Mali also loves to draw. She's wonderfully 'crafty' in everything she does, and in all meanings of the word... She loves sitting with me and the rest of her family and just making things, whether it's hair bands, bead necklaces or just colouring in.
As for me, I love books. I read, write and even attempt to sell them for a living. I'm also an uber Geek but that's not really something I share with Mali just yet.
As it happens I don't just love writing technical books, I have a real passion for making up stories. I've always loved writing stories, even when I was a kid and not just to get myself out of trouble either. One time I wrote the beginning of a story for class, "The Ghoul of Hudson Manor" was the title, and the rest of the class enjoyed it so much I was then tasked with writing a new chapter every day. Quite a writing task for a kid, but frankly I loved it.
So when I was at a bit of a loss one day over the Xmas break to decide what to do together with Mali I decided to combine as many of those things we loved doing together as possible. I decided we would create, write and illustrate a book for fun, and that's just what we did.
Together we wrote "Princess No-Knots and the Lost Unicorn" and published it to the LeanPub platform in a few hours. To be fair, the story was already in our heads as it was one of the stories that I enjoyed making up and telling Mali as her bedtime story when she was tiny. It was fun to read from a book, but even more fun to just make a story up and that way I could really feed off the emotions my little girl was displaying.
LeanPub was the perfect platform for publication as it was just so simple to get the book out there, and of course I'd already been writing a couple of books for self-publication through the platform last year. It's a little quirky for anyone not coming from a software development point of view, and so watch this space for a little instructional video I'm going to record on how to use LeanPub for your own publications with your own children in the coming days.
Mali's biggest contribution was her illustrations that she happily sketched with some pens that were a gift for Xmas while looking at pictures of the things she wanted to work from on the iPad.
The best part was the sheer enthusiasm I saw in Mali when she was playing with her book on the iPad.
With a cheeky smile, Mali looked up at me and said "that should be Princess No-Knots' next adventure. She could try all sorts of food. Princess No-Knots and the Delicious Dinner!". And so another story begins... To be continued!
Also look out for a video I'm creating for YouTube to be titled "How you can write and publish a book with your own kid". The video will hopefully show other interested parents how to get to grips with the simple tools that are needed to write and publish a book with their child to the LeanPub platform.