Hannah Howells – author of children’s fiction
I have always wanted to write for children. I’ve wanted to add to the shelves where stories and ideas inspire young minds. This desire grew throughout my years as a primary school teacher, for most of which I led the English curriculum, driving a passion for reading and writing amongst children and staff. And then when I had my own child, that desire grew even more. It made me truly realise how much joy can be brought from snuggling up with a story and immersing into another world. It made me realise the importance of our imaginations and the magic of language.
When the first lockdown of 2020 was announced, I was pregnant with our second son. Like everyone else, I was worried about the state of our poor world and the impact that the virus would have on our lives. I felt angry and upset – and that’s when I wrote. The People and the Planet began with a tiny idea that sparked and notes that I wrote on my phone. I added to this whilst feeding a newborn in the middle of the night, and for over a year I then reworked and developed the story.
Breaking into the children’s fiction market is hard, and like so many authors, I sent my manuscript off to many different agents. But as I waited for responses, I was busy in the background speaking to other authors, completing courses and researching the market. It was then that I decided to self-publish.
At first I wasn’t sure, but the more I learned, the more I liked. As a self-published author I have complete ownership over everything to do with my work. I’ve been privileged to find and work with the most incredible illustrator (Lorna Humphreys). I’ve called upon family to proof read and ask for feedback on my story. I really have learned so much about the publishing processes and beyond; it has been a hugely exciting and challenging journey, but one that I feel so proud to be on.
For me, it’s not just about writing a book though. It’s about getting a message out there for people to delve into, discuss and share. It’s about inspiring young readers and writers to allow those little sparks to turn into big ideas. As a mother and an ex-teacher, my first book, The People and the Planet, has been written to appeal to children ranging from preschool through to the end of primary school. It’s a book which aims to help children make sense of the pandemic, a book which can be explored on so many levels. It’s thought-provoking and hopeful – something which I hope parents and teachers can use and refer to for many years to come.
In an effort to inspire children to read and write, I now offer author visits and workshops to schools. These sessions allow children to learn about the entire writing process – about the importance of editing and improving work, and about the many styles and purposes you adapt through the marketing process as an independent author. Whilst in keeping with national curriculum expectations, these visits will ignite a passion amongst children to be the best readers and writers that they can be.
Buy The People and the Planet here.
Contact me to discuss school visits and workshops here.