The mantra “follow your passion” is often shared when we offer advice about career paths. I would dare say that the same applies to writing. Good books are engaging whether you’re reading it for the first or the tenth time. Each occasion often results in a discovery of some detail that you did not notice before. I have had the privilege of reading #lovehaswrinkles to the same audience of kindergartners twice. It was such a treat to hear them react to different parts of the book than they did the first time. Whether it is a children’s picture book or historical fiction for adults, an engaging book is timeless.
How do you create an engaging book though? Well...write about what you know. Write about what you are passionate about. For me that passion was multi-faceted. I collect children’s books. When I find a picture book that has been beautifully constructed I will add it to my collection. I am also fascinated by people and how they influence us at different stages of our lives. For me writing about #grandmothers was a good balance. It was a familiar topic and as such ideal for a children's book, while also being a topic that was very personal to me. I have always been close to my maternal grandmother in particular, and appreciated the roles that #grandmothers play in families.
Choosing the right topic is key. This is important as taking a book from a thought to being published is a process that requires time, motivation and patience. The journey to publishing #lovehaswrinkles started many years ago. It took time to find the right photographer and graphic designer to “see” and “understand” how I envisioned the finished project. The journey had many bumps along the way. However, because I was passionate about bringing it to completion, I found the momentum to keep going, especially when the end seemed out of reach.
Is that the only key to writing an engaging book? No, but finding a topic that will hold your interest is a good place to start.