other characters there (my favourite headline is 'Hairy Fairy Rescues Canary') which will no doubt join this storyland at a later point. So I think she is going to create a world of characters kids will visit again and again through each book. Genius.
Well, I've bought both books, one as a kindle.. so I'm sold... and no, I'm not on commission either!