We are right in the middle of Children’s Book Week in Australia and social media is exploding. It's full of photos of children dressed as their favourite characters, eager ears listening to author talks and many more book celebrations. But where to authors escape to?
Book Week Theme: Escape to Everywhere
This year’s book week theme is Escape to Everywhere. It's a fantastic summary in just three words of the power of a good book. How I love the anticipation of entering a new world when I first open those pages and indeed sometimes I am truly sad to depart at the end of the story.
As creators, it’s our job to bring this wonder to our books. To lift reader’s imaginations and take them into a wondrous place that exists in fantasy. But what about the authors themselves? When the kids are quiet and work is put aside, where do the creators escape to?
We spoke to several children’s authors in the lead up to book week to answer that question. Where do authors escape?
Since Santa delivered him his first surfboard at the age of seven, he has found solace in the ocean. The combination of warm sun, physical exercise and mother nature cleanses his soul. "I find if I go a few days without escaping for a surf, I get very irritable. I stop focusing on being creative, and instead concentrate on the mountains that must be climbed each day to keep a family of five and a business heading in the right direction."
Sheridan & Danny Blitz
Sheridan loves to escape into her imagination. She thinks about how she will build and decorate her future ranch. She also thinks about the different animals who will reside on her ranch.
Her mother, Danny, loves to escape by planning which area of the world she will visit next. After considering what will excite her the most, she does a tonne of research on the internet before makes a commitment to the trip. Her next stop will be New Zealand in 2018! After that, she’s hoping to take the Trans Siberian Railway from Moscow through Mongolia to Beijing!
Danny and Sheridan are the author and illustrator of Much to Do Before a Dog, an educational and entertaining picture book about the responsibility of raising a dog. Read more about the book in our interview or purchase from Amazon. You can it for Kindle or in Paperback or Hardback forms.
David Kotzebue had no grandchildren of his own and so has adopted a Little Brother. Spending time with him and the wonderful world of children is Kotzebue's escape.
David is the author of The UFO Docking Station, a fanciful adventure that teaches acceptance of others who are different.
Kellee’s description of escaping in “spurts” is one that I’m sure many parents can relate to. “As a mom of three and two-year-olds with medical conditions I escape in spurts," she told us. "I do this by crocheting or crafting usually when they are all asleep. It fills my mind and quiets the never ending to do list of chores and appointments. It allows me to relax. And it reminds me of simpler times."
Kellee is the author of My Belly Has Two Buttons (under the pen name Meikeke Lee). This lovely book, inspired by Kellee’s son, follows Nico as he shares his pride in himself and his second belly button (aka his feeding tube). He likes all the things it does for him.
Erica, like many of us, is juggling a lot of hats. She is a speech pathologist, mother of two very active little ones and youth leader, not to mention an author and illustrator. I don’t know how she fits it all in! Erica escapes into creating. As she puts it, “I began writing and illustrating children's books as my escape. There is something about a crisp sheet of paper and steamy cup of tea after the kids go to bed that brings some relaxation to my life.”
I’m not sure whether to be jealous of Philip or not. He and his family have done the ultimate escape, embarking on a nomadic adventure around the world. As he says “we are location-independent and free of our previous commitments and responsibilities.” Now that's a real escape! Well done Philip!
Philip is the author of This is Nug, a cute picture book about letting go of all of the clutter that people tend to accumulate. Of living a more streamlined life.
What about me….. Kate Stead
All authors escape to somewhere, so what about me? I escape to Mona Vale Beach, the bush and the neighbourhood. We are lucky enough to live in a truly beautiful part of Sydney with the beach on one side and the bay on the other. With three small children, a business and a busy busy life, escape comes in the form of a solo wander through nature.
Where to next?
I hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into the world of some children’s book creators and one cookbook author (that’s me!). Perhaps the way authors escape is much like yourself? Do let us know your favourite way to escape by commenting below or connecting with us on our social channels. We're on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Remember to take advantage of our book week sale, with 50% off our book prices. Plus of course, if you are thinking of creating your own escape for readers, do look through our guide on how to create a children’s book.