DAVID UNWIN / Tips
Palmerston North children’s author Kaye Arnott is launching her new book, The Fall of the Ball, at the Palmerston North City Library on Tuesday.
A children’s author from Palmerston North is about to launch her fourth book, working with a young artist who brought her words to life.
Kaye Arnott has been selling her children’s book series, The Dog and the Mog, in New Zealand bookstores since 2019.
She didn’t expect to become a writer until the birth of her first grandchild prompted her to make up stories to share with the child.
His latest book, The fall of the ball, was the first to move away from these characters and was portrayed by talented Manawatū artist Leanne Reynolds, Arnott said.
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She wrote seven adventures for The Dog and the Mog before trying to sell the first to a publisher in 2014.
“It was very demoralizing. Most publishers in those days weren’t accepting new children’s books and the ones that were wouldn’t give you a peek unless you were already a known author.
Arnott still wanted to share the stories and ultimately decided to self-publish the series.
“It was a lot more work than I thought it would be, to be honest, but it was very rewarding.”
The fall of the ball was written just as her first self-published book was starting to gain traction.
Arnott said a friend involved with the Manawatū Jets suggested he write a story about basketball.
So Arnott made up the story of a boy named Finn and his dog Charlie trying to learn to play the game.
At first they are terrible and not a lot of fun, but they learn that with persistence, teamwork, and help, they can have fun learning how to become good at something.
Arnott met Reynolds in 2015, when the artist was looking for an illustration project for his final assessment of a bachelor’s degree in applied visual imagery at UCOL.
Arnott said Reynolds decided to illustrate The fall of the ball and brought the story to life with creativity and verve.
Reynolds got top marks for the book and graduated top of his class. She is now a professional illustrator and designer.
The book sat on the back burner for years until Arnott was ready and able to publish a fourth book himself.
The Fall of the Ball kicks off with a reading at the Palmerston North City Library on Tuesday at 10 a.m.