I started writing and publishing as a child!
by Zak Zaikine
(Healdsburg, CA, USA)
The Magic of Hanalei Bay
When I created my first children's books, I was a youngster myself. It was during the summer of 1950, when I was eight years old, living in New York.
As far back as I could remember, I wanted to be an artist. With scissors, colored pencils, paper and a stapler, I created my first books. I was able to put together about twelve pages and a cover stock cover and make, if memory serves me, six original copies that I then took around my suburban neighborhood and sold to neighbors.
(Who knows? A copy may still be around somewhere!)
My father was Russian and a respected muralist in New England. He gave me my first tools for making art. My mother read fairy tales to me every night. My third grade teacher read and told us stories every afternoon, and my wonderful, magical grandmother (my babushka) told me fantastic tales of old Russian fables passed down from generation to generation.
Her heritage was Russian and she was born in Siberia, where shamanic myths originated.
Self-publishing and marketing was fun and rewarding as a child, and I continue to enjoy it. Currently my three recent written and illustrated books The Magic of Hanalei Bay, A Mother's Love, and Eugene and the Magical Carrot Tree are enjoying wide appreciation. Created with my dearest friend and editor Karin O'Keefe, these books have not only won the hearts of friends and family, but also the buying public.
In self-publishing, feedback is essential. Validation of accomplishments is needed by an independent person or community (such as a juried competition).
There are many competitions, especially for self-published authors, like Writer's Digest's. A great selection can be found by Googling self-published children's book awards.
P.S. These books of mine are signed limited first edition. Purchasers from my web site receive not only an autographed, personally dedicated copy, but also a small hand drawing on the first page. Self publishers have to give that little something extra!
Visit Zak's website.
Read about two authors who are still children.