Sunshine Coast resident Lincoln Rawlins launched his debut book, Sprout’s Idea. At the tender age of eight he is not only inspiring a new generation of storytellers, but is one of Australia’s youngest published authors.
Sprout’s Idea follows the story of a young seedling who inspired much older forest trees to work together to overcome a veil of negativity plaguing their home. The story has themes of hope and teamwork, as the main character uses kindness and positivity to overcome the evil Shade Man.
Even before the book was officially released in August, it was getting national attention from celebrated Australian author Andy Griffiths (the Treehouse book series).
“I love a good villain and there is no one as villainous as Shade Man,” Griffiths said earlier this year.
Having the support of someone as hugely successful as Griffiths is something Lincoln doesn’t take for granted. The Treehouse series has sold more than 10 million copies in Australia alone. Griffiths has also won numerous Australian Book Industry Awards.
“Who doesn’t like a story about trees? It’s all I write about these days. It’s a beauty, it’s got shade, it’s got light, it’s got heroes, it’s got villains, it’s got a message… I can’t figure out how to get those things into my books!” Griffith says.
How Lincoln’s idea sprouted
Sprout’s Idea started as a short story Lincoln was asked to write and present at the Sunshine Coast Secret Oasis Festival in March. He was the youngest speaker at the event. His brief was to write a story that would inspire hope for a brighter future.
Reading his story to a crowd of more than 100 people is an experience Lincoln will never forget. It also made it clear to the youngster that Sprout had a bigger future than that single event.
“There were so many people who came up to me and said they loved the story and how it would make a great book, so I decided to do it,” Lincoln says.
Lincoln refined his book over eight versions. He was guided by children’s author Kellie Byrnes and his mum, award-winning writing mentor Roxanne McCarty-O’Kane. Sprout was brought to life by Sydney-based illustrator Cara Ord.
“The illustrator and I worked together to make sure the characters looked like how I had them in my mind,” Lincoln says.
From start to finish, Lincoln’s book took five months.
A story to inspire
“From the moment Lincoln decided to transform his story into a children’s book, he declared Andy Griffiths should read it,” Ms McCarty-O’Kane says.
She says the author has been incredibly supportive of Lincoln since they reached out to him.
“It has a wonderful message for all of us about shining a light onto the world and not putting others into the shade,” Mr Griffiths says.
Lincoln hopes anyone who reads his book think about the words they speak and their actions towards others.
You can purchase Sprout’s Idea at www.sproutsidea.com
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