It’s been a very busy time in Lamby Towers for the last few weeks. As well as storytelling throughout the summer I have also been preparing for the launch of my new children’s book The Dragon of Allerton Oak
This has been a very exciting time as you can imagine. The story started life a few years ago, as an oral tale that I made up after a walk in Calderstones Park, Liverpool. In the park there is an ancient, gnarled, mysterious and magnificent looking oak tree. It has stood there for around a thousand years and was used as a kind of court house before such things existed. As soon as I spotted that tree, I knew a dragon had caused the damage. People can say all they like that it was lightning but I know better!
The more I told this oral story, the more children and adults seemed to enjoy it so I decided to put it onto paper. This was quite a departure in style for me as most of my other stories are rhyming which is how I prefer to write. However, this one seemed to work as a straight story.
Whilst volunteering with The Reader Org http://www.thereader.org.uk/ I came across the brilliant illustrator Chris Rodenhurst. His sketches of the tree as we stood around it were brilliant and luckily for me he agreed to work on the book.
So the words and pictures were sorted, now I just needed to publish it. Like many writers I have tried the traditional send off work to agent and wait for rejection letter. You can spend years trying to find an agent who can then spend even more years trying to secure a publishing deal. No wonder the self-publishing and independent author sector is growing.
Liverpool is a creative city and luckily for me I found Beatles, Liverpool and More http://www.beatlesliverpoolandmore.com/ a family run business who specialise in Beatles and Liverpool history. They also offer publishing services.
Slowly but surely the book started to take shape. Re-writes, editing (thanks to Sue Miller at All Words Matter http://allwordsmatter.co.uk/ , draft drawings, final drawings and layout all took place.
The first time I collected the book I was a little star struck “But it looks like a real book!” I thought. It was really quite a thrill. I’ve had other things published before but they were for competitions or collaborations so seeing my very own first children’s book beautifully presented was fantastic.
And so to the launch night at The Reader Org in Calderstones Park. What a fabulous event! So many people came along to support us including Gary Miller who has offered me support in all aspects of my businesses.
Even the weather was kind which meant we could enjoy a reading of the actual book under the Allerton Oak itself.
For more information about Little Lamb Tales, Little Lamb Phonics or Jude’s writing please visit https://littlelambpublishing.co.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/littlelambtales?fref=ts
And next time you are in Calderstones Park, go and see the tree and I’m sure you’ll agree with me – it was a dragon, not lightning!