For World Book Day 2023 I was invited as guest author to a few schools and childcare facilities in Fermanagh to read ‘A little bit EXTRAORDINARY’.

I felt very welcome everywhere I visited. I loved meeting so many children and having the opportunity to chat with them, inspire them to love books, read, write and maybe become an author one day.

The teachers and pupils said they loved my book and commented on the importance of the themes and messages it shares, which was heartwarming. The children seemed to really like Juliette and could relate well to her feelings and aspirations.

They asked lots of interesting questions about how to write and publish a book. With my background in journalism and having worked for over 20 years as a page layout sub-editor on newspapers and B2B books, etc., as well as having designed, laid out, written, self-published and marketed my own children’s picture book I was well equipped to answer their many enthusiastic queries. As a visual learner, I was happy to see the interest the children took in the storyboards I made to show how my book came to fruition.

We shared a book, feelings, knowledge, conversations, dreams for the future and giggles. A book has binding and we were bound together by a book, even if it was just for a few hours. But the teachings will last a lifetime. I am grateful for the wonderful opportunities such as these that have arisen because I followed my joy in pursuing a career involving writing.

The general consensus was that the final picture was the favourite because of its themes of peace, unity, friendship and togetherness, like everyone was ‘one big family’. How beautiful is that?