Those who know me will be aware that the story written for my “then five year old daughter” was written 14 years ago at the time of publication. So, why then, and why publish now?
“Why then” started with an argument with my five year old. I had threatened that all the toys she did not tidy up after playing with would disappear. I told her that a monster would eat them up but she very confidently responded that no such monster exists because she had not read about it in any book. How dare she defy me?! I promptly wrote up the story and printed it for her to read. That ended the argument, though I could tell she was still skeptical.
At the time, I briefly thought about publishing the story but I succumbed to excuses…a smorgasbord of reasons ranging from:
- I can’t draw
- It’s almost impossible to get a publishers interest
- I don’t have time to pursue publishing
- This is not my job
- Something so easy to write can’t be of value
- If I were to publish anything, it should be hefty and significant
So, argument won, story filed away and I moved on.
November 2022 woke me up to the buzz around generative AI. Shortly after ChatGPT became public, I learned that amazing things had been happening in the world of AI. I could now use AI to make art, in essence, I can now draw (I hear the laughter). I started playing with Dall-E and MidJourney, then I thought, let’s see how they’ll do with book illustrations. I remembered this story and it seemed like a good use-case. December through January, 2023, I tried to create acceptable illustrations. All the while, my daughter pleaded with me, “Just pay an artist to do it”, “AI art is so weird”, “Please, just don’t do that”, “If you want to draw so badly, why not just learn to draw?” I plodded on anyway, but eventually accepted defeat. AI art was inadequate to the task (at this time).
However, the time I had spent with the story convinced me it was worth sharing with the world. At the very least, putting it out there was better than letting it continue to gather digital cobwebs. And a wee bit of research revealed that tools for self publishing are quite advanced and highly accessible. So, I did not have to play the game of waiting and hoping to hear back from a traditional publisher. I could just do it. And I did.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I do.