How come that you want to write a book? Why did you decide for a folktale? Why bilingual? … Some of the many questions from my friends when I told them about my book project. Here I would like to sum up how the idea was born and how the project began.
We have a lot of books, among them there are many Vietnamese ones. How many times I read Vietnamese books to my children and translated them to German. Every time I wonder why we don’t have any German-Vietnamese books. That would make my life so easier.
I did an investigation. There are some German-Vietnamese children’s books on the German market, but no stories. Then the questions pop-up: if German-Vietnamese, why not English-Vietnamese, French-Vietnamese? What’s about German-English or German-French? So I got the idea of publishing bilingual children’s books.
I love tales, fables and legends which are passed down from generation to generation orally. Overall they teach children values, tell about good & evil and end with a moral statement. While reading Vietnamese tales to my kids, I constantly changed the story or improvise a little, so that the story is easy to understand for them. Thus the idea of retelling Vietnamese tales came up.
It would be fantastic if many kids would get to know the Vietnamese tales, especially kids with Vietnamese roots like mine. My idea was:
- keep the core of the tale
- to minimize the brutal acts or bad intentions
- to make the plot exciting
- to prove the story to be easy-to-understand and easy-to-read
- to add a message encouraging the children to think about the current global issues
The idea was born, but it took years to start the project. How should I start? When should I do that, between children, man, work and household? Do I have the ability to write and draw? What if I can’t find a publisher? There are so many great children’s books, who should buy a children’s book from an unknown author? … so many questions!
In April 2017, during our 7-week parental leave in Vietnam, we made the decision for the book project . The time before parental leave was very stressful. Compared to it, our time in Vietnam was super relaxed. We were able to evaluate and question our everyday life. We decided for me to take a timeout from my work and start the book project. Luckily my former boss fully supported me and fought for my timeout. My one-year timeout started in October 2017 – also with the goal to accompany our big daughter within her first months in school and to have a quiet and relaxed family life.
I’ll publishing more posts about my book project in the coming weeks. I will appreciate any feedbacks or if you like them.