But predictably, everything about creating a children's book is taking longer than I thought it would!
Firstly, the writing took a while. I used one rhyme structure, but the parents who test-read the draft said it was hard to read aloud, so I tried another rhyming structure. (The latest one got much better reviews!)
Now I'm doing the illustrations. This was the big unknown - I've illustrated a lot of things before, but predominantly in black and white, pen and ink. This time I'm used coloured pencil. Each illustration takes about a week to do (evenings and weekends) - longer if I get sick, have family obligations or urgently need to tackle the weed problem in my garden. Because it's the first time I've done anything like this, it's slow-going and I'm learning a lot. I'm now about halfway though the illustrations.
The next big hurdle - publication! This will be another steep learning curve. After attending that National Writers Forum I realised how much time publication will take. Now I think I'll be lucky if I get the book out before next Christmas!
I was part of a fundraising artist's trail yesterday. Groups of people came through my studio to see me at work on the picture book illustrations. It was a great experience and I met a lot of interesting people.
That's my study above - artist's studio at right, writer's nook at left!
Also at the National Writers Forum, I realised I needed a way to share my details with people. So I've made a good old-fashioned business card! I gave away a few yesterday and it definitely felt more professional than writing my details onto a scrap of paper!