Over the past couple of months I’ve been writing a new book. This is my second children’s book and it’s about a wasp! Today, I finished the first draft. So, what does it take to get that far?

The process of writing a new book

The first thing to do is find some inspiration for a story. So, how did I decide to write a story about a wasp?

Well, back in August of last year, my little niece was stung by something. I say something because she thinks it was a bee. But, knowing where she was and thinking about the time of year, I can’t help wondering if it was a wasp. After all, bees and wasps can look pretty similar. Plus, she is very familiar with bees, but not so much with wasps.

Anyway, this set me thinking. Wasp, or bee, stings are pretty painful. So, having that experience as a small child can scar you for life. Or, at least leave you with a real fear of bees and wasps.

Now, that’s something many of us may feel (me included). But I wondered if I could do something to make this experience a little less painful, both for my niece and for any other children out there.

So, I decided to write a story about a wasp. I’ve called her Wanda. She is basically a happy and kind creature. But one day she has a terrible experience. The fear and hurt this causes soon turns her into an angry, mean creature. So, can she change back to being happy and kind?

You’ll have to read the book to find out! (If you want to be the first to know when it’s published, click here and join my mailing list).

What comes after the idea?

Well, before I sketched out the story, I did some research. We all think we know about wasps. But how much do you really know?

They are actually fascinating creatures. Bees get a lot of praise because we know about the good that they do in pollinating plants. We also love eating their honey. But did you know that wasps do just as much good work? So, why are they seen as an enemy? Is it because they don’t make honey too?

I don’t have an answer to that. But I did find out lots of brilliant facts about wasps. So, I’ll share those with you in my next blog post.

Basically, I took some of those facts and used them to build my story.

Then, once I had the story written, it was time to start drawing the illustrations.

Trying something new

At this stage, writing a new book for children is still something of an adventure. So, it’s a chance for me to experiment. I’ve gone for a different style of both writing and illustration, compared to ‘Elf’s Big Adventure‘.

I am tempted to say a ‘better’ style. But let’s not confuse the idea of ‘different’ with ‘better’. It all depends on your point of view.

Now, there is still a way to go from first draft to publication. So, I’m just going to share one picture with you to tease you with the new style. (Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments).

Wanda the kind, happy wasp. Children's book by Katie Dean

What happens next?

So, I just said there’s a way to go from first draft to holding the book in my hands. First, I’ll probably put everything away for a few days. Then, I can come back and look at the pages with a fresh eye. Will there be things I want to change?

I’ll also let a few trusted friends take a look at this. It’s always good to have a different pair of eyes check for mistakes in the writing!

Once I’m happy that everything is as it should be, I’ll be uploading my manuscript to Amazon. I get one final chance to check everything with a proper ‘proof’ copy of the book. Then, comes the scary part…pressing ‘publish’.

I have to say, I’ve been thrilled with the really lovely, kind reviews I have received for ‘Elf’s Big Adventure’. (And no, I didn’t pay for any of them or just get friends to say nice things about me!) It really does mean a lot to think there are small children enjoying the book I’ve written. So, I hope I will be able to say the same about ‘Wanda the kind, happy wasp’.

Stay tuned for more updates between now and publication. And don’t forget, if you want to be the first to get news of the publication of this book, and any others I write, just click here and sign up to my mailing list. Thank you!

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