Local author publishes children’s book ‘It flew away’
Artist, author, and Sports Reporter at the Chronicle, Stephen Ignacio, has released his new children's book titled ‘It flew away’.
The book was released last Wednesday on the Amazon after passing the review stage, and was written and illustrated by Mr Ignacio.
“It really should not have meant much as self-publishing has become easier in this day and age, but for me it was a personal victory,” Mr Ignacio said.
“This book was not one which I have thought in terms on whether it will sell or not, although I hope it will, but on whether I could do it or not.”
“It Flew Away is a short picture story book aimed at the six to 10 year olds, teaching valuable life lessons about friendship, shyness, and the joy of making new friends.”
“It follow a young shy girl who goes to the park with her balloon. A normal day-to-day event but which through a small gesture of a young boy changes her life.”
The author described how it is a simple story which children will be able to relate to with ease.
“I’ve been passionate about art and storytelling since I was young,” he said.
“After years of working in various fields, I’ve come full circle to my true passion—creating art and sharing stories with the world. I never thought after all these years I would actually succeed in turning full circle.”
“My dream when I was young, back in the days when comics were widely sold, was to become a comic book illustrator.”
“The first stumbling block I faced was the fact I wasn’t supposedly good enough to follow English language into A-Levels and therefore I was already limited in my options.”
“But I pursued them nonetheless.”
Mr Ignacio was inspired by a school teacher who pointed him in the right direction, and worked with him to pass his English O Level and move on to complete a fine arts degree
“Yet even with a degree in fine art, and even having worked in graphic design I have never actually pushed forward my own artwork,” he said.
“Ironically, I’m better known for my written work after seeing my path head into the media as first a news reporter and now a sports reporter. So for those who find it difficult when young to get to grips with languages, don’t worry keep at it, it will come.”
The idea for ‘It Flew Away’ originated from difficult circumstances he has faced, including anxiety.
“I had just dropped off my daughter at dance and the stresses around me had seen me fending off one of the many panic attacks I was having,” he said.
“Sitting by a bench overlooking the park this story came into my head which in many ways dealt with situations I recognised in my own daughter. So I wrote it down. Writing actually allowed me to refocus and the panic faded away, you could say it flew away.”
“I read the story to my daughter that night as I put her to bed and she liked it and understood it. The next day speaking to her the story was mentioned and I asked her if she wanted the story as a book and since then she gave me her ideas of what the main character should look like.”
“For months it was just an idea but the more I thought about it and worked into it the more the wish to seeing it happen grew inside of me. So I set myself a target, create it. Then I set myself another target, create it before the end of the year.”
“Recognising how difficult it would be to find the time and space to do it, discipline myself into routine, and finding the actual courage to not just do it but make it public provided me with another target. 2023 has been a battle to keep focus and convince myself that I was capable of doing things.”
Mr Ignacio said he was supported by a counsellor, friends, his children and siblings.
“It wasn’t about having a book published or making money from it, but actually believing in myself that I could do it, produce it, draw it and make it public so that young children who read it might themselves gain something from it,” he said.
“The fact it went live this Wednesday for me is like having won the cup final.”
‘It Flew Away’ is not Stephen Ignacio’s first book as he had already published one as a test back in 2022.
‘Don’t tell mum’ was a pilot book, which was not promoted.
After creating a colouring book on Amazon and seeing the quality of the printing he moved ‘Don’t tell mum’ to Amazon, which became his first self-published children’s short story.
‘It Flew Away’ is very different from ‘Don’t Tell Mum’.
Every illustration has been worked on individually and has elements in it which children will find.
Two, even three stories could be taking place in the same page at times.
“There is the narrative story, and then there is the creative story where children can find another story within the images or, and most importantly make their own stories,” he said.
“I actually left the illustration as pen and ink drawings with no colours because I want children to have the option to colour them in if they wish. I don’t want the book to be ‘precious’ I want children to enjoy it creatively.”
“That’s how my illustration artwork has been for me since I made a return into the art world, in my own way and I wanted that to be translated into my books too.”
“My illustrations have a main subject then many subsets which intermingle. They say a picture tells a thousands words, mine probably tell a few thousand more because if I’m working on something for hours you can imagine how many little things crop up and down and fill the paper.”
“After all I’m not supposed to be good enough to write a book so I tell stories my way.”
‘It Flew Away’ is now available for purchase on Amazon and its worldwide distribution network. A kindle edition will be coming soon.