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Business, Books and Babies - Jackie's story

Hi, I’m Jackie, I’m 29, married and a mum of 2.

I work full time as a clinical photographer in the NHS while also running my freelance photography business and promoting my first children’s book.

It sounds like a lot, which at times it can be, but I enjoy being busy and doing what I am passionate about.

I have ran my own freelance photography business for 9 years now, all while promoting it and getting my name known. Over the years I have grown in confidence as a person and managed to get work in the kind of photography that I enjoy most, rather than having to accept any work I was offered. This took a lot of time approaching the right people but over time, has paid off.

Becoming a mother spurred me on to achieve this as I wanted my children to be proud of me and I want to be someone who they can look up to as they grow up.

I have a 5-year-old son and a 10-month-old girl, and my biggest achievement yet was publishing my first children’s book while I was on maternity leave last year.

Ever since I was a teenager, I had always wanted to publish a book. Although I had ideas for stories over the years, it wasn’t until early last year when the idea of writing a picture book came to me. This is when I started writing my book. I was around 4 months pregnant at the time and ended up writing the ideas on the notepad on my phone whenever I was out and about and had an idea pop into my head. When I had enough writing, I then moved onto my laptop where I could sit down and write properly.

I went on maternity leave at the beginning of June 2021 and it was then that I knew I needed to take the opportunity to finish the book and look into getting it published before my daughter was born.

I approached a hybrid publisher based in Derby called Green Cat Books and got in touch with a couple of illustrators. By the time I had my daughter, the writing was all done and I had chosen the illustrator for my book! In fact, I remember going into hospital to be induced on the 19th July and later that day, I was messaging Abbie Barbara, the illustrator, I chose to work with.

About a month or 2 later, once I had gotten used to being a mother of 2 and was in a bit of a routine, I finally signed contracts with the publisher and illustrator and started my journey of turning my writing into a real book. My book was finally released 1st December, just in time for Christmas.

I soon realised that releasing my book during maternity leave, was actually the most perfect timing with being off work and at home most of the time with a new baby. I used my time efficiently (whilst sat on the sofa breastfeeding and eating biscuits) to create an active presence on social media as an author, which was a completely new world to me. On Instagram, there is a huge book community, full of authors, illustrators, book reviewers and publishers. It was an exciting time for me and even now that I’m back at work, I am still actively posting, but not as often due to limited time.

Feel free to follow my Instagram account:

I am aiming to release more books down the line but for now, I am concentrating on promoting my book When I Grow Up: Dinosaurs. It's a non-fiction book about dinosaurs but written like a story. I wanted a book that was educational but fun at the same time. I also wanted to write it in a way that made it easier for children to take in facts.

Creating a picture book meant that I could partner up the writing with bright, colourful illustrations that children would love to see and engage with. Facts that are based on size or weight are compared with real life objects, vehicles or animals to help children imagine easier.

The book is aimed at ages 3-8 years old and is available to purchase via Amazon at:

Thank you for reading! 😊


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