Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's An Exciting Season Ahead

“The only time success occurs before work is in the dictionary.” via Cameron Cashmore

It is happening – my world is exploding!
It seems that when the timing is right all things fall into place. It has been a very exciting and eventful year for me and the last few months have really birth a massive shift in my life. I am finally seeing the fruit for my work over the past couple of years. Doors are flying open everywhere. 

Those of you who have journeyed with me on my blog would be wondering why my blog became quieter. This was because Facebook progressively took precedent when it came to my communication. For a long time I was forced into a very solitary existence. Facebook helped me to balance communication with family, friends, ministry commitments whilst building a platform for my writing and illustrating. It has proved to be an invaluable tool for many reasons and it continues to open up doors. I am going to pick up my blog more now and share the love.

Over that past 18 months family concerns have been enormous. I am a mother of 6 (3 at home) and our youngest (7yrs) had a rare deformity of the heart. Unfortunately he had no option but to undergo major open heart surgery twice in June this year and was in ICU for three weeks.  This was a very scary time and our faith made all the difference. It was hard to see him suffer, tiring and disruptive. Via Facebook Christian friends stepped into help us and now he is doing exceptionally well – thank you! Our super-active kid feels fine now but he still has a faulty aorta valve and on medication only God can heal.

“Life isn’t about learning how to weather the storm, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” - Monica Fish

The other challenges where creating a home working environment for both my husband around the 3 children still at home and building a sustainable income. My husband began a personal training studio at home and I needed to set up my writing and illustrating studio better. We are both set up now and loving our personal working spaces. My hubby is a great trainer and slowly building his clientele. 

I finally had an established illustration portfolio and had many started projects. I felt ready to present myself to some publishers but I wanted to go in with strong writing as well. I also had several manuscripts at draft stage after participating in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) last November. With nearly 60 book ideas, it was time to finish some of them. I attended a writer’s  conference/getaway in October ensuring I had 5 manuscripts finished ready for editing. The feedback was more than encouraging and they are now in the hands of two different publishers.

Since the conference I have finished another two and nearing completion on a chapter book for 8-10 year old children.

I still haven’t approached many publishers as yet but have been interviewed by 2 who have talked to me about several projects in the near future. It is highly likely I will be collaborating on a fiction novel (co-authoring) with a much admired author next year as well. I told you there were doors opening everywhere!

This year's main focus was to finalise a picture book project that initiated this wonderful direction in my life. I was given a vision for Adoptive Father and it was to be an international project. I knew its production was important but believed in God’s perfect timing. This is finally being realised and printing will start this week.

In collaboration with C.O.M and their sponsors we have ensured that 1,500 copies will be gifted to children together with their translations, in orphanages and homes in various parts of India. These children will be overjoyed and I can’t wait for January. 

Adoptive Father is also due for release early 2013 Australia (Hopefully January launch). The response to this book has been overwhelming already and it not even in the shops yet. One publisher has shown interest and it has been suggested to me by a large organisation that next year they may be interested in turning it into teaching material for missionary work in different countries (this is a time I could use an agent!) 

I have another exciting project offered this week which I wish I could share but I can’t yet – Doh!

All my late nights, long hours of perseverance squeezed into a perplexing 2012 itinerary, in one of my most tiring seasons for years, is actually paying off. I have met a wonderful colleagues and gained some great friendships as well. My worrisome season has passed and I am now enjoying a more balance with friends, family and work. I am loving my writing time as equally as illustrating. 

I want to encourage everyone starting out not to give up, keep learning, practicing your craft, networking and supporting the people within it. It will birth something wonderful and worthwhile.


Jarm Del Boccio said...

Thanks for the encouragement to keep on keeping on, Kayleen. I'm so excited about all the contacts you have made. I'll look forward to hearing how God uses them. I didn't know about your son's condition. I'm thankful that he is more stable now...a prayer is going up for him right now!

Michelle said...

I am glad we met and I can't wait to see you succeed. Congratulations on everything that is coming your way.

Kayleen West - Children Writer/Illustrator said...

Thanks Jarm and I really hope I get to illustrate that lovely PB I read of yours.

Michelle, it was great to meet so many special ladies in Brisbane. I just know so much is going to come of all of our connections in due time - thanks Hunx

Lauren said...

I've seen you kick along in the face of adversity for so long, I'm so happy that you are finally reaping the rewards of your perseverance and faith. You totally deserve it. Congrats!

Kayleen West - Children Writer/Illustrator said...

Thank Lauren, that is very sweet.

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