SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT. Grandma’s Face tells her Story AUTHOR ELAINE MCKAY.

Like most people, I wrote stories as a kid. They were awful, and as I was obsessed with dancing at the time, usually involved some sort of dance-based tragedy. 

As an adult, I didn’t let anyone read my stories for a good, long while. I write in two different genres. I write flash fiction and texts for children’s picture books. When I found a blog called CAKE that was trying to encourage writers of flash fiction to improve their skills, I decided to post some of my work. The writers I found there were talented and incredibly supportive. My confidence grew from that point, and I decided to submit some flash fiction to magazines. I have stories published in various places online, including 100wordstory, Flash Fiction Magazine and Literary Orphans. I also have work published in a number of print anthologies, including Paper Swans Press’ ‘School Days’ and The Scottish Book Trust’s ‘Treasures.’

Along the way, I met a fabulous pack of writers called the Flashdogs who have been a tremendous source of encouragement.

Buy direct from etreasures publishing, or Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Where texts for children were concerned, I had been writing stories for my own family for quite a while. ‘Grandma’s Face Tells Her Story’, though, had a special meaning for me. Thankfully, when I plucked up the courage to send it out into the world, the editors at eTreasures publishing liked it, and that meant I was on my way to having a children’s book published. It was so wonderful to have the chance to dedicate a book to my four kids, and their grans. My own mum passed away before ever getting to meet my kids, so it was particularly poignant for me to see this story in print. I was lucky, too, to be teamed with the book’s illustrator, Lynne Bendoly. The book is in rhyme and celebrates the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren. It also views the ageing process in a positive light which I feel strongly about. I feel women, in particular, are told by the media that they are not allowed to age. The story centres around how fascinating the little girl finds her grandmother’s features. The real story, as Grandma settles in to sing a lullaby, is written on Grandma’s face.

Some of the writers I admire are Julia Donaldson, Neil Gaiman, Oliver Jeffers, Rachel Joyce and Kate Atkinson, obviously, there are many more. 
I love theatre and film. Now, I have four kids, though, I have to make do with DVDs and Catch-up television. I love music. My musical tastes are firmly stuck in the 90s despite my kids’ best efforts to update them. 
I am at the moment concentrating on texts for children. I have a Christmas story that I have completed so the next step is trying to find a home for it.  
I guess, I write because I love reading. I also love the snap of satisfaction when an idea is conveyed concisely. I think, as a reader and writer, I’ll keep coming back for that.

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