World Book Day 2022
People say that there’s a book in all of us but not everyone explores that and actually puts pen to paper. It’s World Book Day and this year we wanted to showcase some authors who are mothers. They all have a different story about why they write and what they write about and some of these stories may resonate with you.
I’ve written all my life and have stories, notes, poems and scribbled ideas from when I was in my early teens but for the longest time, that’s all they were, ideas, unfinished ramblings. Nowadays, I mostly write magical realism in the form of children’s picture books; stories which capture the imagination and escort the reader and listener on a wonderful, magical journey. My books are about friendship, the importance of diversity and finding yourself.
A book shouldn’t just be read, it should be heard, felt and spoken about.
As human beings we all feel a need to make the world a better place, to make a positive mark in some small way. My contribution is in the form of words because emotions blossom from words which are then followed by thoughts which predetermine our actions. I write these stories for three reasons: for myself because I feel a little broken by the life I’ve led and the state of the world and writing brings me joy, it helps me to understand the things that don’t make sense. I also write for my children who adore stories and are, of course, my biggest fans; and I write to leave a mark, something tangible so that when I am gone, I will never be forgotten.
Shannon’s beautiful picture books include ‘Sid and Biscuit Bear’ and ‘About that Green Umbrella’. They available to buy on Amazon or from Shannon directly on www.sjmolver.com where you can also learn more about the author herself.
Silke was already wanting to help new mums enter motherhood with their eyes wide-open back in 2018 when I interviewed her for a blog about parental mental health. Since then, Silke has gone on to produce her resilience cards and her platform Raise Up Mums goes from strength to strength.
Silke is just in the final stages of her first book, ‘The Mother Loving Guide. Truths about life with a newborn and how to prepare (a little)’ which she describes as,
‘the honest heads up that every first-time parent deserves, and that I wish I had, with plenty of truth, tools to prepare and some humour along the way. Instead of birth preparation and infant care, the book focuses almost exclusively on, the mother/woman/person and those around her.
Through stories and quotes from mothers in the trenches, expert voices and worksheets to complete, this guide prepares first time mums for some of the realities of life with a newborn.’
The prompt to write the book is Silke’s frustration that no one warned her quite how tough motherhood can be. ‘It felt a bit like a secret club that everyone kept quiet about until you’re a member yourself – then everyone has a (horror) story and (unwanted) advice for you. I personally found motherhood hit me like a ton of bricks and I think if just one person had told me that it was ok to find it so impossibly hard, I would have coped an awful lot better, because I would have felt normal. Women deserve more support, honesty and community when it comes to becoming a mother, which this book aims to provide.’
Silke’s book is due to be published later this year and would be great for any parents to be. To be the first to hear about the publication date, head to Silke’s website and join her mailing list. www.raiseupmums.co.uk
Jo contributed a guest blog last year and since then she has become an author! Well done, Jo!
Last October saw publication of ‘Rise of the Girl – Seven Conversations to Have with Your Daughter’ which Jo explains here.
‘In this book, you will read incredible stories from contributors about how wonderful things came from simply dipping their toes in the water, from trying something new. Rise of the Girl will help you reflect on and have an honest conversation about the role parents and caregivers have. When I looked at my own daughter, I considered what role I have to play in talking to her about leadership and allowing her to lead from a young age. Do we ask girls enough about what they feel they’re good at? How are they channelling their own strengths to build on their skills and self-confidence?
I felt the book was so needed. I was reading in the media over the last three years about the state of girls’ mental health and their battles with self-esteem. I wanted to do something positive to drive change.
These seven conversations are so important to have at home, because when we strive for excellence, rather than perfection, when we reward and praise for effort, rather than ability, when we encourage curiosity for curiosity’s sake, when we encourage experimentation, when we talk about the positive impacts of failure, we can reframe the developing mindsets of our daughters.
This is a practical guide for parents of girls aged 7-20, broken down into seven conversation starters to empower parents, guardians, and their daughters to face the challenges of childhood and prepare them for adulthood. Storytelling is so powerful which is why I brought in a number of amazing contributors to share their own journey with the reader. The book is full of positive stories and advice!’
‘Rise of the Girl’ is available in hardback on Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith, Bookshop.org. or ask your local independent shop to order it for you.
Nicola has written four books so far and a fifth is in the pipeline as the final part of her Time School series. She finds the writing process cathartic and has learnt as she’s gone along, intertwining her imagination with familiarity as many of her books are based in Yorkshire, where she’s from.
‘The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants (perfect for 7–10-year-olds) is based on the street I used to live on, where there was a house that we all considered strange, possibly haunted. In this story, three friends set about creating a secret agency so they can solve crimes during the summer holidays. They start by looking for Harry’s missing lucky underpants but soon end up being involved in something more sinister when they begin to delve deeper into the mysterious couple who have moved into Number 35.
The Time School series (9-12 years), of which books 1, 2 and 3 are currently available, is loosely based around the school I attended. In these stories, four friends in their first year of secondary school, get the opportunity to learn more about their school and town’s histories through short journeys back in time to different periods. Each adventure takes them back to a period that has significance to one of the characters so that each also has the opportunity to learn about their family history at the same time.
I think understanding the past is important if you want to understand what is going on in the world today. These books are short – they are only intended as a snapshot into past times – but they give an insight into times in history that children might not know about and hopefully, might be inspired to find out more. For example, book 2 features a Polish refugee and highlights the difficulties he and his family faced after the Second World War. Book 3, takes us back to the 1970s and the racial tension running high across the country at that time.’
Nicola’s books are available on Amazon, Waterstones, Book Depository, Bookshop.org and to order via any bookshop. You can also buy directly from Nicola and get your copy signed! Her website shop is: https://www.storymakersclub.com/shop/.
Each of the authors says that writing the book is the easy part, it’s proofreading, editing, deciding on a cover and everything that comes with publishing a book that’s the tricky part! But they would all agree that it’s worth it – to share advice, pass on wisdom, spark an imagination or inspire a young person.
What would you write about? Why not have a go at unleashing the book inside you?
Congratulations to all these authors and here’s to you too – get in touch if you do write a book.