The Beginner's Guide to Writing Children's Books

cover-imageI grew up going to the book mobile during the week and the library on the weekends. For me books were a constant source of pleasure and a free membership an economical marvel.

Now that I’m an expat parent, we stock books for our sons at home. Many nights we need a deft hand to mix in new titles among the stalwart favorites.

The more I read to little ones snuggled on my lap, the more I wanted to write for little ones everywhere.

That was the lab in which Everyday Wishes was born. The steps to writing a picture book are deceptively simple.

  1. Come up with a story line. You want to map out your text and ideal images on a set of double page spreads at least 24 pages long.
  2. Find an illustrator. This is a crucial moment because illustrators are key to the reading experience. You’ll agree on a fee, 1/4 upfront, the rest on delivery, and ask for pencil sketches of your scenes
  3. Refine the text with the illustrator. This part can take anywhere from a month to three, depending on everyone’s availability
  4. Get your text onto the page with a graphic designer. Determining your book size and font style is also another multi-stage process.
  5. Upload to your outlets of choice (Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing are mine).
  6. Tell the world, get reviews, celebrate.

I’m very excited to share with the making of a picture book because this is the first introduction to MJ’s world with his friends. You’ll meet his mom and classmates in this episode. And there will be many more adventures to come!

Let me know if you are interested in receiving a review copy or would like to arrange a school visit. I’m planning a few additional languages so stay tuned.

What stories do you think children need to hear?


Mohadoha Black Friday – Cyber Monday deals

MohaDoha Black Friday saleMonday the 23rd: a few days until American Thanksgiving and a week left in National Novel Writing Month. My three classes of undergraduates are working on their final papers and the adults in the novel writing course are dropping like flies. In short: my days are pretty full. Knowing how modern life is, I’m pretty sure yours are too. Despite the hustle and bustle, I did manage to schedule a few freebies/discounts for the end of the week that I hope you’ll enjoy in honor of that shopping bonanza known as Black Friday.

ALL of my books will be on sale from Friday the 27th until Monday the 30th. The best prices will be over the weekend, but you’ll still get around 10% off if you wait until you’re back at your desk on Monday morning.

Since you won’t have any lines to worry about, go ahead, take advantage of 80% off all the novels, starting this Friday. Bookmark this page and fill that gift tablet with a free Kindle app.

PS: you can get a free copy of my short story collection, Coloured and other Stories any day of the year.

Wordless Wednesday: Days and Nights in Arabia

boxed_whiteI can hear the sound of wrapping paper ripping the world over. Giving a Kindle or electronic device this year (or hoping to receive one)?

Download the free Kindle App so you can access eBook titles right away.

I’m thrilled to announce my first eBook “box” collection is now available: Days and Nights in Arabia, features award winning fiction and memoir.

Love Comes Later, a literary romance – cue the love triangle – set in Qatar and London.

From Dunes to Dior, a memoir of living in the Middle East as a South Asian woman.

The Dohmestics, an ensemble cast of female employers and their housemaids, desert style.

Plenty to keep you entertained on your plane, train, or car ride back home.

You can give (or receive) all 3 of my books set in Qatar for $5 off what they would cost individually.

PS: Did you know you can gift eBooks like you can Amazon gift cards? All you need is your recipient’s email address.

What was your favorite present this year? I’m about to head downstairs to find out for our family.

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