Daughter ignites a writing passion

Amanda Edwards, from Great Wyrley, who has written a children’s book inspired by her daughter Emily

And as she pictured her little girl, growing older and becoming inquisitive about the world around her, the idea for a story started to form in her head.

Amanda had spent many hours writing poetry and anecdotes during her teenage years but stopped writing to pursue her career in law.

As an adult she’s always been an avid reader, enjoying the smell and feel of real books.

During her maternity leave with her first child, Emily, she suddenly felt inspired to start writing again. “I enjoyed writing when I was much younger, especially poetry because the rhyme and rhythm interested me. I started my career in law and writing fell by the wayside until I took a break to have my first child.

“She was one of those babies that didn’t sleep well so I spent a lot of time in the quiet and the dark thinking. I would picture my little girl as she got older and the idea for a story formed in my mind and my passion for writing was reignited,” says Amanda, who lives in Great Wyrley.

The 34-year-old kept the story to herself for a long time – Emily is now 11 – because she didn’t feel confident enough to share it with anyone else but she would continue to add to it from time to time.

“I lacked confidence in my ability. I didn’t know if people would get the same happiness from it as I did because it was about my little girl,” says Amanda, who is also a mum to seven-year-old Layla and three-year-old Eddy.

After much research and convincing herself that others may enjoy the tale too, the property lawyer plucked up the courage to submit her story to Austin Macauley Publishers and then nervously waited for their feedback.

“To my delight they agreed to publish it and commented on the warmth of my writing,” she tells Weekend.

Turning her story into an illustrated children’s book took longer than normal due to Covid so Amanda was delighted when The Magic of Jack was finally published a few weeks ago. The back cover reads: “When Emily and her mouse wake up one morning, they look out of the window to see the ground covered in sparkling white crystals, the pond frozen over with a glass top, and cobwebs hung from the trees like diamond necklaces. .

“They can’t help but wonder who made the world look so magnificent while they slept, but they intend to find out as they lie in wait for Jack Frost. Ella’s Emily and her mouse want to catch Jack in action and they are not disappointed by what they find… Join Ella’s Emily and her mouse as they embark on an adventure of the frozen kind with Jack Frost.

Amanda says she has been “amazed” by the response to her book, which has included a five-star online review from a happy grandparent who enjoyed reading the story to her granddaughter.

“I didn’t tell many people about the book because of the pandemic and other things going on so people were really surprised. I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by people’s positive comments and congratulations. People have been ordering the book from far and wide. It’s a special story for me because it’s about my Emily, so it means a lot that people have been so positive about it and are enjoying it with their children and grandchildren,” says Amanda, who is holding a book launch at Olde Wyrley Hall today .

Being able to hold the book in her hands and share it with her three children has given her a real sense of achievement.

“The children have been amazing. They keep telling me how proud they are of me. I feel I have achieved something because I have shown them that when you have some confidence in your ability, you can do really good things. Emily has taken the book into school and read it to the class and Layla has started to write her own story.”

Over the coming months, Amanda will be visiting local schools, reading her story with younger children and doing some motivational speaking with older children.

“For the younger children it would be about the rhyming element of the story and looking for similar sounding words and for older children, it’s about showing them what they can do when they put their mind to it. I’m really looking forward to it.”

She also plans to develop ideas for future books, including more adventures with Emily in the spring, summer and autumn, and one inspired by her youngest daughter, Layla.

“Layla was diagnosed with diabetes last year. It came out of the blue so it was a real shock,” she explains. “We looked online for products that would make it easier to explain to all the children. There are lots out there like funky products for her to keep her insulin in and there was literature, but not a lot for children.

“I want to do something fun to explain to adults and children about diabetes, how it affects you as a child and how you can still do all the things you want to do. It would be a children’s book, an adventure story that shows children that even if they have diabetes, they can still have fun.”

The Magic of Jack can be ordered from austinmacauley.com/book/magic-jack and for more information visit amandaedwards.ampbk.com

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