Creating my first children's book
After becoming a father, I was inspired to create a book for my two boys. The books on our shelf at home weren’t quite hitting the humour mark for them and that’s what really pushed me to create one.
I faced a big problem to begin with, which was that between my full-time job and fatherly duties, I had very little spare time. I also didn’t know how to illustrate.
To at least make a start, I wrote and edited My New Red Car on my commutes to work, then when the kids went to bed I started sketching the storyboards based on the manuscript.
The storyboards then showed me what visual elements I needed to learn to illustrate, which I ended up doing on my morning commutes because it turned out I had zero creative energy after work. This was an incredibly long process, but overtime I surprised myself with how much I illustrated, which gave me the motivation to keep going.
As I completed pages I’d read them to my boys and gauge their reactions. Naturally, they were honest and the unfiltered feedback would flow. At times I had to grin and bear any harsh comments, particularly if it was about something I slaved-over to create.
However, the feedback was for the good of the final book because it was coming from the targeted age group.
Once I was happy with the book, I then researched how to get a book printed. It was daunting at first but I discovered a document online that James Russell (Dragon Brothers Series) had created during his own journey of discovering the printing process. It was gold to my eyes at the time and was incredibly guiding.
When my books were delivered to my address, I was too nervous and shaky to cut open the box. My Dad who was there at the time shouted “Oh give it here, I’ll do it!” and so he did and assured me the book looked good. “I don’t know what you’re so worried about.” he said.
I was stoked and couldn’t wait to read it to my boys. However, when I did read it to them, they didn’t laugh as much as I expected. Which was because they basically co-created it and knew what was around the corner of each page. This then inspired me to create another one!
My New Red Car book reviews
“If you’re like me, you like stories that are fun and quirky. This little gem has that in spades.”
– Craig Smith, author of ‘The Wonky Donkey’
“This little book is smart and witty, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And it looks terrific.”
– Gavin Bishop
“Original, witty and really quite disturbing. Dare you not to giggle!”
– Sally Sutton
David Minty’s latest children’s book What’s In The Box?
My new book What’s In The Box? is now available in all good bookshops or at www.mintybooks.co.nz