When I'm coming up with ideas for a book, it isn't just a case of letting my imagination run wild and see what happens. There are moments like that sometimes though lol.
Once I have decided on the setting for my story, for example LONDON, I then take the knowledge I already have AND do research. In this case, it was to help me decide which of the hundreds of landmarks in London that Jeremy is going to visit and the logistics of the trip.
So whilst I want the story to be fun and entertaining and of course, contain moments where you, as the reader, are asked to suspend disbelief, BUT I also want it to be realistic and mildly educational, in the least obvious way possible lol.
I know not every writer writes this way. Some fictional stories are 100% made up and contain very little realism at all and all the normal rules are out the window... and that's absolutely fine.
Some writers write in a very factual, non-fictional way, where everything is referenced and real... and that's all good too.
Me, I'm somewhere in the middle. I want the reader to thoroughly enjoy the story, as well as coming away with a little fun fact to share with friends or to have sparked a new interest in something and maybe learnt a new word or two along the way. Balance.
Today we were at our second Christmas Fayre with all our goodies!
This one was to raise funds for one of the local primary schools.
Note to self: The batteries in the fairy lights can just about manage two fayres - must replace them before the next one!
Daniel dreams of dancing,
He likes ballet, tap and swing.
He loves to jive and cha-cha,
And street style break dancing.
Daniel is a young boy, who knows what he loves and what he wants to do with his time.
He isn't bothered by what others say about what girls or boys SHOULD do.
Dance is something that EVERYONE can enjoy, no matter how young or old, whatever your gender, whichever costumes you choose and this short, rhyming story, explains just that.
Here's my stall for the first of two Christmas Fayres this year.
This one was to raise money for the local Scouts group.
Jeremy opened his eyes and gave them a rub. Light was peaking around the edges of the curtains.
It was Christmas Morning!
How did he end up back in bed? Did he really visit the North Pole and get shown around Santa’s workshop? Did he actually get to ride on Santa’s sleigh and help to deliver parcels around the world?
Or was it all a dream?
43 pages, written and Illustrated by ME!
Many moons ago, when I was a child, my mum wrote a short children's story about a little boy called Jeremy Johnathan James, who went on lots of action packed adventures. She attempted to get it published but to no avail. Back then, self-publishing wasn't quite the field it is today and the likes of Amazon and other selling platforms weren't even a thing. In fact, the internet hadn't even been created at that point, not even dial up!
So, the manuscript that she had typed out and the sketches she had drawn by hand in coloured pencil, that had been glued to sheets of pink card for presentation, just sat there on a shelf in the lounge, collecting dust, for goodness knows how long.
I remember what that manuscript looked like, even down to the holes that were punched on one side and the treasury tags that held it together. I remember the name of the main character and have a vague recollection of how he looked in the sketches. I know he had a dog called Sammy as a friend, because he was based on our pet dog, a golden Labrador, who was also called Sammy. But that's about it. I don't really recall any of the actual story line. To be fair, it was written over 30 years ago, so my memory is a little patchy and sadly, no-one knows what happened to the original manuscript from all those years ago.
Earlier on this year, maybe even the tail end of last year, I was sat at my desk, working on my memoir, which still needs to be finished, and I was suddenly hit with inspiration. When I say hit, I mean, it was like I had somehow been punched, full force, right between the eyes with this idea! Why don't I write a book, based upon the decades old idea and get it published in memory of my mum, who we sadly lost in 2017. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before.
The memoir instantly got put on hold, a fresh word document was opened and the typing began. The story poured out of me, one adventure after another. I could see the possibilities for illustrations as I was writing the plot.
With technology being what it now is, my version of the book looks very different from my mum's and I'm pretty sure it is significantly longer. I am privileged enough to have a computer and a professional graphics tablet, not to mention, the internet and infinite possibilities! I set about modernizing the concept, updating the look of the character and chose adventures that seemed appropriate for a young boy in today's day and age. I got the book its very own ISBN number and barcode and got The Amazing Adventures of Jeremy Johnathan James published. Naturally, there is a dedication to my mum in the front pages. I just hope I have done her proud.
And that, is the story behind the story.
I think Jeremy Johnathan James is claiming it as his own domain just now but he will soon be joined by many friends!
I would absolutely love it if you could pop over and have a look at the new site and let me know what you think.
There will be plenty more content added over the next few months but we have made a good start.
I know I just announced the publication of Jeremy Johnathan James Celebrates Halloween, however, another one has hit the shelves this week too! See below for details:
Have you ever wondered how deep the ocean really is? Or where in the world the deepest point of the ocean discovered so far is? How many metres down do you think the sunlight reaches? Did you know that the ocean is made up of different layers and that each layer has it’s own collection of sea life dwelling within it? How many thousands of metres below the surface, can fish survive? What else might you find, lurking in the murky depths?
Join Jeremy Johnathan James and his best friend, Sammy the dog, as they explore the ocean in all it’s glory, answer all these questions, meet some very interesting characters and discover a few historical relics on their journey through the watery underworld.
On Monday morning, the plan was, to get the last few illustrations done for JJJ Explores The Ocean and then get it published...
However, for some reason, my brain decided to set me a creative challenge... To write, illustrate and publish a JJJ story with a Halloween theme, in just ONE WEEK!
It had to be done in a week, maybe 10 days, to ensure it hit the online shelves with enough time for customers to buy it and have it delivered before October 31st.
I thought about it... briefly contemplated the work load I would have to undertake... Writing the story... probably drawing 12-15 illustrations for the inner pages... designing the front and back cover etc and then obviously the listing stuff at the end.
It was definitely going to be a challenge but my thinking was, if I want to add a Halloween book to the range, I either rise to the challenge or wait for best part of a year and release it for 2023. Well, why wait, why not jump on the chance right now, while the ideas are buzzing about in my bonce and just do the damn thing!
So I did!
On Monday morning, the countdown began.... one week and counting.... tick tick tick...
It is now Friday morning, 4 and a bit days on from when I started... and IT IS DONE!
JEREMY JOHNATHAN JAMES CELEBRATES HALLOWEEN IS NOW LIVE AND AVAILABLE TO BUY ON AMAZON (WORLDWIDE).
I will have a printed version in my hands by Sunday and will jump on live to show it all to you when it gets here.
In the meantime, if you would like to purchase a copy and help me celebrate this awesome feat, I shall drop the link below. Your support is so very much appreciated.
Oh, and here's the blurb about the book...
It was 31st October and that could mean only one thing!
Halloween was one of Jeremy’s favourite days of the year. The day was always filled with lots of exciting activities in preparation for an evening of spooky events. This year was going to be no different.
Join Jeremy and Sammy as they go Halloween shopping, decorate the house, carve pumpkins, create a costume for Sammy without even trying, go trick or treating around the neighbourhood and then find out just what was lurking at the end of the street, that made them run for their lives!
Ladies and Gents, I am so very excited to announce that my second children's book is now published and available to purchase!
Derived from the original book, "The Amazing Adventures of Jeremy Johnathan James", this spin off story is also fictional and set in the imaginative world of our main character Jeremy, and his sidekick, Sammy the Dog, but has some funny jokes, and interesting facts about the planets thrown in too, so you can learn while you laugh!
Join Jeremy and Sammy on this adventure to the moon and discover which planet is like a vacuum cleaner, which one spins in the opposite direction from all the others and what is a queen aliens favourite drink?!
I shall pop the link to buy down below for you.
PS. This is the first in a mini series of spin-offs, so keep your eyes peeled for more to come!