Sasha Reid has grown up in London where she trained as a teacher for 2 ½ year olds to 6 year olds. She taught for seven years, one year of which being headmistress in a nursery school. Sasha has used her knowledge of children to write a collection of stories to appeal to this age group. The first book due for release before Christmas is called “Waves and Splashes”.
Sasha was responsible for bringing the UK rock band Kasabian to London from Leicester and working with them until they were signed by BMG records (they won a Brit Award this year for best UK band and their third album went in the charts at number 1). She has also worked with many signed/unsigned artists and wrote music reviews for Australian magazine Mink Magazine.
One of the characters from her second children’s book (a penguin chick) is being used as the educational logo for the charity she has set up with London Zoo called Penguin Futures. Penguin Futures is a programme designed to research the impact of climate change on the Antarctic penguins and to educate the public in particular, children on the effects of climate change.
For more information on Sasha Reid’s forthcoming book “Waves and Splashes” or on “Penguin Futures” please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Describe yourself in 3 words: Creative, determined, positive!
Stay positive and you can achieve anything!
When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful?
I used to be a teacher for little children and I started my story telling then, not realising it would turn into a career. All my stories have a hidden meaning in them so they are educational and enjoyable for children and parents! My first story I ever wrote is about a baby hippo who won’t put his head under the water. I used to tell it to my class of children before they would go for their swimming lesson, to encourage them to put their heads under water as when they are very little it can be scary. The whole process of becoming a successful author takes time and hard work.
How many hours did you dedicate to pursuing your dream?
The actual writing of the stories happens quite naturally for me, the ideas will suddenly be in my head and they always come at the most unexpected time, at the supermarket or at a music concert and whenever this happens I will write down the ideas and then quietly sit at my computer and write it up as a story. The whole process of getting a book deal is the bit that takes time as there is a lot of waiting for publishers and agents to get back to you as it is important to find the right agent and the best publisher for your book.
Describe how difficult the business really is?
The publishing world is difficult. If you are looking to have a publishing deal with a major book company, it takes a long time to get your book to the right person in that company and they see so many books each day. It’s no point you sending your children’s book to a publishing house that only publish sailing books! You also need to find an agent – that again takes a lot of research to find the right agent to look after your book. These days a lot of people are self publishing their own books and online companies who provide this service can get your books onto Amazon etc, which is another route you can take.
What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson?
My laptop that had all my stories on broke and I could not retrieve anything from it, so I have learnt to email all my stories to myself and save them all onto a hard drive.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date?
Never give up!
What is the piece of advice that you weren’t?
Don’t take rejection of your stories to heart. It is natural that you will get a rejection letter at some point, but it is important not to dwell on it, read it through so you can see the points they mention and see if there are changes you can make and then move onto the next agent/publisher.
In your mind, is formal training essential?
I never had any training for my writing, I did English at school but I have talked to book agents and other authors about the publishing world.
What are some steps emerging talent can take to start/further their career?
If this is a career you might like to do, start writing down your ideas and making it into a story and then get people you know to give you feedback. When I started writing my stories I asked a relative of mine who is a writer to read my stories and to be honest with me.
What kept you going when you felt like giving up?
The smiles and laughter from children who have read and enjoyed my book.
Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time?
A tough one!! I feel that pure talent eventually shines through whether you are in the right place at the right time or in the wrong place at the wrong time! For me the publishing world has been a journey and I’m glad that it has as I have learnt a lot on my travels and I think if the first agent had said yes I would have taken it all a little for granted, the journey has made me very sure that writing is what I love.