Friday, June 26, 2015

FRIENDS OF SUPER COOL BOOKS // Meet Geckojoy: writer, artist, self-publisher, teacher

I had a chance to speak at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content this year. (Read about my talk here, here and here.) It was a great experience. I also got to meet lots and lots of other creative people there, from all over the world, all involved in making books for kids. I’ll be featuring some of them on this website, starting with J F Salmon this week. Also sometimes known as Geckojoy. Which sounds a lot more friendly and almost superhero-ish. Anyway, she’s very creative, and has found many different ways to share and sell her work. You can check out her links at the end of this post, and sign up for her email newsletter. Hmm. That’s actually a great idea, having an email newsletter. We should start one too, for Super Cool Books. Thanks for the inspiration, Geckojoy! 

— D


“I’m more often behind the camera than in front of it. 
This is one of the very few selfies I've taken! 
Taken in Tamil Nadu, India.” 

"I’m a writer and an artist. I haven’t always been. I used to be a small rat in a big rat race. But it got harder and harder to run (older rats tire easily), so I decided to run away and become a teacher. Teaching’s great, but when I'm creating art and writing stories I feel most alive. Teaching gives me the time and freedom to do this.

I’m also a bit of a loner (I have friends, but don’t need more than a few to keep me happy). So my first illustrated book was about a lonely tree who learns to see past his own suffering and vanity to make a friend.

Lonely Tree is a short book, more of a poem with pictures really. My second book, Little Gnaw Skank, let me stretch my creative legs a bit more. I’m nuts about nature and this book touches on that because the main character is crazy about flowers. It’s an illustrated story as well, but this time I explored the digital possibilities of iBooks Author by including videos and activities.

I’ve always loved books, the feel of them, the smell of them. I studied Literature at university so I suppose that helped me see the possibilities are truly endless for a writer willing to put in the time and effort. My first novel, The Monster Effect, has been through over 20 rewrites and I think it’s almost there.

"Lonely Tree is available on Amazon now. 
Little Gnaw Skank and The Monster Effect will be published soon. 
Check out my website to find out more."

When it comes to writing, I’m a huge procrastinator. It helps me to have silence when I write fiction. No music. No TV. No phone or social media notifications. I usually shut myself in my study if my boyfriend’s around and he’s watching TV.

I can rewrite and edit any time of the day, but my best creative ideas come late at night. Sometimes I’ll climb out of bed, turn on my Mac and start writing just because I have to get the ideas down before I sleep. Yes, I go to class with dark rings under my eyes some days.

I’m starting the sequel to my novel … any day now. I figure I should know where my characters are heading in the next book before I release the first book. At the same time, I just got a new camera so I’ve been spending a lot of time indulging more visual passions. I’m also working through some ideas for a new illustrated children’s story which can be developed into an app. I love the idea that books are evolving into a virtual form in which anything is possible."


Note: Facebook page has a link to sign up for her e-newsletter.