It was 2020, the year the world become part of a global pandemic. Our lives changed and I found myself sat at home, furloughed from work and unsure of what to do with myself. I had always worked full time and my career involved supporting families through bereavement – there was no greater time to shine. The population needed TLC and some grief support as so many mourned the loss of loved ones. But I could do very little, as the Covid restrictions and furlough rules prevented me from doing a role I loved.
I found myself reading a book called ‘Flip it’ by Michael Heppell, as it had been sitting, unread, on my bookshelf for many months. At that time, I was keen to immerse myself in all things positive and reading this book seemed like a good start. It certainly became the beginning of something much more.
I had held a lifelong dream to be a children’s author and suddenly here was a writer explaining the importance of seeing the best in everything. Finding the positive spin on difficult situations. I needed to ‘Flip It’ and plan a project. I already had a dream, the knowledge of childhood bereavement to write about and now I had the time and opportunity to make it a reality. I signed myself up to Michael Heppell’s Write That Book course and the rest is history. My author journey began.
I realised I was always thinking of how I would do things differently to every child bereavement support book I read. I also knew I wanted to make a difference to a bereaved child’s life and now, after 24 months, I am a published author. The last two years has taught me such a lot about the world of self-publishing and the lure of potential book deals.
So, what I have learnt? I was lucky enough to have a coaching session with Michael early on in my journey. He had been repeatedly saying on the course that you should concentrate on writing one book at a time, as like other budding authors my mind was flooded with good ideas for bestsellers! But, this advice left me in a dilemma. My idea was to create 3 books at the same time. One parental death and three different children’s perspectives. I remember our conversation well. Michael thought for a while and then said, “Ignore me. You have to write them all together.” I can honestly say it has been one of the hardest things I have ever done – yet one of my greatest achievements. There have been many hours spent refining the three books in my collection to ensure they are consistent and complement each other. I only hope my vision makes a difference when those books are published in January 2023.
On a final note, there is one thing I recognise more than anything since this rollercoaster began. I don’t look at books in the same way anymore. I doubt I ever will. But then again, back in 2020 I could only imagine holding a book that I had written, with my name on the front as its author.