Jasper’s epic journey is almost complete and I’m really delighted to say that my travelling Harp Seal, is now very close to arriving back home in the snowy Svalbard, after clocking up many miles.
It’s been a long journey and Jasper is exhausted, but exhilarated, not to mention older and wiser than he was when he set off two years ago, when I began writing this novel. Not only has this been a wonderful journey of discovery for Jasper, but it’s also been a real learning curve for me as an author too. I now know so much about the marine animals of our world.
Writing for children has been terrific fun, but it’s not been a ‘piece of cake’…more the literary equivalent of producing a bake for Great British Bake Off, you just have to get it right and sticking with it and having the courage, determination and will power to finish has been like running a marathon! Honestly, I kid you not… I am pleased to say I can now see the finish line and I’m pretty proud of myself. This is the first of my two novels that I have now ‘almost’ completed and I can’t tell you how immensely satisfying that feels.
Jasper’s Big Adventures is a story I’ve had in the back of my mind for about the last ten years and one which I’ve felt compelled to write, before my own kids are too old to enjoy it! In fact my children were my inspiration and the reason I have written this novel. When my elder son, Jonathan, (now 12), was a toddler, we bought him a toy Harp Seal after a fun day out at Plymouth Aquarium. The fluffy seal , who we named Jasper, quickly became Jonathan’s favourite soft toy and he was never without him at bedtime. In our house at that time, Jonathan had a huge map of the world on his bedroom wall which was illustrated with animals from around the world. I would make up stories at bedtime about the many different animals and Jonathan and his little brother, Jude, would adore listening to them. That’s where my idea to write Jasper’s Big Adventures came from, that and the fact my husband travels around the world on business a lot. Together the boys and I would point to where Daddy was in the world and I would make up a story about the country and the animals indigenous to it. And the rest , as they say, is history. I now have a book which I hope other children will enjoy too, a story which will inspire them as well as educate them about the many weird and wonderful creatures of our beautiful planet.