Copyright 2022 Amy Gibbs of Rebel Books. All rights reserved.
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Many moons ago, when I was a child, my mum wrote a short children's story about a little boy called Jeremy Johnathan James, who went on lots of action packed adventures. She attempted to get it published but to no avail. Back then, self-publishing wasn't quite the field it is today and the likes of Amazon and other selling platforms weren't even a thing. In fact, the internet hadn't even been created at that point, not even dial up!
So, the manuscript that she had typed out and the sketches she had drawn by hand in coloured pencil, that had been glued to sheets of pink card for presentation, just sat there on a shelf in the lounge, collecting dust, for goodness knows how long.
I remember what that manuscript looked like, even down to the holes that were punched on one side and the treasury tags that held it together. I remember the name of the main character and have a vague recollection of how he looked in the sketches. I know he had a dog called Sammy as a friend, because he was based on our pet dog, a golden Labrador, who was also called Sammy. But that's about it. I don't really recall any of the actual story line. To be fair, it was written over 30 years ago, so my memory is a little patchy and sadly, no-one knows what happened to the original manuscript from all those years ago.
Earlier on this year, maybe even the tail end of last year, I was sat at my desk, working on my memoir, which still needs to be finished, and I was suddenly hit with inspiration. When I say hit, I mean, it was like I had somehow been punched, full force, right between the eyes with this idea! Why don't I write a book, based upon the decades old idea and get it published in memory of my mum, who we sadly lost in 2017. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before.
The memoir instantly got put on hold, a fresh word document was opened and the typing began. The story poured out of me, one adventure after another. I could see the possibilities for illustrations as I was writing the plot.
With technology being what it now is, my version of the book looks very different from my mum's and I'm pretty sure it is significantly longer. I am privileged enough to have a computer and a professional graphics tablet, not to mention, the internet and infinite possibilities! I set about modernizing the concept, updating the look of the character and chose adventures that seemed appropriate for a young boy in today's day and age. I got the book its very own ISBN number and barcode and got The Amazing Adventures of Jeremy Johnathan James published. Naturally, there is a dedication to my mum in the front pages. I just hope I have done her proud.
And that, is the story behind the story.