Emma Tomlinson Turner debuts her first children’s book Babs the Mystical Moon Mercat—a cat with a magical, moonlit secret. I had so much fun creating the illustrations for this and both of my children loved having this story read to them at bedtime. Now, over to Emma as she shares the inspiration behind her book, imposter syndrome, and what her children think about her becoming an author.
As a child, what job did you want to do when you grew up?
As a child I don’t think I ever really knew what I wanted to do other than a dream of being an actress. After I put that idea to bed I thought I’d find the magic answer at university, where I studied modern languages but life happened and instead I went down a random path in to digital marketing. And then I had kids….
What inspired your children’s story?
The inspiration for my story came from my daughter Tilly. Her love of cats, mermaids and all things magical were a great starting point and her constant drawings of these sorts of creatures seeded an idea of what “Babs” should be like. I have also always been slightly obsessed with our pet cats and we frequently talk about where they are, what they get up to and about their brilliant personalities.
This is your first book. How does it feel to be a published author and see your creation in print?
Being a published author seems a bit mad. I’d wanted to get my rhyming stories (or at least one of them) in print to show my children that I can actually do something. They didn’t know me when I had a career so I think they assume I’ve only ever been someone who just does everything for them. I also wanted to show them that it’s possible to do what you want to do. Seeing the book in real life, with the awesome illustrations and and shiny feel is a bit surreal. I have total imposter syndrome but at the same time am really proud of myself for being brave enough to put it out there and the feedback I’ve had so far has been really positive from mums and the children.
What do your children think about their mum being an author?
My children love the fact that I’m an “author”. Ha I even put that in inverted commas. Tilly swiped a book the second it arrived and without me knowing took it in to school and read it to her teacher and class. I think they are quite proud. Now I just have to stop her from trying to give them all away.
I have another couple of stories up my sleeve, in particular one related to the Babs story. Also every so often, usually just as I’m about to go to bed another idea comes to me so I’ll have to see if I can take them any further… Watch this space.
Emma Tomlinson Turner comes from Birmingham, has spent time living in Europe and, after 15 years in London, made the move out of the big city to settle in Buckinghamshire with her family. Having written poetry since childhood, after the birth of her children she has spent many an idle hour penning rhymes and stories to tell to them and to encourage their own creativity. Emma is often inspired by her children’s drawings and imaginations, and they have been a great starting point for many of her short rhyming stories. Visit etsy.me/3tsqUVU to purchaseBabs the Mystical Moon Mercat direct from the author.