I never pictured the title "Childrens Author" to be something that would be attached to my lifetime. I did think, that one day I would be somewhat an Author though. I say that because I began writing the scripts to a biography around the age of seventeen. It felt silly, I mean I was seventeen years old, what was my story? I went with it though, each year penning a little bit more. I still have that story saved, which quickly turned into the an in-depth insight into that very mind of a woman processing grief. I wrote for three more years and almost 7 chapters, I am unsure whether it is something I will ever finish, or share with the world but I trust whatever it may be for, and it might just be for me.
It was Childrens Books that the world wanted me to stop, drop and deliver. It was a project that began originally just for our own family. I began writing after feeling so strongly about communicating more seamlessly with our at the time 19 month old daughter about how her parents journey to parenthood started before her.
I wanted to share about it in my own words to her, just as I had shared in my own words all over social media since March 29th, 2017 when her big brother Foxx left the Earth for a home high above, forever connecting us only through our thoughts and dreams.
It was as I began writing, I realised I couldn't just pull together illustrations for this myself but just how illustrations would be the most important thing for her little mind to attach the words to drawings. I searched for illustrators and it was actually one that landed in my inbox [Sarah Hill from Little Hill Illustrations] on instagram and as I scrolled her drawings it was an instant connection. I didn't know her story then, but knowing it now. I realise why we were connected that day, she knew all too well the feelings and emotions through her own upbringing and experience of being the 'sibling' who lived kissing goodbye to another. It was in these little moments I realised my calling was not to hold this for just my family, but to share it with others.
As the illustrations were brought to life, so was the book. My daughter, took the book to her care centre one day reading it for 'show and share' and another little child yelled out "She is like me! I have a sibling above too!" and that was it, the solidification and the message that I must deliver this book to more hands.
Thats the kind of journey this has taken me on, one that I wanted to make happen in one way but one the world was trying to show me that I must make happen in more ways, in ways that other families would hold these books near as well.
Whilst, My Sibling Above was inspired by teaching little ones about their siblings above whether they came before them, or after. Love From Above was produced knowing, that death of all forms can be hard to understand for little people. It could be for the death of a Grandparent, a friend or pet. It is more generalised to talk about loss and grief and can help educate and empower children through their own grief process, or helping to teach them about these circumstances in life that happen.
I don't want to sign off as a Children's Author because that is not what this project came to make me, but I do want to say that it was my children that inspired the beautiful project of creating these books to communicate with them about loss, death and grief.