Rejections and Reflections

Steppin with Benji Marshall

It’s been three weeks since I released Jammin with Steven Adams and the feedback I’ve received has been awesome and really encouraging!

I’m so thankful to the educators and librarians who took a chance on a self published author for the sake of their students and really happy for the young people I write for.

And I’ve been thinking about how I started writing this series of sports biographies that includes books on Benji M and SBW.

  • It’s late 2010 and a Kiwi teacher based in South Auckland wishes there were more books his students were interested in. Books he’d like to read if he was a student, of sporting heroes, inspirational figures, overcomers …
  • He reads a comment by Toni Morrison: “If there’s a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” He nervously e mails Benji Marshall’s manager and tells him he wants to write a biography of Benji for teenagers. Benji and his manager support the idea!
  • He writes the book and sends it to publishers. “Unfortunately we will not publish this book,” he’s told. “There’s no market for these kinds of books.”
  • He doesn’t agree. He decides to self-publish.
  • It’s hard!
  • He fumbles his way through the process but eventually a box of books arrives on his doorstep. Steppin’ with Benji Marshall is released!“The book is a HUGE hit!!!! Keep writing – a whole series would be awesome!”  Kimberley Atkinson  (Roberston Rd School, Mangere)

    “It has surpassed my expectations.  It’s fabulous!  The kids are going to absolutely love it, and hopefully carry it’s inspirational message away with them. Thank you so much for writing such high-interest, relevant books.  Please keep them coming!”   Jennifer Cunningham (East Tamaki School)

    “It is absolutely fantastic and can be used for my boys.  They will be thrilled. ” Louisa Hala (ASDA High School)

    “This is the first “real” book my son has ever read without having to be nagged to read! I am looking forward to reading it myself – but may have to wait until my partner also reads it since there are daily reviews from his son about the book.”  Melissa, an Auckland mum

I’m writing this post for others out there whose ideas have been rejected, whether rejected by your own thinking or by ‘experts’.

I encourage you to trust yourself and go make something. The world needs it. Can’t wait to see what you make!

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