For some light relief from the General Election, we’ve got a review of a brand new book for you. “I Wish I Was A Spaceman” is by independent children’s author John Rankin. It’s definitely a hidden gem. We also got to email John a few questions to ask him about his new book and plans for the future.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I have always written in some way, whether it be music with a guitar, piano, playing in bands. Growing up I enjoyed drawing or creating worlds of my own to laugh with or get stuck into. I’ve had a few ideas on paper for a while now for books and it is just now that I have taken the leap into self- publishing to have my stories out in the big bad world.
Why children’s books specifically?
I get asked this a lot and I find that I get two reactions to it, either confusion or total understanding. Children’s books, specifically the picture book genre have always been of interest to me. They do something that textual based books can’t, speak through pictures which is complete art as well as at points, being able to speak without the need for words at all. I have a love for picture books because of these reasons. I have a vast collection at home, I can’t seem to head into a book shop without picking up something new.
Why a spaceman?
Growing up I have always been fascinated with the deep blue glittery blanket that hovers over us. I still am, I can be found taking my camera and a notepad and going on evening drives in the summer to see the night without the man made light of the big city I live in.
Did you ever dream of being a spaceman yourself?
I have on many of a time growing up, jumped into that old TV box and presented it was my rock ship out of here!
What do you have planned for the future?
I am still new to the business, however I have already finished writing the text for my next two books, so I am going to take my time to plan and organise the final versions of those. I feel I will have the theme of space and the night sky in a few of my books. Although, I have a few fun stories out with that area too that I can’t wait to let you see.
If you were not a children’s author, what would you be?
I play music in my spare time when I can. I love playing music. In saying that, if I wasn’t doing what I do now I wouldn’t be able to say. I feel now that I have taken the leap into children’s books I don’t know what else I have been doing with my time.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration without a doubt is Oliver Jeffers. In my opinion, Oliver has written and illustrated some of the greatest children’s picture books you can lay your hands on. If I was to choose one and only one, I could recommend ‘Lost and Found’ or ‘The Incredible Book Eating Boy!’. Being from Glasgow and with me having a passion for rhyme, I can’t go without mentioning Julia Donaldson also. She lives not that far from me, although sadly I do not know her personally.
Your next book is the ‘The Great Big Scaredasaurus’, what can we expect from that (other than Beebop’s daddy being first in the queue).
‘The Great Big Scaredasaurus’ is going to be a story based around one particular ‘saurus named Danny. Danny is a big mean Dinosaur as you would expect, however… he has a secret! Danny may not be as scary as you might think. This story came to me a while back. I wanted to write a story to imagine the softer, not so much spoken about part of a Dinosaurs personality. Surely they can’t be scary and a meanie all the time!
We got John’s book in the post and couldn’t wait to open it. We read it for bedtime and really, really enjoyed it. Beebop smiled the whole way through the story (so did Beebop’s daddy!).The illustrations reminded us of comic books, which is obviously brilliant. We loved how easy it was to read, it’s perfect for toddlers to listen to or for newly independent readers. It also gets children’s imaginations going and can lead to lots of great role play games and conversations. I Wish I was A Spaceman shows children that it’s never a bad thing to dream big.
To buy the book, go to John’s online store and website by clicking here. John also has Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you like and follow to keep up to date with his news, adventures and a new release coming soon!