Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Inspiration For My Story - Group Post Part Two

As we had such good feed back from our previous joint blog, we've decided to do a second one on the stories behind our stories. Find out the inspiration behind three picture books. Hope you enjoy! 

For me, the best books come out of something real. In this case, growing up in a big noisy family.  Felicity, David, Gregory, Jim, Marian, Raphael, MALACHY, and four years later, Michael. Sometimes, at the bottom end of a big family, it's hard to get yourself heard. Sometimes it all gets a bit too much, and you want to run away and hide. So you do. And do they come looking for you? No. And do you miss them? A bit. Then a lot.

Moira Butterfield
The inspiration for 'Smile Baby Smile' came from my experience as a first-time young parent, when I didn't really know how to solve my son's crying and I tried all sorts of things, eventually discovering that he basically needed a big burp (that gives you a clue as to what finally makes the baby smile). When my second son and my niece came along there was a sense of the whole family joining in to try to help with the new arrival, and that's what happens in the book. The sentences are short and rhythmic, like a clapping song that we might sing to babies. I was trying to create a book that the whole family could use together when a new baby came along, because it is such a shared experience.

Paeony Lewis
Some of my stories were inspired by my children and one of these is No More Yawning! Oh, we had such terrible trouble getting our young daughter to go to sleep. We had a set, quiet bedtime routine (after a bath, there were always lots of stories, though nothing too bouncy) and she'd assure us she was trying really hard to sleep. But by 10pm, 11pm or even midnight,  our daughter would still be adamant it wasn't her fault she hadn't fallen asleep. We tried everything (they're in the story) and the one that helped most is the one I used when I was a child, so of course it's the one that works for Florence in the story. This is one book  I couldn't have written without the experience (frustration!) of being a parent, though it's not the case for every story. 

By the way, since writing the story I've heard (and discovered for myself) that if you get the child to join in the yawning, they'll start yawning for real and get sleepy. Yawning is infectious!

Now we've shared what inspired us. If you're a writer we'd love to know what inspired you to write one of your books.

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