FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Davin Chia didn’t set out to become a children’s picture book author, but months of COVID lockdown changed all that.
Whilst working on a novel, Davin wanted his children to have a project that would feed their imaginations and fill the countless hours of lockdown mundanity. His children loved reading, but Davin noticed that many of the books they read were fun and silly, yet didn’t really add value to their lives.
So, he asked his 6 and 9-year-old sons, Luke and James, to share stories with him while he carefully curated them into what would become their first published children’s story.
‘The Lost Animals’ features their pet rabbit ‘Mr Chompers’. The boys had always wanted a dog, so they ‘imagined’ a little sausage dog ‘Jeff’ into the story. A game of ‘chasey’ leads Chomp and Jeff into a bamboo forest where they meet some pandas, helpful characters who were inspired by Luke’s favourite toy.
Sadly, Mr Chompers passed away before the book was launched, so Davin and the boys lovingly dedicated the story to him.
The creative drawings in ‘The Lost Animals’ are the work of an exceptionally talented high school student from Davin’s church.
‘Mate Who Skates’ is Davin’s most recently released book and is a story about friendship, finding the courage to try new things and learning from mistakes.
Through these stories, Davin shares Christian values like stewardship, courage, loyalty, generosity and kindness. Although he chose not to use overtly Christian language, making the books accessible to kids from a variety of family belief systems, his Christian beliefs are at the core of his books.
Davin Chia was born in Singapore, where he developed a love for stories, but never dabbled in creative writing. Then he came to Australia to study and that’s where he met and married his wife. They now live in the ACT with their two sons.
Writing for Government departments is where Davin developed his writing skills and his passion for creative writing.
“I create art with words. That’s my passion, and writing for a living is a true privilege,” Davin said.
“Writing children’s picture books is my favourite type of writing. It allows me to be a child again and let my imagination run wild. In which profession does a person get to do that and cut loose? In what job can one entertain and hopefully educate the young minds?
“When it comes to writing, we, the authors, are in control of the purpose of the book and its characters.
“We decide what we are writing about and who we are writing to. That’s how we start and base the structure upon that. Who is the writing for? What do we want it to achieve? These are the questions we have to ask ourselves before we start planning or writing.
“I looked into what makes a good children’s story first. I looked at other children’s stories I liked to read to my kids. I saw the repetition and structure. As an author, it’s up to me to give my writing structure to help my readers get the message.
“Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. So, if you want to understand the purpose and meaning of your life, look at how God has structured and guided you.”
God structures things, therefore, we need to as well.
‘The Lost Animals’ and ‘Mate Who Skates’ published by Ark House, are now available globally.