I love making books for family members. I have just produced my fifth book.
I think the latest one may end up being for more than family one day due to its themes of cultural transmission and empowerment of young people, but it gave me such satisfaction to take what I’ve learnt about writing picture books, photographs and a family experience and make it into a special thank you gift.
These limited edition books are so much fun to make because I can send them to someone who I know will definitely appreciate and enjoy them.
I often add poems, or a story I may have written for that person, and some like the 50th anniversary book for my husband, were very involved and many others contributed, that was the most ambitious project to date.
Something about making these books for future generations motivates me, and I’ve long since neglected keeping family albums in favour of making story and memory books.
I realise now sometimes with the photographs I select I don’t need many words to make these books powerful for those they are about.
I remember reading that Anthony Quinn the actor often made gifts for friends and family – unique pieces. He was a talented artist, actor and writer but is more known for his acting.
What a wonderful thing to do! And they are especially special gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.
I don’t know how many more books like this I will manage, but I know that there is always a special reason that each ones comes into being.
I will keep making them as I work on novels, blogs and poems, and perhaps they will be the most precious of the works I leave behind. Who knows what future generations of my family will make of them but they will convey if nothing else my feeling about the people who were with me through the journey of life.
(c) June Perkins