I learned a lot about the process of working with a school to produce a complete unique masterpiece. One of the most humbling of experiences happened during the Sydenham Primary School book project.
When finalising some of the characters, I asked an 11 year old whether she wanted to be an artist. Her response surprised me and made me realise the impact that I have had on so many young lives by being involved in this project.
Her response was “No, I want to be an author.” Then she looked directly at me and said “Just like you.”
I was taken back by the determination in her voice.
At that very moment, I realised that being a children’s author is so much more than being a writer. It is a responsibility.
In the Sydenham Primary School project, I gave the power to the children to help them expand the boundaries of what is possible. I’m not talking about a ‘cookie-cutter’ rule book where everyone follows a book-making template. I’m talking about ‘real creation’ from the ground up and the best thing was, the children got it.
I remember in particular, where we had very big gaps between the start, middle and end of the story. We discussed many ideas and in the end the children’s imagination made it possible.
The school teachers, should be held in the highest regard, as they were determined and believed that the children would come up with the result and they sure did.
The talented young artist brought my attention back to her, when she pointed out that (unlike me) she wants to also illustrate her books as well as being the author.
I was delighted by her enthusiasm and have absolutely no doubt that she will realise her dreams.