The creation of children’s books is never easy and it is not meant to be, that being the most telling point from acclaimed publisher Julia Marshall from Gecko Press in NZ.
Renowed for publishing gentle, considered and intelligent books, Gecko Press has been recognised as Bologna Best Children’s Publisher and with the New Zealand Best Publisher of the Year award. Julia is also on the board of the New Zealand Book Council
What makes a beautiful book? Julia believes talent is imperative but more importantly, it requires commitment, discipline, and dedication to art.
“They deserve years of hard work,” she said. “Celebrate the difficulty of it.”
Julia’s other key points were:
The making of children’s books has to be one of the most rewarding careers. We are rich but not always in hard coin.
Writing is hard, illustrating is hard, publishing is hard and that is how it should be.
The craft of making a book good, must also require work on the part of the reader and we must encourage that.
She is drawn to stories that celebrate the quiet voice. There is so much noise in the world.
Create stories with a good heart, strong characters; an intelligent strong core with, yes, a beginning, middle and end.
Stay true to your own voice and be unafraid of trying new things. Reach into that deep part of you. Go on adventures and take risk. Sometimes the best books come out of nowhere…from a risky place.
Julia says to never underestimate the intelligence of children. “If it’s not good enough for adults, it’s not good enough for children.”