Magic Storytelling

Emily is a children's author who has dyslexia and dyscalculia. She is passionate about visiting schools across the UK to inspire children to overcome their learning differences and reach their true potential. She has written a book series called 'My Incredible Adventures', based on Mia the Husky. Her stories are beautifully illustrated and will captivate any child's imagination. I recently caught up with Emily- here's what she had to say!

When did you start to write children's stories?

I self-published my first children’s book ‘Mia – My Incredible Adventure in Looe’ at the end of November 2018 but the planning for this book took me three years. I didn’t believe I could do it, snippets of ideas started to come to me and as I started to research and explore the different places in Looe, Cornwall, I had an idea to make the book like a tour of this beautiful place with real bits of history in the book. Mia was always attracting children’s attention with her eyes “Mummy that dog has a white eye” or “oh is that a wolf dog”. I decided to write her as the main character and for her blue eye to hold the magic power which changes with each book.

Many people dream of writing a children's book, what propelled you to make it happen?

With my dyslexia growing up it always made me feel stupid like I wasn’t in with the ‘it’ crowd and that I was different. Being told you are dumb and stupid does affect how you see yourself, however, I decided to fight this perception by giving writing a go. I am a very determined and driven person, if I want to try something, I will. So, I started to note down ideas and Mia, my main character was born.

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration for your story plots?

My main inspiration comes from my dyslexia It is my superpower after all! But really, I’d have to say my inspiration comes from the world around me, the people I have met and the beautiful animals this world has. If you watch and learn you will come up with some amazing stories.

It was easier to write a story about Mia as I knew her character.  She was a funny dog, the little tricks she would do to get your attention made her so lovable! I would add the funny, unique things she would do into my stories. She has proven to be a popular character and one that children love!

Tell us about the 'real' Mia the husky dog?

I bought Mia from a breeder in Wales when she was 8 weeks old, and she was such a handful when she was little, always digging up the garden, eating the plants, running away or eating my walls and furniture and I really did think “OH MY, WHAT HAVE I DONE”.

However, when she reached 5 years old something changed in her; we could let her off the lead and she would walk along with us. She was a funny girl, if you walked past her and didn’t acknowledge her, she would howl at you to say HELLO! The best memory I had of her is she loved cornfields, she would jump through them with glee, she loved corn on the cobb. I remember one day walking in a town, we walked past a grocery store with baskets outside and as we walked by, she picked one up. I had to go back and pay for the corn on the cobb that she had snatched!

Which book are you most proud to have written and why?

I love Lady the Ladybug as it’s about my journey with dyslexia and the ethos to never give up and never give in, no matter what life throws at you. It talks about different aspects of dyslexia that children might not know about and accompanying this are the beautiful, fun pictures that my mother has painted for the book. My mum Pat Thuysbaert illustrates all my books for me.

All my books have an interactive element, such as games, puzzles or something else for children to do.

Is there a theme that runs through your books?

Magic is the theme that runs through all my books as I want to let people know that dyslexics have magic brains. But doing this in a fun and interactive way for children to enjoy and learn from.

Also, another theme that runs through my books is the importance of friends and to never be ashamed to ask for help. We all need a lending hand one time or another.

What drives you to continue to write more stories?

My brain! It never stops. For example, over lockdown, I came up with 10 different story ideas. I find myself having a dream and then waking up and writing down what I have seen. Some of my most weird and wonderful ideas have come from a place of dreams!

My next challenge is to write a novel. I have a few ideas and have been involving other budding artists who are dyslexic, to help with the illustrations. I have had some amazing responses and there are so many talented people out there. But it’s always about giving people a chance!

What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t worry so much, it will all work out!

For more details about Emily Thuysbaert and ‘Mia the Magic Husky’ please visit www.facebook.com/myincredibleadventures

Posted on October 16th 2020

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