Why I wrote a book
Some people have five-year plans. Some even have ten-year plans. We aren’t those people. We didn’t know a move overseas was even on the cards until December, 2016, when my husband was asked if he wanted a job in London. Less than two months later, we were in England.
Everything we did to get here, we did in a hurry. And most of it, I’d done on my own (purely because of my hubby’s work commitments).
But I was flying blind. I didn’t know anyone in my situation and hadn’t been to the UK since I was a teenager. Everything from renting a home and finding a school to simply getting a phone was a struggle – particularly with two young children in tow.
Of course, like every parent, my prime concern was my kids. My 2-year-old missed friends and daycare but my 5-year-old had so much more to contend with. He had started his first year of school (prep) just three weeks earlier, in Australia. All of a sudden, he’d been whisked halfway around the world and thrown into the depths of Winter - into a classroom where he knew no one. I was so concerned about how the big change would affect him, that I sought help from a child psychiatrist and madly searched the internet for any kind of advice from people who’d been in similar situations. But everything I found was either some sort of veiled advertisement or the exact opposite - sit-on-the-fence type information so coated in government-speak that it didn't actually say anything at all and was totally useless.
So I created my own website.
There were a lot of things I learnt the hard way – my son ended up going to three different schools in his first year and we wasted thousands of dollars on various rental applications. So if this website helps other Aussie families avoid all that, it’s done its job. It’s worth noting too that this website isn’t sponsored in any way.
So why write a children’s book? I followed the psychiatrist’s advice to the letter. She explained I needed to give my kids time to process the move to the UK – and time to ask lots of questions. She also advised reading books to them about England – to find out what excited them about the place so that we could then plan family activities for us all to look forward to within the first few weeks of us arriving.
There are some fabulous books out there about London and its tourist destinations – these were great. But I couldn’t help think how nice it would have been to have found a story about a family relocating overseas just like us – with a character feeling what my child was feeling or facing similar hurdles.
I didn’t find that either.
So I wrote my own book.
A World Away – Lacho, Zarz & the Magic Football is written from the perspective of a child. It explores the feelings a young child experiences when their life changes from having ‘everything familiar’ to ‘everything new and different’ – including the weather!
There's a touch of magic, a dose of reality and a whole lot of fun... with a fabulous lesson for us all. Read more about my book here.