Bearsted author Georgina Bryant

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone among us – child or adult – who hasn’t at some point wished they were different.

 

Whether it be appearance, name, abilities, or personality, it’s a sad fact that often the things that are most unique about us are the things we agonise most over and wish we could get rid of. Bearsted author Georgina Bryant tackles this conundrum in her picture book “I Wish My Name Was Different” which was shortlisted for the Stratford/Salariya Children’s Picture Book Prize 2022. It tells the story of a little mermaid named Lorelai who dreams of being a singer but worries that nobody being able to pronounce her name will always get in the way of her achieving her dream. We spoke to Georgina to dig deeper into the personal meaning behind this story.

 

What inspired you to write this story?

My daughter did! We chose an unusual name for her (Lorelai/“Lo-ruh-lye”) and quickly learnt people found it difficult to pronounce. I started writing a poem in my spare time with the aim of teaching Lorelai that everyone should be proud of what makes them unique, including their name. This quickly snowballed into an illustrated 32-page children’s picture book!

 

What do you hope your readers will take away from the book?

I hope the book helps teach children to love their name. It is part of our identity and something we should be proud of.

 

Who are your creative inspirations?

I’m a huge fan of Rachel Bright (author of “The Lion Inside” and “The Worrysaurus”). Her books are always eye-catching and exciting, and they carry meaningful messages. I also love the Elmer books – they’re classics!

 

What was the last great book you read?

Children’s picture book: Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae.

I recently read (Dis)connected by Emma Gannon which examines social media and how it affects our daily lives. It was an interesting read.

 

Will you write more books in the future?

I am in the early stages of my next book now! I hope to release it in the not-too-distant future.

 

You can keep up to date with Georgina Bryant’s writing and other creative work on her website. “I Wish My Name was Different” is available to buy on Amazon.

by Alice Smales

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