A passion for teaching English online and a need to inspire & educate more children led Francilla Bekker to write her first children’s book. Thankfully, she found us to help with the rest of the book publishing process. Over the past few months we have been hard at work, helping her bring her literary dream to life. A creative & engaging book that I really hope is the first of many more.
Your author name
Francilla Bekker (pen name of Teacher Cilla)
Your book title
Give us the elevator pitch for your book?
Tom and his parents stop at the Tshokwane picnic spot while visiting the Kruger National Park. He follows a beautiful butterfly and gets lost. No problem, his new-found animal friends help him. Each animal has a unique way of finding each other in the wild and they demonstrate this to Tom in order to help him find his parents.
What would you give as your main reason or goal for writing?
I’m an online English tutor and during a conversation with a Turkish mom who struggles to find suitable books for her two-year-old boy, I realised that there is a need for stories for kids learning English as a second language. On a Safari trip in the Kruger Park, we were halted by a big elephant bull standing in the middle of the road. While waiting for it to move, the driver told us how lions find each other in the long grass after a hunt – they have black spots behind their ears to be more visible. That sparked the idea for a story: the animals would help the lost boy find his parents. I would love to help the children of the world to experience our lovely wildlife through picture story books.
Who was the book written for?
Young kids learning English.
How long did it take for you to finish the final draft of your book?
I wrote the story while waiting to board at the Hoedspruit airport and I continued writing on the flight back to Cape Town after my visit to the Kruger.
What makes this book different from others on the shelf?
I plan to incorporate easy grammar focus points in each book so moms can help their children understand the language better.
What was the hardest part of the writing journey for you?
Finding an illustrator and publisher, but now I’m over the moon with both!!
(Dave: Thanks Francilla 🥰)
Your favourite place to write?
Hard to say, maybe airports and planes? I’ll have to wait and see, this was my first try.
What kept you motivated to write during the times you felt stuck?
All the other ideas for books that’s now in my head kept me motivated through the whole process.
Tell us something about yourself that readers would not be able to guess?
Apart from my desire to make children happy? I’m a tea lover, I regard tea as a gift from the gods.
Have you written any other books?
I wrote the first three chapters of a romantic story about young people navigating work and play but I lost the inspiration after a few personal hardships. I plan to finish it one day.
Assuming you may not write full time, what is your day job?
How should someone get in touch with you?