Being an author is both exciting and routine.  There are lots of activities going on in the background, as with any business, which are of the plain and boring type.  You don’t want to know about those though, so I hope you enjoy finding out more about me and my author endeavours through a fun A-Z.

Alter-ego:  Josie Dom is my pen name, my pseudonym, my disguise.  As a shy person and an introvert, when I began this journey I fought (with myself) over being in public.  The solution:  a new name.  I’ve cheekily borrowed my children’s middle names.  I toyed with the idea of donning a disguise too (blonde wig and contact lenses) but realised I wouldn’t be able to maintain that, so I’m here looking the same as ever.

Bullying, unfortunately has featured in my life both as a child and as an adult.  Always a difficult time, but maybe something good has come from it.  Being bullied led me to write Lum.

Childishness is a big part of my life!  My children say that I am always laughing.  This isn’t true, but they do both make me laugh.  And then there is always my own childish behaviour to keep me giggling!

Dog, an A-Z of my life wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our dog, Frank.  He’s an old-fashioned mix of labrador, lurcher, retriever and poodle; or LabLurchTrievOodle in today’s fashionable dog breed names; or ‘mutt’ as my husband says.  Whatever his breed, he is a lovely, placed dog and gives me the opportunity to get outdoors, which is very helpful, as I then have time to plot stories.  I should also, at this point, mention our cat, Mittens, partly because he is adorable and partly because I’ve used C for Childishness and can’t squeeze the cat in otherwise.

Exercise is once again on my schedule.  I’ve previously tried yoga, swimming, dancing and running.  Maybe this year I’ll find the time and motivation to stick with it.  For now, I’ll be running with the dog.

Friendships are so important in life, and a lot of my stories reflect this.  Look out for more stories to be published in the future which have this theme to help children learn about the importance of friendship.

Girly girls and boysy girls.  Which were you?  I was a tomboy who also loved reading and playing with dolls.

Hard work; working hard at whatever I do is part of me.  Before setting out on this adventure as a children’s author, I was (and still am) a Virtual Assistant since 2002.  This background running my own business has helped me immensely as an author.

Inspiration comes from so many directions.  Maybe something I’ve watched on television (as in my next picture book Brave Brian which was inspired by a nature programme), something I’ve seen happen in my own life (I have a poem about my own children) or often something I’ve overheard or misheard (my favourite is when my son misheard a Lego movie and my husband misheard a children’s TV programme which led me to create See-Through Tom and Big Bad Barry – extra points for anyone who can guess the mis-heard names!).  I’m hoping that together Big Bad Barry and See-Through Tom will have their own book one day.  I could also stand for illustrations, obviously very important in picture books, and created for me by my husband, Nic Phine (another pen name borrowed from our children).  I’ll write a future blog on the importance of illustrations, so will leave this here.

Juggling life is part of being a Mum in the 21st century and I’m no different to other Mums in that respect.  What’s in the air (metaphorically) right now?  Is it children, pets, housework, gardening, finances, children’s clubs, cooking, VA work, author work, or maybe if I’m lucky and have planned ahead, a little time for me?

Kids, both my own and those I meet on school visits, inspire me and keep me doing my best in the hope that I can entertain, educate and inspire them in return.  Also, whilst on K, I’ll mention Katie Tysome PR who inspired me to write this first blog.  Many thanks.  Her website is here.

Loving what I do.  Although I’m shy, I love being able to share my stories when I visit children in schools, bookshops and libraries.  In Spring 2019, I am excited to be one of the authors reading at the Essex Book Festival and will also have a week trading in Fenwick, Colchester.  Look out for future blogs giving more details of these events.

Mums!  Just a big shout out to all the fabulous Mums reading this.  Keep reading books with your children, you’ll encourage a love of stories which will last a lifetime.  I know many children hear stories with their Dads, grandparents and other relatives too.  The more the merrier, I say!

Numbers is possibly a surprise on this list from a words person, however numbers are also important in helping a poet to ensure that a poem flows correctly and of course for checking the word count in a story.

Oddities and oddness.  It’s taken a long time, but I think I’m mostly comfortable now with accepting my individuality (or oddities).

Puppets can bring a story to life.  I use them in the storytelling workshops which I run in primary schools to help children develop their own stories.

Quick!  Some of my stories I write quickly in one sitting, others take a little longer.  While my ideas flow, I daren’t leave my writing.  It is a very real possibility that I would forget how the story goes!

Reading is one of my favourite hobbies and can be done anywhere.  My favourite places to read are in the bath (with a glass of wine to hand), in bed before I go to sleep and sitting on a windowsill (so I can enjoy the view and daydream if I pause).  Reading opens you up to new worlds and experiences and I’m never going to stop.

Stories are, of course, my lifeblood.  I don’t think there is anything more to say here.

Time to dream is very important to an author.  I’ve woken a few times from dreams that I’ve had to write down immediately.  Day-dreaming is important too and I urge everyone (including me) to make more time for it.

Unusual ideas and things shouldn’t be dismissed.  You just never know what they may lead to.  I enjoy a good bout of talking nonsense to see where it takes me.

Verse is one of my loves.  I strive to improve my writing and poetry.  I love to create rhymes.

Work is very important to me.  I’m often a little lost if I don’t have work to do.

eXhaustion (sorry I had to cheat with X) regularly comes over me.  A consequence of all the hard work, exercise and life juggling that I do.

YouTube is worth mentioning as I have a few videos on my Josie Dom channel.  I’m plucking up the courage to add more.  Please bear with me.

Zodiac, well I struggled to find a pertinent word for Z, but thought you might like to know my star sign is Scorpio.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my A-Z.  Do let me know if any letters resonate with you.  Some of the letters, I feel, could do with more detail, so I’ll share those in future blogs.  To read more of my musings, please join my e-newsletter list here.

Until the next time, best wishes, Josie x