Monday 21 December 2015

A Writers Family – An Ever Giving Gift of Inspiration…

As Christmas is looming, The Family Poyton is reading Matt Haig’s ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ and we are loving the story and the amazing illustrations by Chris Mould. As a family we have also been listening to Matt being interviewed about the inspiration behind the book, and that it came when his son asked the question; ‘Was Father Christmas ever a Boy?’

This got me thinking about inspiration, and where idea’s for books come from. Like many creative people, my inspiration comes from anywhere at any time. However, one thing has inspired me more than anything else is my family.

In fact if it wasn’t for my daughter, I wouldn’t be writing. So many years ago, when she was coming up three, and my son his first birthday, my husband went away to Australia for six weeks on business. My daughter, a rather pretentious and funny toddler, asked him to bring her back a Kangaroo, and for the whole duration of the trip she persisted in asking me how Daddy would catch the kangaroo. Initially I’d answer simply, but as time went on the answers got more and more extreme, started to rhyme and evolved into my first ever bit of writing a Picture book called, How to Catch a Kangaroo. From tat moment I was hooked, and I haven't stopped writing since.


Spread One

My Daddy has one to Australia.

There is just one thing I asked him to do,

“Daddy, please bring me back a Kangaroo!”

Spread Two

I wonder how he will catch it.

How do you catch a Kangaroo?

Could you catch one with a rod and line?

What would you use for bait?

Peanut butter sandwiches, or jelly on a plate?

It’s not just kids that inspire, my two furry, lazy Springbats, (half Springer Spaniel half Basset Hound) also bring a healthy dose of inspiration to, and after a particularly entertaining walk involving some fox excrement, and I began to pen a Picture book from the point of view of a hound. Although I’m pretty sure it’s not like to ever get a publisher, I believe it’ll strike a chord with anyone who has ever owned a dog…

If Dogs Wrote Picture Books

Because I love you, I’ve dug up your roses. I know that their horrid smell itches human’s noses.

Because I love you, I’ve made myself smell nice. I found some fox poo and rolled in it twice.

Because I love you, I’ve warmed up your bed, and now it smells like what I’ve just been fed.

Because you love me, you left me stake out on the side for a snack. Because I’m so grateful I gulped it down as soon as you turned you back.

Because I love you, I’ve brought you a present. It’s a rather tasty (and energetic) half dead pheasant.

Because I love you, I slept on your best hat. I think I’ve improved it; It’s covered in hair and is now rather flat.

Because I love you, I bark all the time you’re out. That way you will know I love you and you’ll never be in doubt.

Because you love me, you warm up my chair, I love it when you leave the room so I can snuggle up there.

Because I love you, to let everyone know your mine. I pee in your shoes (It makes them smell better) and gives them a yellowy shine.

Entertaining the children in queues or on long journeys has also provided inspiration for a book about a magic flying toilet, and a mission to save one families ailing sweet making business by stealing the family recipe book back from the Pirate and Captain of ‘The Sweet Revenge’ who rules the seven seas by supplying all seadogs with the delicious sweets. 

My most recent inspiration has been provided by my son, (who’s now approaching his 10th Birthday) and his constant attempts to steal my bobble hat and his disappointment that I will not give it to him. He handles this by talking about himself in the third person and calling himself ‘No-bobble’. This has presented lot of entertaining ideas for a new Picture Book text which I’m currently working on.

So… this is a little celebration of my eccentric family, and a thank you to the most important people in my life who inspire me every day. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to thank them properly with an acknowledgement in an actual book. One day…