In The Shadow Of An Elephant
Written by: Georgie Donaghey
Illustrated by: Sandra Severgnini
One terrible night the ground rumbled, and dark shapes appeared in the distance. A cracking sound tore through the air, Lualani’s life was changed forever.
‘Don’t be afraid. ‘I will look after you.’ Jabari reached out his hand.
A life-long friendship set on the edges of the African Savanna. Through life’s challenges they will embrace the joys of dancing in the shadow of an elephant.
About the Author
Georgie Donaghey is a published author, editor, mentor, radio host and founder of Creative Kids Tales. Her picture books include Lulu, released by Wombat Books, Clover’s Big Ideas, published by Little Pink Dog Books, and In the Shadow of an Elephant, due for release in 2019. Besides publication in the Heat Anthology (for adults) she is also the publisher of The Creative Kids Tales Short Story Collection Vol 1 & 2. Her stories feature on Kinderling Kids Radio. Lulu can also be enjoyed by young travellers through both the Virgin and Qantas inflight entertainment channels.
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What was the inspiration behind In The Shadow Of An Elephant?
After losing my mother a couple of years ago to Lewey Body Dementia and Cancer, I wanted to write about death. Rather than focus on death more a celebration of life.
While researching, I came across the beautiful Lualeni. Her story inspired me.
One terrible night the ground rumbled, dark shapes appeared in the distance. A cracking sound tore through the air, Lualani’s life was changed forever.
In the Shadow of an Elephant is a gentle story about sorrow and determination. Of friendship between boy and elephant set on the African Savanna. Through life’s challenges, they will embrace the joys of dancing in the shadow of an elephant.
Within 24 hours of submitting my manuscript to a publisher, it had been accepted. To further celebrate this story’s success, the book sold out before going to print. In the Shadow of an Elephant will be released in April at the Creative Kids Tales Writers’ Festival.
I felt an immediate connection with Lualeni. My excitement grew with the discovery of her first calf. Born in 2018 the young one had been named Lulu. My first book released in 2016 was called Lulu.
Now a proud foster parent of Lualeni through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, I hope In the Shadow of an Elephant might help raise awareness about poaching with the Australian reading public.
You said you researched for this story. Is that something you do for every piece you write?
Yes, absolutely. I research on the internet, read books and absorb myself as much as I can with the characters and their environments. Kids can smell a mile off if something’s not right so unless you are creating a unique world there are certain things you’ll need to know. For In the Shadow of an Elephant I watched documentaries about elephants – how they played together, behaved while grieving and how they interacted with humans. I think research is essential.
How do you get from ‘idea’ to ‘ready for submission’? Do you have help during this process?
I work on stories for a long time, generally years before I submit them. They sit for a while and then I pull them out and re-write them. I’m fortunate enough to work with an independent editor. Once I feel my story is strong enough, I send to her for comment. She lets me know what’s working and what’s not.
How would you suggest writers go about getting published?
First and foremost your writing must be good. It needs to stand above the rest. You need to offer a uniqueness that will make your work stand out. Research the publishers you want to submit to. Does your submission fit with the types of books they publish? Have you edited and polished your story to within an inch of its life? Is your cover letter clear and concise? If you take the time to do all these things and follow the guidelines set out by the publishers you will have a much stronger chance than those who don't tick off these boxes. Publishers want to know they can work with you. It's a business, and you are a product to sell
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
You have to commit if you want to learn the craft of writing. Excuses have no place in this industry. Listen to those who have travelled the road before you. Guidelines are in place for a reason – follow them. But most of all never give up!