I remember having lots of discussions about these books with the editorial team. Inspiration for the series – Lightkeepers – had been coming from all sorts of angles.
‘Wouldn’t it be good to have a book of short chapters on different Christians – something that a child could read on their own?’
‘Each chapter would be a complete story in itself which meant that the reader could feel a sense of achievement within quite a short space of time. Something like that would be the ideal bedtime story for a child just starting chapter books.’
‘Why not add in a devotional section and fact files? This would give the book multiple uses in family worship and education also personal devotions.’
And then there was another idea which I feel really set the series apart – ‘All these famous Christians were children once. Let’s start their stories with an incident from their childhood.’
‘Wouldn’t it be good to have a whole set of these books – some on boys and some on girls.’
The ideas kept coming.
‘It would be great to have a set of ten books…’
But that sounded too good to be true.
‘Perhaps we are overstretching ourselves,’ was the opinion.
To start off with we made a list of ten Christian men and ten Christian women… and then we decided on an author. An important decision but not in the end a difficult one.
‘We’ll need someone we can rely on; someone who knows how to write to a word count and a deadline and someone who can write for children.’
We didn’t have to look far because Irene Howat, the editor of the children’s magazine, The Instructor, was already one of our authors.
And that is the beginning of the story of Lightkeepers.
It’s strange to think of books having their own stories isn’t it? But they do. In the list of characters they have the people who wrote them, edited them, marketed them… there are a whole host of little anecdotes of how they came into being.
When we published Ten boys who Changed the World and Ten Girls who Changed the World – we soon realised that they were being received rather well.
Perhaps the idea of ten books in the series wasn’t so impossible after all.
The next challenge was to think up a list of characters for the next eight books that would eventually be printed… and to keep reprinting the titles that kept vanishing off the shelves.
Visit this link to experience the rest of the story.