My husband came home one day and asked me, “Do you know where bumblebees live?” I didn’t. He told me they lived underground … I thought he was pulling my leg.
I’d been working on picture book stories until my husband’s question kick started my interest and research on bumblebees. I was SO excited to share with children (and adults) the incredible things I’d discovered about this super-duper pollinator, with smelly feet!
Self publishing is akin to being a ‘one man-band’. It’s a mammoth undertaking. I jumped in, blindly taking one step at a time. My office walls were covered in A3 cardboard with lists of ‘things to do’, contacts and time lines. I took advice. I read information. I networked. I learnt new skills. I lay in the orchard watching bumblebees and took photos … so many photos! I turned up to book events. Emailed experts. Got excited. Got frustrated. I laughed. I cried. I doubted (many times). I got busy.
My day time writing slipped easily into the night and wee hours of the morning. Household jobs piled up, especially the insatiable clothing monster that spewed dirty washing from every room, eating up precious floor space.
Weekends were spent rugged up in a beanie, jumper and dressing gown in my pokey, cold office. My dogs lay on the floor keeping me company. Often a child would burst my ‘bumblebee bubble’ around 8pm with, “What’s for dinner?” Thankfully, my husband came to the rescue with takeaways more times than I’d like to admit.
I commandeered the dining room table as my publishing office. It lay hidden for weeks under draft bumblebee pages. I cut and moved text and photos around until I was happy with their placement. Dining room chairs and walls also had draft pages taped to them. One of my daughters wrote a note to me during this time, “I really like your stories, they’re good fun and fresh and even though I’m sick of hearing facts about bumblebees, I’m really proud of you.”
Bumblebees, they’re so much more than fuzzy bottoms and smelly feet!