As I write, I am working on my second storybook. With my first book, ‘A Prayer from the Heart’ it was a story about how God fulfilled the desire of 6-year-old Chris’ heart. He found the friendship that he longed for. In this second book Chris has an adventure with his new found friends. Without giving too much away, Chris’ faith grows even more when he finds himself in a tricky situation. The title of the story is ‘Lost until the Light Comes’. The pictures in this blog are from my first book, as I want the second book to be a complete surprise!
Like my previous story, it is based on truth-truth from our family history. Unlike my previous story, I have approached the making of this book from a different angle. With ‘A Prayer from the Heart’, I basically wrote the story, broke up the text into pages and then used this to decide on the matching illustrations. I didn’t touch the text after I had written it.
Then, after dividing up the text, I started drawing small thumbnails with what I envisaged all the illustrations could look like. I got this idea from the following video (about 6:12 mins in)
There was so much in this video that helped me!
However, as I drew the illustrations and then tried to match them to the text, it made me rethink some of the text and I changed the latter to become even better page turners! It was a real eye opener! Not only had my attitude to the layout of the book as a whole changed, but I even saw an opportunity to have a page without any words- where the illustration would speak for itself. I found this whole process of drawing all the illustrations as mini pictures eye-opening and exciting. I feel that it helped me grow as an author of picture books.
This second story has plenty of tension- as is needed in every story… and as in my first book, it has a happy ending. I chose this particular event from my brother’s life as it’s something that frequently happens to children and I felt that lots of children would be able to relate to it.
The clue to the story is in the title….’Lost until the Light Comes’! It’s one of life’s most scary moments for parents, as well as for the children themselves. If you have been there, you will know what I mean. I was about 10 yrs old when we lost Chris. At that age, I remember saying a prayer that we would find him…but not being an adult, I didn’t feel the weight of responsibility. When we lost my niece, I was an adult and the stress and the fear was just awful. I tried my best to stay calm and to pray…it was so hard. In this second story our 6-year-old Chris also has to rely on God like he has never done before.
As with my first story, there is a little something extra at the end – This ‘something extra’ will, I hope, delight the children and help them want to draw closer to Jesus.