When We Read Together
Posted by Literary Titan
Daniel’s Dreams: Monster Mountain follows a boy who goes on an adventure to a magical land filled with monsters that teach him an important life lesson. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
My inspiration is two fold. My daughter inspires me to write. She has such a creative and imaginative mind and I adore how innocent her thinking can be. The idea of her going to different places and putting on accents when she is playing filled me with such joy. I wanted other children to experience these feelings when they read my books. Reading is something that we have always done together since she was a little girl. It is something she loves to do and its a nice moment in the day where everything is just focused on where stories will take us. When we read together, I often wonder if I could write books like the ones we read together. As an English teacher, it was always something I wanted to do, but when the Pandemic hit and the world came to a stop, I took the opportunity to sit down and write something in the hope that it would be enjoyed and that it would help children all over the world. I always hope to make my daughter proud, and if she enjoys the stories I write then I am making progress with my dreams.
My second inspiration was children in general. I had always wanted to help children, which is why I became a teacher. When teaching became more about data and ticking the right boxes than it did about the children, I decided to leave my teaching job in a secondary school and joined a special educational needs school. It was there that I was able to be of more help, but I wanted to help more. It was evident that children were suffering more than ever with their mental health and that they needs a way of understanding. It was important to me to help children with mental health, as I too have suffered with mental health, and know just how difficult it can be to understand and to express. If I can help one child understand mental health then I am on my way to accomplishing just what I wanted.
The art in this book is exceptional and really brings the story to life. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Leanne Brown?
When writing the book I had in mind exactly how I wanted the monsters to look. I researched different mental illness, the colours that represent them and the key features. I then had a written description of what I wanted as well as a rough drawing of what I wanted. I then sent all this over to Bear With Us Productions who commissioned Yogesh to do the illustrations. I had seen Yogesh’s work before and really liked his style of illustrations. Yogesh read the descriptions and took guidance from me on colours and key features that represent mental illnesses. He worked his magic and I must say that I am over the moon with what he has created. They are just what I had imagined in my head. He really made everything come to life for me and the story. I am already looking forward to working on the next book with Yogesh. I can’t imagine the characters any other way than they are now. It is exciting to see how he will bring the new character Preston to life as he suffers with depression.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Children’s mental health is really important to me. I have worked with children who have suffered with mental health but have been unable to articulate how they feel and how to understand their feelings. It is easier to show a physical illness than it is a mental illness, so I wanted children to know that they are not alone and that there are numerous people out their suffering with a mental illness, and that there are thousands of people wanting to help. I hoped my books would go someway to explaining why a child might feel the way they do and how they can deal with those feelings. My hope is to continue to write books for the series of Daniel’s Dreams, focusing on one particular mental illness at a time. This will be done through the idea of Daniel returning to Monster Mountain and meeting previous monsters and new ones.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The next book is the second in the series of Daniel’s Dreams which will focus in Depression. We will meet a character called Preston who suffers with depressions. His monster friends find it hard to understand why he is behaving the way he does. They feel that Preston let’s him down a lot. Daniel tries to understand what is going on with Preston and gets the monsters to show more understanding. Daniel, too, needs to understand what depression is so that he can take this back the ‘real world’ where he wants to help his friends and next door neighbour, Josie.
The book is currently in the process of being finished off before it goes to editing and then production. I am hoping it should be out and available later on this year, 2021.
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
Posted on March 6, 2021, in Interviews and tagged adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, children, childrens book, Daniel's Dreams: Monster Mountain, ebook, education, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, Leanne Brown, learning to read, literature, nook, novel, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, teacher, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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