My love for writing started way back when I was in primary school. In English lessons, I would let my imagination run free and write as much as possible. But I took a break from writing up until around the age of twenty-one. So, I began to learn the art of writing song lyrics, and since then, I have never looked back and collaborated on writing many songs. So my catalogue of music is forever growing.
Then a few years ago, my parents persuaded me to follow my heart and lifelong dream of writing a children's book. Since then, my life has changed entirely. I am now a published bestselling children's book author. My first book, Max And The Magic Wish, my true story about disability and acceptance, was published in 2019 and became an Amazon Best Seller in December 2021. Then around the same time, I published my second children's book Paddy The Polar Bear Teddy, a magical space adventure story about friendship, courage and wisdom.
I have also now started writing disability blogs and blogs about my songwriting journey and children's books. My blogging has helped to give me an outlet and a voice. It has given me another platform to share stories, give others advice on how I live with cerebral palsy, and show others that it's okay and acceptable to be different while accepting others.
Maybe you could call me crazy for publishing two children's books during lockdowns in the pandemic. I did not know if I would sell any and went ahead anyway. First, through social media, my website and then appearing on BBC Wales Today with Lucy Owen with my father and children's book collaborator, illustrator and publisher Clare Thomas. The support and love we have received so far have been excellent, with so many wonderful comments and feedback from so many people, along with the great reviews we've received on Amazon. Thank everyone for your invaluable support; it's been overwhelming and means a lot to Clare and me.
Looking ahead and now life has broadly returned to normality. I now feel it's time to get out there. I am determined to show the world the real me and the reasons behind my writing endeavours. I want to make a difference by being a creative writer, songwriting, and especially an author. Our disabilities are only a tiny part of who we are or even become. Talent is born and instilled in our souls. I want to show others that if you follow your dreams, despite having disabilities, they may be physical, hidden or even learning disabilities, you can achieve something and start to make a difference in your unique way, but it does take a lot of dedication and persistence.
Now that we are embracing life after the pandemic, I feel that this is the perfect time to spread my wings a little more, meeting new people and showcasing my children's books more uniquely than just using social media. Although I believe that using the likes of social media and my website is a vital promotion tool moving forward in an ever-changing and modern world.
I have been getting out there and attending some networking events. I want people to know me personally to show them that I'm more than just a writer. I want to show people that despite having disabilities, in the places within society that are already fully accessible, there is a place and time for everyone to showcase their talents and achievements, no matter what. Still, although most venues strive to become more educated on accessible and inclusive spaces, more needs to be done in terms of more of society as a whole becoming accessible. Whether that's with concrete legislation from authorities stating that the likes of our venues, outdoor spaces and retail premises need to provide access and disability aids at all times and the funding is made available to become accessible friendly. Appropriate planning as a country as a whole needs to be thought about, and consultation needs to be strategically planned to make these accessible changes a reality.
In recent weeks I have attended some networking events in the South Wales area and have found them helpful from a personal perspective and a disabled author role. I have found that getting out and about and meeting new people helps me feel more confident as a person and an author. I'm learning different ways to communicate and communicate my message, which is sometimes challenging when you have a severe speech impediment. Everyone I have met has been so patient and understanding in that respect.
Until now, I have been a little apprehensive about trying out the networking scene without my father or publisher, Clare Thomas, by my side. But I am enjoying my newly found appetite for networking and testing myself speech-wise to the limit. Thank you, everyone, for being so kind and understanding. Suppose I can do my little bit to show how we can become more accessible as a society. Then continuing to bless people with my presence is worth it.
If you notice me at an author or networking event somewhere near you. Please don't be shy; come and say hello, and if you cannot understand what I am trying to say, please don't be embarrassed. Ask me to type my thoughts into my communication aid, but this may take a little longer. Thank you for being patient. We'll get there.
Don't forget that both my children's books are available on Amazon. Here are the links:-
Max And The Magic Wish (All about disability and acceptance):- https://amzn.to/3OcCk7Y.
Paddy The Polar Bear Teddy (A magical space adventure story about courage, wisdom and friendship):- https://amzn.to/3zvZ7aZ.
See you soon,