Melody Trumpet came to me in an instant. I was already overcommitted with writing projects, but this idea demanded to be heard from the beginning. It may have been that my brain was weary from months of torturous edits on my third young adult novel, or because I was standing in my beloved Officeworks (Hello, my name is Gabrielle Tozer and I am a stationery addict), but the creative stars aligned that day.
Most conveniently, and unusually for me, the idea for this middle-grade novel arrived almost whole – an experience I’d rarely had the pleasure of enjoying in my career before. (I was more accustomed to dragging unwilling ideas out of my brain and forcing them to join me on the page.) This idea wasn’t complete yet, but it was meaty and bursting with possibility. Once I dared to let myself imagine this bright and bold world of music prodigies, street performers and power-hungry villains, the gaps filled in quickly. So quickly, in fact, I came to a halt from overloading my Officeworks basket with more unnecessary stationery and emailed myself everything I could remember from my flash of inspiration.
Now, I was more than just a vessel for this idea, I was an active participant in its development, of course, but oh, there was something mysterious about its first stages. Something marvelous. In fact, the arrival of this idea – the speed of it, the intensity, the vivid nature of it – felt nothing short of magical. Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert may even go so far as describing the sensation as experiencing “big magic”.
Writing can be a hard, lonely and crushing gig at times. You spend a lot of your career alone, slogging it out at your desk, often questioning and overthinking everything to get your story just right. The words are often on strike, the deadlines are always looming… and did I mention you want to get everything just right?
So it was pretty spectacular to get the chance to experience a little bit of magic during my most recent creative process. That magic? Well, it made Melody Trumpeta pleasure to write (which cannot be said for all my previous writing experiences). And that magic? Well, it’s what made me fall in love with reading and books in the first place – and that’s what will keep me writing for the rest of my life. One thing’s for sure (and it’s a journey my dear Melody also embarks on): try to take the time to find the thing in life that brings you the most joy, and then spend as much time doing that thing as possible. That’s where the magic lies.
Creativity for kids
Want to spark some magic in your children’s lives?
- Take them to art galleries, shows, exhibitions, museums, libraries, botanical gardens, concerts… anywhere with new things to watch, do or learn! Yes, some may have a heftier price tag but you may be surprised by how many outings are free or only include a small admission fee.
- Encourage ‘writing first, editing later’ so they get their idea on the page before their inner critic takes over and sabotages the process.
- Challenge them to fun mini writing tasks – no grades necessary! Use it as a chance to help them let their imaginations go wild.
- Take them on a trip to the shops and let them pick out their own special writing journals where they can write, draw and stick in anything and everything that inspires them.
- Most importantly, keep it fun!
Melody Trumpet is released January 29, 2019
Gabrielle Tozer is an award-winning and internationally published author and freelance writer based in Sydney, Australia. She has published five books, including the young adult novels Remind Me How This Ends, Faking Itand The Intern, which won the 2015 Gold Inky Award. Her first picture book, Peas and Quiet(illustrated by Sue deGennaro), was published in 2017, as was her young adult contemporary short story ‘The Feeling From Over Here’ (featured in Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology). Melody Trumpet,which hit shelves in 2019, is her first children’s novel. Say hello: gabrielletozer.com.