What is the secret to writing a best-selling children's story? Can you choose to always look on the bright side of life? Why do illustrated picture books occupy such a special place in our hearts?
Best-selling children's author, illustrator and creative entrepreneur Rachel Bright has been on one incredible journey in her life so far. Her beloved books - including 'The Lion Inside' collection - have now sold over five million copies worldwide and been translated into 46 languages, while her self-illustrated 'Love Monster' books have been lovingly adapted for television, broadcast on CBeebies in the UK, HBO Max in the US and broadcast worldwide.
Rachel joins Second Mountain Comms' founder Ben Veal for episode 15 of Good Journeys with Second Mountain, the podcast series that explores the lives of inspired people and their inspiring stories.
Episode 15 of the #GoodJourneysPod is out now. Listen/watch:
Apple Podcasts https://tinyurl.com/4bmz4yda
Amazon Music https://tinyurl.com/5esf2p3p
BECOMING A CHILDREN'S AUTHOR
"I didn't know how to get a book published"
Rachel Bright's journey to becoming a children's author began, quite literally, whilst journeying. Early inspiration struck for the future author on her daily commute:
"I had this really long commute [into] central London every day, with a lot of people and not much space," recalls Rachel. "The way that I escaped that was to go inside my mind and I started writing stories on those journeys; even if I was standing up I'd have my little notebook! What came out were children's stories ... at just 21, 22, I realised that this is what I wanted to do."
"As with lots of great, epic journeys, it wasn't straightforward," adds Rachel, discussing on the #GoodJourneysPod the many hurdles that had to be overcome en route to getting her first publishing deal. "I didn't know how to get a book published. I was just creating because I wanted to create; I had to write it. I was writing stuff that was almost asking to be written."
STORYTELLING WITH IMAGINATION
"Whenever I was creative I just felt lit up."
Rachel's imagination was fuelled from a very young age, surrounded by - and being encourage to embrace - literature: "I was lucky to grow up in a house full of books and all our family love to read. I think that's where it really began for me. I just carried that with me."
Her illustrious writing and illustrative career has seen Rachel collect the World Book Day Illustrator award, achieve multiple-time award finalist status for honours including the Sainsbury’s Book Award and the Evening Standard Oscars Book Prize, and have highly respected British actor Bill Nighy bring 'The Lion Inside' collection to life for Audible.
Rachel’s storytelling career continues to go from strength to strength with the recent release of 'The Gecko and The Echo' and 'The Stompysaurus', while away form the world of writing, Rachel is the founder of award-winning stationery and gift brand the bright side, co-founder of a UK health and wellbeing retreat, and describes herself as a professional optimist.
Yet despite branching out in a number of creative directions, Rachel's core passion clearly continues to be delighting and inspiring readers of all ages with stories that encourage kindness, connection and compassion.
Though her best-selling collaborations with illustrators Jim Field and Chris Chatterton, Rachel's career as an author continues to shine brightly.
"Picture books occupy this really special space in storytelling which no other type of book does in the same way in the sense that they're shared often between an adult and a child and read aloud as well," notes Rachel. "With picture books, you revisit them over and over again, and there's all these little unique sort of facets to a picture-like experience. What I love to explore in all of my work is these universal truths that connect us all as human beings, having an experience in this amazing world."
Episode 15 of the Good Journeys with Second Mountain podcast is out now.
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