It's a short story to help parents explain to their child what has happened to a loved who has passed away.
I wrote it in 2012, when I was living in a Buddhist Centre (Vajrapani Buddhist Centre in Huddersfield). It was an old derelict church before they completely transformed it and helped it "reincarnate" into its current state.
Being a tenant there, I had access to the World Peace Café and the main gompa (meditation room). I would often sit there on a night, reading, writing or meditating; it was a very peaceful place to be.
One day, whilst meditating in the gompa, an idea for a book flashed into my mind. My eyes shot open and I for about ten seconds, I sat there reflecting on the idea.
I ran to my room, turned on my laptop and started writing My Grandad's Hiding Place. In less than half an hour, I sat back and looked at it. There it was, my first children's picture book - but without the pictures.
Not long after that, an old friend asked me how my writing was going. I told her about My Gandad's Hiding Place and that I was currently looking for an illustrator for it.
'What about Laura Skilbeck?' she said.
Laura was an old friend from school. When I say 'friend', I mean we hardly spoke two words to each other in nine years of being in the same year at school.
'Didn't you know she's an illustrator?' said my friend, in response to my frown.
I did not know Laura was an illustrator.
Later that day, I contacted her through FB and, after a brief introduction (where I reminded her who I was), I told her about my children's book that was currently crying out to be illustrated.
Thankfully, she was keen from the offset, and when I sent her the book she absolutely loved it and wanted nothing more than to illustrate it.
When she showed me her ideas I couldn't believe how well they complimented the writing. Her style is so childish - it's perfect! She really managed to capture the emotion in the words through her drawings. It's like she can easily tap into her inner-child and express it - a unique ability.
Once the illustrations had been completed, we tried getting it published the traditional way but to no avail. "We like it, but it's just not what we're looking for right now", was the typical reply we received.
So we tried literary agents - but the same thing happened.
I had already published three of my own books on Amazon, so I thought why not try the self-publishing route for My Grandad's Hiding Place?
That's when I discovered Amazon's Kindle Kid's Book Creator, which made the process super easy.
At the moment it's only being released as an ebook - but in time I will release it as a paperback.
I hope you manage to read it and are moved by its message.