For Real!

As I held my book in my hand, I squealed, “It’s a real book, how exciting, it’s a real book!”

And it was. It’s so hard to describe those emotions I felt as I held the proof copy in my hand for the first time. Even harder to explain the feelings when a box of 100 copies arrived to be signed and sold… that box is pretty empty now and I need to order some more in the new year.

Excited, thrilled, ecstatic, alongside anxious, scared and unbelievable.

I’ve always loved reading, and writing. Both offered some form of escape from what some may call a traumatic childhood. But for me it was my childhood, it was normal, I was loved and was surrounded by good people who wanted the best for me, even when times were tough.

That love of reading and writing has stayed with me my whole life and I often dreamt of a reality in which I published books. 2020, the year of nightmares, saw that dream come true.

It’s incredibly tough to get a publishing deal, especially for children’s books, where some amazing, well known and well-established authors dominate the bookshelves of book stores and homes alike. As a working-class girl, who just about got her GCSEs and had to work incredibly hard to get her Batchelor Degree in Education, I already suffer with imposter syndrome and was not sure that I could handle a string of rejection letters.

Inspired by a friend who self-published (check out Parker Book on Facebook and Instagram) I decided to do it my way (in my head my Grandad Ted is now belting out his version of Sinatra’s classic). I knew the book was good enough, I knew it was a story that needed to be read in homes and classrooms and I knew I could make it real!

So, in my best South London accent I decided to “put my money where my mouth is”. With the money I had managed to save during lockdown from not having my usual spending habits I paid an amazing illustrator, an incredible publisher and together we turned “The Princess Without a Crown” into a book, a real book!

The joy that I feel when I now see children reading it is like no other, it may be a bit addictive so I’m now saving up to publish book two, so that I can make that real too!

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