Writing and education are two of my big passions, but the publishing world is competitive and getting a foot in the door as an emerging author is challenging. I’m hugely grateful to have had the Bobby Stafford Bush Foundation support me since 2021 when I received an amazing opportunity to put my first book, Celia Seagull and the Plastic Sea into the world. I am so proud of its success thus far; becoming a finalist for the Joy Cowley Award and receiving endorsements from both Dame Jane Goodall and Ricardo Christie. Knowing that my story has been heard by thousands of children, seeing it performed by Leigh School as a production and engaging in author visits has all been incredibly rewarding.
My mission as a children’s author is to address current global issues in an enjoyable, age appropriate tone—in rhyming verse— that encourages important conversations between tamariki and their whānau. My second children’s story addresses yet another serious, global issue that our future generations face — the Digital World. We use digital media every day, from texting, mapping and streaming TV shows to uploading photos and ordering food online. Today’s generation of children are being modelled a lot more than just “screen time” — they are exposed to adult role models who are ever-connected. But the benefits of this direction that technology is taking comes with the risk of missing out on real life experiences and lacking balance. Daisy McCray and the Wave of the Day is a quirky, engaging and original story with a timely and important message about keeping our heads up in the real world so that we don’t miss out on experiencing the daily joys in life. Thanks to the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation, Daisy McCray and the Wave of the Day will be published by Little Love, illustrated by Lily Uivel and released to the world this summer.
I look forward to being able to continue reading and talking about the writing process in schools, but most of all to have more than one important topic to discuss with Primary School students.
Educating children with my writing is an absolute dream come true and I am hugely appreciative that the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation has enabled me to achieve this.