We are so lucky in the Chaos household, we are inundated with wonderful books to read. But it does mean that I get a little backlogged when it comes to writing about them. This isn’t necessarily an issue for large publishers, but I also like to support small indies and I can’t always guarantee a timely review.
I love the look of The Colourblind Chameleon, and I especially love the message that it’s okay to be different and you can be yourself rather than pretend to be someone you’re not (something I’ve personally struggled with, and still not quite there at almost forty, so a very important message for children of all ages!)
With a release date just before Christmas (it’s out now!), I asked Laura if she’d do an interview for Child-Led Chaos about The Colourblind Chameleon and her plans for the future. Luckily for us, she agreed.
Who are you?! 😉
Hello, I’m Laura Kantor, author of The Colourblind Chameleon and Founder of Squidgy Face Books! I’m originally from Coventry, England but currently live in Singapore with my boyfriend, James.
Can you tell us a bit about The Colourblind Chameleon?
The Colourblind Chameleon is one of the first stories I’ve written, and mine and Sarah’s very first published book! It’s a rhyming story for children which follows a very special chameleon who doesn’t ‘fit in’ with the rest. At first, he really struggles to be like the other chameleons, but eventually he realises that it’s not just good to be different, it’s a lot more fun! It has an important message for children that being different is a good thing, and not to worry about not fitting in, because everyone will find their place eventually.
I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve with the book. I really think it has something for everyone – colourful, hilarious drawings which will make children and adults laugh, but an important underlying message for the reader.
What inspired you to write this story?
When I first started writing stories, they always starred animals with very unusual features (mostly inspired by friends & family – to their horror!). It is really important to me that each book has a clear message for children, particularly around being different and self-esteem.
The Colourblind Chameleon evolved from several other stories i’d written about different animals, and just popped into my head one day. I grabbed a pen and paper and before I knew it, the story was complete!
How did you work on character design and the look of the book?
Sarah Ray: I started off by drawing lots and lots of chameleons (from photos, unfortunately I don’t have a pet one) and from there, kept the features that represented the Chameleon and gave it character, i.e the big boggly eyes, funny feet and curly tail. The main character wanted to be a bit different to the others, so i put him in wellies and pants, for added fun! And also so that he was easily recognisable when he was changing colour throughout the book. I gave his friends slightly different ‘hair’ styles and linked it all together with colour and humour.
I also drew a little blue bug on most of the pages and had fun hiding him – can you find him?
You’re supporting “Baby Lifeline” can you tell us more about the charity and why you chose it?
When I decided to self publish, I really wanted to make a difference to my local community, as well as give people great books to read! Finding a great charity was easy – Baby Lifeline. When my sister was born, she was 11 weeks premature, and the odds of survival were against her. Baby Lifeline is a local charity (based in Coventry) which raises money for special care baby units and maternity equipment nationwide, and they are the reason my sister is alive today. As I am abroad so much, I always miss the events and fun runs that my family attend, so this is my way of giving back.
What do you think are the benefits (and drawbacks!) of independent publishing?
Pros: Having total control of the work, from the creative elements to the marketing (which I absolutely loved!) and actually being able to have a book out there for people to buy! Honestly, watching my friends and family read my book is so amazing , and hearing all the positive feedback has been a dream come true.
Cons: It’s a lot of work, and it can be quite scary! I particularly struggled when creating the actual eBook, everything kept going wrong and no one seemed to actually know what to do, so it was a bit of worry. Luckily everything is sorted now!
Do you have any future projects you’d like to share?
Well, we have lots of other fun and exciting stories in the pipeline, featuring snails, bees and worms to name a few! I’d also love to create an interactive children’s book, so if The Colourblind Chameleon is successful, this is definitely something we can work on in the near future.
I like to give huge thanks to Laura and Sarah for this interview, and best wishes for The Colourblind Chameleon.