Lockdown Lessons – how writing a children’s book became a life-changing experience

At Psychologies, we’re celebrating stories of resilience and inspiration from what’s now being called ‘the great pause’ of 2020. Here we hear from Sarah McGeough, who wrote a children's book Eddy Finds A Family 


Lockdown Lessons - how writing a children's book became a life-changing experience

“Writing a book has been an immense and life changing experience”

It took us eight years to have a child. It was a very difficult and emotional journey. Since adopting our son, I always felt I would like to write a book to describe ‘how we came to be a family together.

One day during lockdown I found Michael Heppell’s Write That Book’ group and decided to join. I met so many wonderful supportive fledging writers, all excited to put pen to paper and possibly publish a book. I know a lot of people dream of writing a book and now six months on, I fully understand how much hard work, determination and patience it takes to get there, with lots of ups and downs along the way.

It is a case of small steps and perseverance each day. Having an accountability group makes such a difference. They were my cheerleaders all the way and I owe a lot to them for keeping me motivated, focused and driven.

Writing a book has been a life changing experience, one that has made me light up inside. Lockdown was tough but having a goal to write a book was making me feel excitement on a whole new level. I seemed to have buried my passionate creative side for a long time, but suddenly there it was, bursting to come out.

I loved every moment and each step I took made me more and more determined to get my book out there into the world. I learnt so many new things from the Write That Book Masterclass. The most important lessons were read, write, edit, repeat and always read your work out loud.

“My book is a tribute to our son”

Children’s books are by far the hardest to master as there are so many aspects to get right. They must have a natural rhythm and flow that will appeal to a child and also capture attention and imagination.

Finding the right illustrator is one of the most important factors of all, as bringing the characters to life is what will make the book stand out and come alive. I was lucky enough to find Stephanie Lidbetter who lives near to me. We clicked immediately and when she first designed Flossy, Frank and Eddy, I got the tingles straight away.

As the topic of adoption is extremely sensitive, I had to ensure the content was precise, accurate and up to date. I worked closely over several months with our social worker to proofread and edit every fine detail. I’m so grateful to Sue Armstrong Brown, CEO of Adoption UK who read the final manuscript and wrote such a positive review which is featured on the back cover of my book.

My book is a tribute to our son. It means so much to be able to give him this gift as his mummy. Also, when we adopted, I never felt there were any books that could really explain adoption to him. My goal was to write a colourful and engaging story so all children would be able to understand adoption in a better way.

My book is unique as it explains both the parent and child’s journey through adoption. My son often asks, ‘How did you find me?’ and ‘Was I lost?’ as he is interested to know how we came to be a family. This is so important.

“I love the idea that my book will touch the hearts of many children”

My son has been so enthusiastic and I have had great pleasure in reading ‘Eddy Finds a Family’ to him. He has been my chief editor, asking questions about the characters and commenting on the draft illustrations. It has been wonderful for him to have such involvement in creating my first book. Also, having a child’s perspective has helped fine-tune the story so I have confidence it will appeal to many children and they will get great joy from the characters.

I have been delighted by the response with the limited edition selling out in four days. Many parents have bought my book and the adoption communities seem to be singing out for more. I am planning to write a series to continue Eddy’s adoption journey. I will now be self-publishing on Amazon. I love the idea that my book will touch the hearts of many children and my ambition is that The Flamingo Family will become well known in many households.

About ‘Eddy Finds a Family’

Flossy and Frank Flamingo are unable to have a chick of their own. Eddy Emu is in foster care and in need of a loving home. It’s a powerful and heart-warming story about adoption that follows their journey as they find each other and become a family. It takes a sensitive and emotional subject and makes it fun and engaging for children.

Sarah McGeough, children’s author








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