When I first came up with the idea of creating a children's book, I thought I might get it done by Christmas.
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!
2023 Burns fellow Kathryn van Beek has an MA from Victoria University Wellington - Te Herenga Waka’s International Institute of Modern Letters. She is a winner of the Mindfood Short Story Competition and the Headland Prize. Her collection of short stories, Pet, is available as a podcast, and her work has also appeared in Overland, takahē, Newsroom, and the Sunday Star-Times. She lives in UNESCO City of Literature Ōtepoti Dunedin with her two rescue cats.