Hello Readers and Writers!
Today we want to introduce you to a super talented Children's book author! His book "Turtle Trouble" is endorsed by 7 environmental agents and he is planning for more books to address our environment and bring children into the conversation. We believe that children's compassion can change the world and this author is supporting that with his books.
Introducing Stuart McDonald!
RL: When did you start writing as a career?
SM: My first book “The Witches’ Tea Party” was released in January 2019.
RL: What's your current work in progress?
SM: I’m preparing my third book about Global Warming and Climate Change; again, aimed at 3-7yrs and I hope to sell it through Museum Gift Shops as well as online and other methods.
RL: You write children's books. What led you to write in that area?
SM: My girlfriend suggested I got into writing children’s books after receiving many poems from me and commenting on how good they were. I still hide little notes around the house and message her poems, three years on! She loves it!
RL: How do your books rebel against the status quo in the children's book industry?
SM: My books are aimed at 3-7yrs but they carry an important message. I feel it’s really important to make children aware of problems such as pollution and climate change at an early age. They really do ‘get it’.
RL: Which one of your books is your favorite?
SM: “Turtle Trouble”. It’s really taken off! I had the book endorsed by seven environmental agencies who have their logos, websites and a lovely supporting quote in the book. As well as selling well online it’s also on sale in several Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park gift shops; with repeat bulk orders!
RL: You worked with an illustrator on your books. How was that experience?
SM: Initially I started to illustrate my first book (I’m a Freelance Graphic Designer) but I just wasn’t feeling my style and I wanted the books to be perfect, not just good. I hired an illustrator, but they proved slow and unreliable so I chose another one and instantly was able to communicate better and get results quicker. So glad I went down this route as people always comment on the illustrations first, when reviewing my books. I used the same person for both books.
RL: Talk to me about the path you choose in publishing.
SM: As I was totally new to all this I chose the easiest route. Amazon KDP. As a Designer I was able to set up and lay out the books and my connections in the industry allowed me to get them proof checked by three different editors, so all I had to do was upload the finished pdf artwork. Simple. I’ve looked into other forms of publishing but, at the moment, this is working for me.
RL: How do you manage writing time? Is finding writing time an issue for you?
At the moment, all my ‘author time’ is filled up promoting both books and going to schools, libraries and community centers. I work three days a week at an agency, but allow myself two days for author visits and other work. My author/work/life balance is perfect right now.
RL: Does your personal life influence your writing?
SM: I guess so yes. My turtle book is based on a chance encounter with a turtle whilst swimming off a beach in Maui! I even have some photos I took of him/her. After seeing loads of posts on social media about turtles being trapped in floating waste and eating plastic bags, I decided to write “Turtle Trouble”. My first book “The Witches’ Tea Party” was dedicated to my daughter Isla. I asked her what she’d like daddy to write about and she said witches. Could have been anything really!
RL: Any plans to write in other genres?
SM: I’m sticking with rhyming children’s picture books for 3-7yrs.
RL: Where do you see your writing career going in the future?
SM: I have penned several more stories (saved but yet to publish) but I want the next one to have as much if not more impact than “Turtle Trouble” as this has been a huge success! I hope to eventually have enough books to enable me to start attending book fairs etc and eventually give up my day job entirely. I’ve also considered doing a compendium of poems or short stories, but I feel this would be ‘giving away’ some potentially great individual books in one go, so I’m still undecided on that one. We can but dream!
RL: What are you reading right now?
SM: I’m currently reading “The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2020” and “How To Make Sure Your Life Doesn’t Suck: A Different Kind Of Guide To Navigating The Ups And Downs Of Life” by my newly found and totally inspiring Twitter friend Dr Maggie Gilewicz PhD.
RL: What can readers expect from you in the future?
SM: Loads of author visits; I’m fully booked for the next two months. More books. Basically more of what I love doing! I wish I’d started this exciting adventure years ago! I think I was made for this, and so do all my family and friends!