As a Scottish Children’s Author and illustrator I am always inspired by the great authors and illustrators that have came from the United Kingdom from Roald Dahl, J K Rowling, Beatrix Potter, J M Barrie, Michael Morprugo to Julia Donaldson. As a country we have a rich heritage of creativity and imagination whether in the creation of Young Adult Novels, Fantasy Novellas to hardback books and picture books which honour and value the importance of childhood with all its magic.
Therefore as both a Young Adult Fantasy Author & Picture Book author and illustrator my greatest passion is the creation of picture books and baby books. Over the past year the creation of my characters such as The Scribblers Scribe, Digit, Splat and Doodle has been a great source of positivity and optimism.
For me the precious time during pregnancy, to birth through to the age of seven years old is the most influential period in our children’s personal and social development. Those early years and months are a time to inspire, uplift and instil positivity and optimism in our children. My journey into writing came after 20 years as an entrepreneur when I was involved in a mentoring program promoting entrepreneurship in High Schools. During this short experience I was disdained and dissapointed by the lack of inspiration and optimism in our Youth. Unlike myself in my youth many of the young people I met had a very negative and uninspired vision for themselves and a real absence of any dreams for the future.
Where at 16 years old like my friends I had an outward energy fuelled by dreams of travelling the world, becoming a success in our chosen fields or venturing on to College or further education, the majority of pupils I met and spoke with had a cloud of negativity and suppressed vitality.
So as a student of personal development since an early age I believe that something has been taken from this generation. Something I have never seen in all my years working with or around teenagers. Is it a change in cultural behaviours, education, teaching, parenting, the influences of social media and tech culture?
I believe strongly in the quote by Aristotle “Give me a child until he (she) is 7 and I will show you the man (woman)“. As a children’s Art teacher in my early career and someone surrounded by children all my life I know something has went wrong. What has changed with this young generation in those first 7 years of life? What did I see in the eyes of those young teenagers? How can we ensure this trend is reversed especially with the challenges our youth have faced this past year? How can we ensure the next generation are empowered and inspired?
For those young teenagers I was inspired to write my first fantasy book ‘The Gamekeepers; the Highland Games’. And for the next generation under the age of seven I hope to encourage and inspire them to simply dream starting with ‘The Scribblers’.