I don't know when it began, but at some point when I was growing up, it was no longer enough for me to read other people's stories. I had to write my own. In 2nd grade, there was going to be a whole series of books about Kelly Koala and her animal friends, but I was collaborating with some of my classmates on the storylines and illustrations and due to creative differences, we had to part ways. We remained friends but Kelly Koala got packed away in a box somewhere. I should dig that out though and see if there might be a good story idea in there... I digress. Let’s get back to the point here. I’ve always felt that I had stories to tell. I would start to write a book but never finish it though, until I had the chance to travel to London. At the airport on my way home, I got an idea. I don’t really know where it came from, attribute it to divine intervention, but it gnawed at me for the entire 8 hour flight home. Because I loved traveling, I wondered if there could be a series of books about a girl who could travel to other cities and have some sort of adventures while she was there. Could they be used to teach kids about the fun of traveling?
As I brainstormed ideas though, the story morphed a little. I still wanted the main character to be able to travel, but the storyline wouldn’t have been strong enough. She needed to have a bigger purpose. When I was teaching 2nd grade, I had the hardest time finding information to teach the students about James Oglethorpe, the founder of the state of Georgia, who was born in England. Slowly a plan came together. Sydney, my main character, named after one of my favorite students of all time, would travel to London and be able to meet James Oglethorpe and as she traveled throughout the city, she would be teaching the readers about the city as well. There was just one problem. I didn’t really know enough about James Oglethorpe or London to be able to write an entire book, so I did some research and then traveled to London again. I hadn’t gone to the Tower of London on the first trip and found that it was the perfect place for the main setting of my book.
After I returned from London, the story was finished pretty quickly. Being in the city gave me a different perspective and was just what I needed to weave my thoughts into a complete journey for Sydney. Throughout the writing process, new ideas kept popping up for adventures Sydney could have and I’m excited to put those down on paper. Sydney’s next stop: Amsterdam! Stay tuned.
If you‘d like to read about Sydney’s first adventure in London, check out my ebook on Amazon... amazon.com/author/amybeasley