Hi! I’m Kirsty Lee Hutton, an Aussie author with a pretty ordinary, but equally wonderful, life. The Kingsley Kids is a project I’ve been working on for years; I think I wrote the first story back in about 2013.
Eventually I wrote a few more Kingsley Kids stories and decided to publish them. Back in the day, I combined the first three stories into one book called The Adventures of the Kingsley Kids. I had a friend draw the images, and while I absolutely loved these books, I realised that putting all three stories into one book hadn’t been the best idea. It was too long and the text was a little too small. There are still a few copies of these floating around for sale, but I eventually gave lots of them away to schools. (And if you’re in Australia and want some freebies for your school or your own kids, let me know.)
I got great feedback on the stories from children who read them, and enough kids asked me what happened to the Kingsley Kids next to inspire me to write more.
The passing of time saw Amazon go from strength to strength, and with a little research I figured out I could list my books for sale there with minimal upfront investment. I wanted to give the books a new look, and found an incredibly talented eleven year old boy to create the characters for me. Some clicking and dragging in iStudio later and I had new covers and a new audience… the world!
There are more adventures to come
I was not even halfway through writing The Invisible Spray (the first story) when I decided the Kingsley Kids had more than just one adventure in them. The end of that story easily opened up the idea for the next one.
Even when the Babatool Banquet (story three) wrapped up my mind was on the next storyline, and I’m always thinking of other adventures the children could experience.
People ask me where my ideas come from and I can’t really give a coherent answer. I guess I just think about what would have intrigued me as a child, and work with that. I try to weave in magic and mystery into the story in a way that young minds could just about believe.
When my nephew asked my sister if Munkens were real, she told him she thought I’d probably made them up. He thought for a moment and told her that we couldn’t really be sure that they didn’t exist. I love that! Kids should have the freedom to let their imaginations run wild, and be open to all manner of possibilities in the world.
Spreading the word
That pretty much brings us to now. I’m now exploring social media, mostly Instagram and Facebook to try and spread the word about my books. Successful entrepreneur and marketing genius, Gary Vaynerchuk, makes anything seem possible with enough hard work.
I love writing and am lucky that I can create without needing to make a business out of it, but I’d also love more kids to enjoy the stories I create. There’s something wonderful about a child’s imagination and knowing I’ve been able to entertain them for a short time.
I have a set audience in my nephews, and a willing model and promoter in Henry (the youngest, his older brother is less keen to pose for me)!
Reading seems a little old-fashioned these days, but I think it’s such an important skill to master. As long as kids are enjoying the books I’ll try to get more children involved. Stay tuned for more blogs, posts, photos and videos all aimed at spreading the word about the Kingsley Kids.
And of course, keep an eye out for future releases of Kingsley Kids stories. There are more adventures with magic slime, secret fairies, talking toys and perhaps a couple of witches to be had!