How was the book created?

The Book

Hi, I'm Liz and I'm here to tell you a story, the story of how the book "The Party in Heaven" came about.
Our story has a number of characters, tragedy, revelation, and actually hasn't yet come to an end.
Please enjoy the story as it unfolds below.
We have a limited number of hardback copies of
"The Party in Heaven" signed by the author
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Liz Says
Mike has been a friend of ours since we went on a mission trip to Uganda together in February 2000.
Mike Peacock (Author)
https://mikepeacock.net
Mike decided to write a story for his two daughters …
Liz Says

Let me introduce you to Mike & Becky's two daughters, Sophie & Ruby, and let's hear what they have to say about their friend Abbi.

Sophie & Ruby Peacock
In their own words
Liz Says

It was a couple of years after Mike had written the story that we started to dream of turning it into a book that could help any child through tragedy.
But how do you get a book published?
I remembered meeting Susie Poole, twenty years earlier, at an event showcasing Christian Arts at the Sale Salvation Army Church near Manchester. I was helping on a stall, promoting the work Mike and Becky Peacock were doing, as they toured primary schools with their Rhema Theatre Company. Susie had a stall nearby and had written children's books and started a publishing company with her husband.
I sent her an email to ask for advice, hoping that Susie would publish our new book. She was unable to do this, but did point us toward Malcolm & Sarah (see later) and we are so thankful for all her help & encouragement.

Susie Poole (Encourager)

SUSIE POOLE is an author & publisher of gorgeous children’s books. Liz bought her favourite one “Christmas Journey” for her own children and used many of the other books in the church preschool group.

Because of the pandemic, they met on a Susie couldn’t have been more supportive in the idea of
"The Party in Heaven" and advised Tim & Liz.

Susie took a break from all things to do with writing, illustrating and publishing books, but her earlier books are still available online and are of such high quality that are highly recommended for your bookshelves.
Since the COVID pandemic Susie has returned to writing and drawing and has brought out a brand new children’s book recently.
Visit her site here

Liz Says

Once we'd made the decision to publish then we needed some help! First we contacted a member of our family, Abigail Banks.
Abigail is known to our family as Abby and is married to Callum, who is one of (our) Abbi’s many cousins.  Abby and Callum are tattoo artists and have a studio in Yorkshire. Abbi attended their wedding in December 2016, which was the same month she learnt that the leukaemia she’d had 7 years before, had returned. We love that Abigail was able to join The Party in Heaven team.

Abigail Banks (Illustrator)
ABIGAIL BANKS is an illustrator and tattoo artist from Harrogate in Yorkshire, England. Her illustrative work features in multiple books such as: Caroline's Big Decision, A Doggy called DODO, Vet Nurse to the Rescue and From Hair To There.
The illustrator needed to make the lovely story visually accessible on the pages. She produced beautiful pictures that help to tell the story
We are proud & delighted that Abby has blessed us so much with the illustrations.
Liz Says

Becky Peacock (Mike's wife) worked with Abby as Art Director, because she is used to helping bring Mike's stories to life.

Becky Peacock (Art Director)

REBECCA PEACOCK has worked together with husband Mike for over twenty years.  She's designed and painted sets for their theatre productions and films, sourced and sewn costumes and props and generally ensured the visuals matched Mike’s characters and settings. More recently she’s worked with him on producing more digital materials and she teaches violin to the pupils at a local school. She worked very closely with Abby in developing the characters and ensuring the layouts on each page depicted the different time zones and settings. We hope you agree that together they have produced something special and beautiful.

Liz Says

And then, of course, we needed a publisher.  Susie Poole had pointed us in the direction of Malcolm Down and Sarah Grace, who have a Christian publishing company. I was trying to work out how The Party in Heaven could be laid out in a way and using a font for the text that made it as easy as possible for children with dyslexia to read.  Sarah was recommended by other writers because of her expertise in dyslexia. The partnership was a natural fit for our book project and timing couldn’t have been more perfect (see later!).

Malcolm & Sarah (Publisher)

Malcolm Down and Sarah Grace Publishing was formed in 2015. They are an independent publisher and home of the Malcolm Down Publishing, Sarah Grace Publishing, and Grace and Down publishing imprints. They publish a variety of genre’s mainly, but not exclusively, from authors who have a Christian background. They also provide a range of author services to enable unpublished writers to bring their books to the same markets that we serve through our traditional business.

Liz Says

During this time, I was challenged in my own understanding of heaven - it had become unravelled by a talk, but not replaced with something helpful that explained anything of what happened to people when they die on earth.

I was pointed to a book called “All About Heaven” written by David Oliver, who had lost his son to a terminal illness the same year that Abbi went to heaven. His fabulous book helped to reconstruct my intellectual understanding of heaven and I recommend David’s book to you.

David Oliver (Inspiration)

David has worked with evangelical charismatic and traditional churches and organisations including Focus On The Family, Spring Harvest, LICC, Billy Graham Association, Care For The Family, New Frontiers, Vineyard, New Wine. He has written 14 books including the seminal workplace ministry title Work Prison Or Place of Destiny.

Following the recent death of his 38 year old son from an unforgiving, short, and brutally painful fight with cancer David discovered that there were almost no books written about present heaven the destination for christians at death. After months of careful research "All About Heaven" answers questions like: What about those who have ‘passed on’ well before this, where are they now? What does heaven look like? What will occupy us there? 

"All About Heaven" is published by Malcolm Down.

Liz Says

Abbi wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until she was going to college. She had Irlens Syndrome for which her optician provided her with blue lens glasses to help her reading. These improved her reading time by 33%! So it was little surprise that it had always been he favourite colour.

Sarah Grace's blue butterfly represents the desire to make reading more accessible to people who are gifted with dyslexia. We want to thank Sarah for the gift and privilege of using her Grace font as we hope and pray it will “do what it says on the tin”!

Sarah Grace Font

Sarah Grace has developed a brand new font that has been specifically designed to be more easily read by dyslexia thinkers.
This font is called “Grace” and "The Party in Heaven" is the first children’s book to have this font in it.
Sarah, as one of the art directors, made suggestions to make some subtle changes to the illustrations that made more room for the writing on the pages in ways that simplified them. At first it felt like we lost detail that made it more beautiful, but we trusted her voice and made the changes in the interest of fulfilling the brief to make it more accessible. We are delighted with the outcome.

Liz Says

Tim bought me a Vincent Van Gough painting by numbers kit of a vase of sunflowers, which was Abbi’s favourite flower.  I really enjoyed painting over several weeks and one day whilst I was painting and praying about the conflict in Ukraine, I thought God was leading me to make The Party in Heaven available in Ukrainian! 

These bilingual books are hoped to “tenderly minister to broken hearts” recognising the loss that many children will have experienced as they left behind families and friends to seek sanctuary in the U.K. 

Ukraine

We are introducing a sponsorship programme designed to serve Ukranian children staying in host homes with English speaking families. The idea is to purchase a copy in English and a copy in Ukrainian and gift these to host families for their children to enjoy with each other. 

The books may also be gifted to primary schools and churches, or other settings, where English and Ukrainian children are living and learning together. 

Liz Says

That's all for now folks!

But there's much more to the story that I'm hoping to add over time, so please keep coming back to the website.

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