Today, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Wendy Haynes and her delightful new picture book Hayden’s Bedtime as part of the Books on Tour promotion.
About Wendy Haynes
Wendy Haynes has completed a Diploma in Creative Writing at Southern Cross University. Her writing focuses on middle-grade fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories for children, picture books, junior fiction, and YA. She believes that having a regular writing practice, and understand the device at your disposal, is the key to not only completing a story but in building the skills required to produce a worthy manuscript.
About Hayden’s Bedtime
What parent of a young child hasn’t had to perform a bedtime ritual to get the child into bed and off to sleep? Hayden’s Dad is no different as he checks every corner, every nook and cranny to ensure there is nothing lurking in the bedroom. All he finds are everyday things like building blocks and smelly socks, toy cars and chewed up gum. When the child is satisfied that all is safe, Dad reads a story and the child settles down for a good night’s sleep.
Why I like this book:
This fun story with humorous illustrations by Brett Curzon provides a perfect opportunity for parents to discuss children’s night-time routines and bedtime fears (if they have any). Children will enjoy the humorous situations and items that Dad finds. The rhyme helps move the story along. Even children without bedtime anxieties will enjoy the fun story, especially when they realise how brave they are. The book could be read by teachers at school to stimulate discussion with writing to follow up children’s bedtime routines.
Wendy, the situation you describe in your book, of children delaying bedtime, is one that will be familiar to many parents and children. You have said that the story was inspired by your grandson, Hayden. Why was it important to you to write this story?
I wrote this story for my grandson first but as most parents and carers know, bedtime isn’t an easy time of the day. So, it’s for everyone who has little people in their home. My aim with this book is to make bedtime a fun experience and bring laughter into it.
What does your grandson think of the story, how does he respond to it and what is his favourite part?
Hayden was so excited to have a book that features him and his dad. For years Hayden went through a stage of loving multiple books read to him at bedtime. He does enjoy my book, and others, and he knows how special it is.
Do you like the way Brett Curzon has illustrated your story?
I love the illustrations in my book. Brett Curzon has done an excellent job in adding to the telling of the story.
Does Hayden in the story look like your Hayden?
One of the things I did when collaborating with Brett was to send him several photos of my son Clint, and Hayden. He then sent back a few roughs, which I loved, and we went from there.
What is your favourite illustration?
My favourite illustration is where dad and Hayden are in a tree – I love the colours and the fun that image evokes.
Hayden’s Bedtime is your first picture book. Are you planning to write any other picture books, especially books about Hayden?
I have got plans to write a few more picture books about Hayden but would probably try to have them traditionally published.
What do you use to write – pencil and paper or computer?
The majority of my writing is done on the computer in my office at home. When I first start a picture book or poem, I first start with pen and paper, and when I’m satisfied with most of it, I continue writing the story on the computer.
When do you write?
I’m an early bird and the most of my writing is done by about 7:30 in the morning. But if I have a self-imposed deadline, I’ll have several writing sessions throughout the day.
How would you like parents and teachers to present Hayden’s Bedtime to children?
Hayden’s Bedtime has many aspects to it that address the school curriculum, and has teacher notes available on my website. But in essence, it’s about nurturing children and making them feel happy and safe at bedtime.
Do you have any advice for children as writers?
Last year I offered free writing workshops over a school term for children aged 9 – 12 years, and I told them worry about the spelling and grammar later, it can always be fixed; just focus on storytelling.
Thank you, Wendy. I enjoyed meeting you and finding out about your inspiration for writing Hayden’s Bedtime. I’m certain there are many children and parents for whom the book will resonate. The humour you have added to the story makes it an easy way for parents to discuss bedtime rituals with their children.
Signed copies of Hayden’s Bedtime are available at Inprint Publishing
This interview is part of a Books On Tour promotion. Check out this poster for details of other posts where you can catch up with Wendy.
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This interview is now available free, in a ready-to-print format, in Literacy Resources Author Spotlight Author Spotlight – Wendy Haynes, along with interviews with other authors. The information may be displayed in your classroom or included in a class book about authors and illustrators.
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