I’m so excited to finally be able to let you all in on a little secret.
I’m working on a children’s book!
Even as I’m part way through writing and illustrating it, saying it out loud still doesn’t seem real!
A bit of background
Last year I attended the Hobart Writers Festival where I was incredibly inspired by a panel with Christina Booth and Coral Tulloch (amongst others) on environmental children’s books.
I’ve always been passionate about environmental issues and trying to save endangered species and hearing these amazing creators talk about how their work had helped to bring awareness and funds to issues that were perhaps not very well known about (such as Phasmid by Rohan Cleeve and Coral Tulloch) made me desperate to be involved.
There are a lot of endangered animals that I personally think could benefit from having a book written about them, but the one that has stolen my heart this time around is the red handfish.
“Red Handfish are currently known from only two small 50m long patches of reef in south-eastern Tasmania, and are thought to have a total population of approximately 100 adults.”Handfish Conservation Project
I was first introduced to the red handfish by my mum, who fell in love with these amazing creatures after visiting the Handfish Conservation Project’s public display at Seahorse World in the North of Tasmania. The Project is currently working on increasing the numbers of red handfish using captive breeding, these particular handfish were hatched in 2018.
They are currently working on another breeding program in the south of the state, and this is where my story begins. Without giving too much away this early on in the process, the book will follow along with the research project, giving readers a little insight into the process and hopefully helping to raise public awareness for these incredible animals.
One of the most surreal parts of this project is that I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work alongside, and collaborate with, Dr Jemina Stuart-Smith from IMAS. Having someone who is so knowledgeable and so passionate about these creatures is integral in creating a work that is both enjoyable and enagaging but also scientifically accurate.
I’ll be sharing more updates as I get further into the process. At this stage the book is likely to be released around September/October 2020, but I’ll make sure you all know as soon as I do. I’m also very lucky to be currently doing a project management course at university at the moment that is going to allow me to delve into the marketing side of writing a book – truly so lucky to have things like this align, thank you Universe.
In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be somewhere hunched over my tablet drawing lots of tiny fish and creating a world that will make you fall in love with the red handfish, just as I have done.
Chat soon x