We all have a story to tell

I’m really excited to share with you, if you don’t know already that I’m a children’s book author. I’m pleased to say I’m still a radio presenter, although there was a time 4 years ago, that I had to hang up my headphones whilst I welcomed motherhood, having given birth to my lovely daughter.
But then motherhood did pave the way for a new adventure — book writing. I used to be a radio presenter in Muscat, but I gave my job up to be a full time mum, as 6 weeks’ maternity wasn’t enough and the set up just wasn’t well suited for me.
I returned to the UK, and 4 years later having worked out the balance of motherhood and writing, I finally returned to being a radio presenter. I am truly very pleased with this as I finally got all three pleasures of my life — my book, my radio and more importantly my daughter. I’m very lucky that I get to try out my stories on my daughter, and she certainly does give her opinion on whether it’s a good story or not.
All of these didn’t happen overnight, let me tell you that much. It was a long process full of obstacles, and still is. It’s a very competitive market, much more so than the radio or television industry I would say. With one children’s book under my belt, it’s important for me to keep on writing and creating little books for little people.
Just because I have a book published doesn’t mean I am guaranteed another book to be published. Having ‘Shaped Animals’ published in 2016, I created another book. I submitted two books in July 2017 and my publishers rejected them both, so I was back to the drawing board.
It took me 10 months to get Shaped Animals published. Back then, it was month after month of nos and getting different feedbacks. Although I keep hearing a no, some of the feedbacks were surprisingly positive which spurred me to continue — because they said my book had potential and that it was different.
Since it’s been published, I’ve had a signing at Waterstones bookstore, a major bookstore in England. I’ve done various reading events at children’s’ activity centres, garden centres, shops and am now doing school tours as well, which is wonderful. It’s a very rare occasion that you find an author willing to read and bring their book to life by reading it to children.
Just like I said, even though I’d been published before I still got my two stories submitted to my publisher rejected. This made me think about self-publishing. It is another extremely hard process to fathom. But I’ve spent this year not only marketing my Shaped Animals book and getting it out there, but also creating my other books. I’m very much looking forward to 2018 as I hope to self-publish three books. I love the fact that I can create, write, illustrate and produce a book all by myself. It does take determination, time and focus.
In all of these, my drive is my daughter. Becoming a mum wasn’t so bad after all, despite sleepless nights and having to initially give up my job, the multi-tasking and juggling, excuses aside, you can do it, if you put your mind on it. And speaking of possibilities, who knows, one day I may even have my own book company!
If you have a book in you, get it out there. After all, we all have a story to tell, don’t we?

Sayeh Woodman