Book Inspiration: How I Dream Up My Book Ideas

Most of my children's books ideas come from daily living - my kids, my own childhood, or simple phrases I hear throughout the day.  

For example, it was a typical night of my then-three-year-old daughter's stall tactics at bedtime.  Cute, but stalling nonetheless.  This was the "I love you more," "no, I love you more" variety.  Sure, I may have participated some.  I started to think about how kids often duke it out with their parents in terms of who loved whom first or more, which somehow led me to this current manuscript.

It was easy to use Emmy as inspiration because she's already here and we're seeing her personality blossom.  But I happened to be pregnant at the time - with a boy (!) - and figured maybe I should make some books about him too.  I changed some of the activities to reflect what I thought my little boy might do instead.  Although, his activities are pretty universal after all!

This fishing photo is actually inspired by my last-minute honeymoon switch from Tahiti to Colorado.  My husband had a shift change, so we couldn't take two weeks off.  Instead, we toured Colorado in one week, including mandatory fishing at several lakes we crossed on our path.  On one of those stopovers, Osman almost caught a pike before it snapped the line.  Hence the fish getting the best of this little boy.

I've been diligent about writing down my book ideas over the last three or so years.  It's gotten to the point that it's hard for me to toggle off from ideating about another possible book.  (Did you know there's actually a limit to how long your iPhone note can be?  Yep.  Like I said, it's hard to turn off.)  However, I've just recently started noting how I came up with them.  It's so fun to remember how I got wherever my creativity takes me!

Some other random ideas I'm using to line up stories for somewhere down the road?  Of course a story about covid, about burning out, about the richness of a humdrum life, about the mother-daughter relationship, about a grandmother's life hacks, about childhood diseases, and so much more!  My struggle is figuring out how to crank them out so they get to see the light, faster than one a year!

Join the newsletter to stay updated about my journey and the release of this new book.  Soon to come, I'll share how I found the illustrator for my book and convinced her this was a worthy endeavor (hint: persistence).

Illustrator: Jenny Slife 
Instagram: @jennyslifeart

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