From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Pam Saxelby, author of “Max and Bear,” who shares her self-publishing journey from idea to publication. For more about Pam and her book, visit her website at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.
On Becoming Max and Bear …
When I was asked to write this guest blog, I thought, “What do I want to say?” I mulled over a few ideas… threw some out, and tried some on for size. Why did I write a book? What did I write about? Why did I write about that? I am writing this, as I sit on a plane bound for Phoenix, to see a family member who is quite ill. Maybe that seems like a weird addition to this blog post, but it is a huge definer in why I chose to write a book, and do it my way. Life’s just too short not to.
I spent my professional life reading lots and lots of great kids books. Books for all the ages I taught, middle school, elementary school, and most recently, preschool. When I went back to preschool, I fell in love with children’s picture books! They are smart, engaging, and fun. As each school year approached, I was giddy with excitement. What new books would I find? What author would I discover and fall in love with?
As I read my new finds, and delighted in the kids’ reactions to these stories, I began to think… Hey! I want to write my own story, my own book, and see if I can get kids to delight in the story I choose to tell. So, I did. I tried figuring out what to write about for five or so years. I would start a story, work on it, and realize I didn’t know where it was going.
I read some books on how to write, thinking that would help. I got some good ideas, but the bottom line is, you just have to keep at it. About two years ago, I got the chance to go on a trip with my daughter, and her son, Max. This was the catalyst… On our trip, I witnessed how Max interacted with his special Angel Dear Blankie… fondly referred to as “Da-Da Bear.” I don’t think Max could have survived the trip without Bear… and VOILA! A story idea was hatched.
Max and Bear; the age-old idea of kids and what they love. I had it! I took the idea, planted myself at my local Starbucks, kept buying coffee so they wouldn’t kick me out, and did it. I wrote the first draft in a day. I kept working on the story, and began to research self-publishers. Why? I wanted my book printed.
With the help of Archway, who assisted me every step of the way, from design through the finished product, I did it! Max and Bear is a reality. Recently I read Max and Bear to a group of 30 young children. As I finished the story and closed the book, the kids looked up at me and said, “We like that story!” There you have it. Mission accomplished…
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