Interview: Heather Davidson on Self-Publishing

Heather Davidson

I chatted with Heather Davidson, self-publisher of Choo Choo Park. I was so impressed with Heather with what she has managed to accomplish with her children’s book, that I thought it would be great to interview her to pass on knowledge to other self-publishers out there.

Celeste: Hi Heather! Thanks so much for chatting with me today. First of all, congratulations for being an author! Can you tell us a little bit about when you had this idea about writing children’s stories and what inspired you that this was it?

Heather: Hi Celeste, thank you so much for this opportunity to talk about my book. I have always loved reading and writing. I started writing stories for my son, James, when he was about 3 (he’s now 21), he loved them and used to take them to school for his teacher to read. I didn’t have the confidence to try and do anything further with them at that stage of my life. About two years ago now I decided that I wanted to make writing a priority in my life and I happened to come across The Choo Choo Park which I’d written when James attended the Choo Choo Park Playschool. I still loved the story and decided to try and get it published.

Celeste: You decided to self-publish your first book. What kind of research did you do into this before you started? Did you do any courses, or chat to other self-publishers? Did you try publishing your book through regular publishers?

Heather: I did submit The Choo Choo Park to two south African publishers but it wasn’t what they were looking for so I decided to go the self-publishing route. I had heard a lot about self-publishing in writing circles and enrolled for a correspondence course on Self Publishing. I then met Katherine Graham at the Society for Children’s Bookwriters and Illustrators (SCBWI) meetings and she had successfully self-published a number of books. I had many discussions with her and she gave me very valuable advice. I also attended a half-day Self Publishing workshop that she presents. Read more

Little Santa Helpers

Inspired ThingsFor those of you who follow me on social media, you might know that last weekend I was holding a table (well, half a table) at the Thriving Sustainable Craft Market, in Wynberg. Next weekend, Michelle and I will be doing another market, this time in Hout Bay. I got into the Christmas spirit somewhere between then and now and decided to create some happy elves to sell.

These elves were inspired by the little Santa Helpers in the movie ‘Rise of the Guardians.’ They have individually crafted faces and ears, from clay, come in green and red, sport a little bling bling belt and have a bell on top. Oh, and don’t forget their little details on their shoes! In the video below you can see me crafted one of the faces and then the end shot is my prototype that I made. It’s going to be a very, very busy week!

The craft market we will be at is the Green Faerie Market, Sunday 6 November 2016, 10am to 5pm at Kronendal Primary School.

I will be making about 15 – 20 elves for the fair (will see how it goes!). If you can’t make the fair and would like to have one of the elves, please feel free to contact me. I’ll be selling them for R100 each.

I have also started a page on facebook for my arts and crafts items, called ‘Inspired Things.’ If you would like to be informed via the social media platform of all my bits-and-bobs, then please go and like the page to stay updated. Read more