Sabrina’s Summer Saga
Christchurch author publishes children’s book, based on step-daughter.
Christchurch author Michele McConnochie is proud a book she wrote to get her step-daughter reading is now on sale worldwide.
The Uncooperative Flying Carpet was released on August 7, under American publisher Morgan James KIDS (a division of Morgan James Publishing).
McConnochie said how her step-daughters lack of interest in books motivated her to write fictional stories.
“She used to love playing at bed time and didn’t want to read books … but if I wrote stories she was the star of she was much more interested and would read them.”
It forms the first part of her trilogy, The Strange Sagas of Sabrina Summers and is based on fairy-tale characters such as Rapunzel.
Morgan James Publishing turned out to be the perfect fit for the Welsh born writer, as it is interested in authors who are passionate about their message.
Growing up in the 1970s when feminism was at its height, McConnochie has seen the shift in the way society expected girls to appear or behave, instead of them playing and having fun.
“I wanted to have a really strong female role model for girls.”
The main character, Sabrina, is a girl who does not want to be a leader but everyone looked up to her, McConnochie said.
She saw these characteristics in her step-daughter and was taken back when her reaction was “oh no, I’m a girl, so I can’t be a leader”.
This led to McConnochie writing pieces that would challenge children’s thinking in a fun way.
“I want to make the world a better place. I want children to grow up thinking that they can make a difference.”
These valuable messages are intertwined throughout the trilogy and Sabrina’s character.
“By the end of the trilogy, she’s come to terms with who she is and ends up in a position of great power … but chooses to be democratic in how she deals with it.”
Now McConnochie has completed the trilogy, she hopes her American publishers will take on the second and third stories.
“Children like series books – they like to know the second and third books are there … and they can see them on the shelves together.”
The Uncooperative Flying Carpet is available worldwide on Amazon and in stores around New Zealand, Australia, America and the United Kingdom.
McConnochie has also released a dyslexia-friendly version, allowing children of any ability to have access to her work.
Dyslexia-friendly books are printed on cream paper and designed to be easier to read – with bigger font size, spacing, and the bottom half of the text being bolder.
McConnochie is showing no signs of slowing down and with a whiteboard full of ideas, she plans to transform the book into a play, while she has a young adult series on crime, and a travel book in the pipeline.