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Bahrain-based writer inspiring young minds

Leisure
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A Bahrain-based writer who made her publishing debut last year is set to release four more children’s books this year.

American Julia Miles Inserro’s first book, Nonni’s Moon, became an Amazon best seller and remains in the top one per cent ranking of all books sold by the online retailer.

It was this huge success that led Ms Inserro to pursue her dreams of moving forward with writing, hiring illustrators and publishing more books.

Though it wasn’t her intention to have four books in production simultaneously, the 48-year-old mother of three told the GDN that they were different stories with different looks and requirements.

“I have four talented illustrators working hard on

them,” she added.

Each of the titles, which are independent of each other, are in various stages of production, but Ms Inserro, who has lived in Bahrain since 2016, expects My Camel Wants to be a Unicorn to be the first to be released.

“I will be trying out Amazon’s print-on-demand paperback option for My Camel Wants To Be a Unicorn, so that one may be available first,” she said.

“The other three will be printed as hardbacks, so they will need three months to go through that stage after the illustrations are complete.

“Depending on when they’ll all be ready to ship to Amazon, I would stagger the releases at least a month apart.”

Expected for release later this summer, My Camel Wants to be a Unicorn is a picture book aimed at children aged from four to eight.

It tells the story of a little girl’s camel who is sad and keeps trying to put different things on her head to become a unicorn, but why would she want to become a unicorn when she’s a fabulous camel?

“The book is currently being illustrated by Tanja Varcelija, from Serbia,” said Ms Inserro.

“It’s a silly story that Tanja’s illustrations have completely brought to life, and the world needs more camel stories.

“The message I hope readers will take is maybe your first impression of someone isn’t correct, but hang out with them a little and see if you can learn more.”

The other titles in production are Where Would Santa Go?, The Great Book Switcheroo, and Dinosaurs in the Hardware Store.

“(In Where Would Santa Go?), Lucy and Joseph get a whirlwind trip on Christmas Eve to all of Santa’s favourite places, including Antarctica, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Nepal and Oman among others,” she said.

Illustrated by Natalie Merheb, an American living in Dubai, the book aims to inspire readers to know more about geography.

“One fun thing about working with great illustrators is that they can become collaborators, too,” added Ms Inserro.

“In this case, Natalie made some suggestions and even after she had signed on to illustrate it, I did some massive rewrites.

“I love what we have created together.”

The Great Book Switcheroo is currently being illustrated by Lucy Smith from the UK, who illustrated Nonni’s Moon, while the Dinosaurs in the Hardware Store is being illustrated by Luis Peres from Portugal.

With the intention of sparking children’s imagination, the book features a teddy that goes missing and the other characters must search the books to find him.

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