My name is Lizzy Ainsworth and I am married to Stephen Ainsworth and we live in Toowoomba. We both have plenty of siblings, who are scattered around Australia and overseas. Our wedding, in September 2011, brought everyone together for a brief family photo!
|Stephen's parents and siblings|
ChildhoodI was such a shy child, that at age 4 I was terrified to be left at pre-school on my own and after several months of pre-school, Mum decided to experiment and home-school me through kindergarten; it was so successful that she also homeschooled my two younger sisters, Anna and Maria, who are both now studying through TAFE. My Mum will begin the homeschooling journey again in a few years with my youngest sister Raelee, and ‘The Bump’, due in January 2013.
The homeschooling journey was not easy and I did not like reading or writing. My reading suddenly improved when Mum enrolled me in the read-a-thon (http://www.msreadathon.org.au), and my love of writing came when Mum would give me a picture to colour in and I had to write 5 sentences about the picture on the back using the basic, Who, What, How, When, Where principle.
|A few pages from my 'first book' at age 9. |
As you can see, I am not the artist in the family
I wrote my first ‘book’ at age 9, when I was in Sydney Children’s Hospital for 3 weeks with pancreatitis. It was a very simple picture book story about a couple of kids who lived on a farm. The Starlight Foundation happened to see it one day when they were clowning around the wards cheering kids up, interviewed me in their Starlight Studio at the hospital to screen on the internal hospital channel.
By the time I was 12, I had written a very basic full length novel about a young girl at a summer camp training for the Olympics.
Margaret Watt, a children’s author, came to speak out our small local library to talk with school kids in grade 6-9, about the writing and publishing journey. At the end of her talk I asked her if she would read through my manuscript. She read through my scraggly manuscript, providing constructive criticism and comments and helped me to connect with other Australian authors. Margaret and I kept in contact until her passing in 2011, and I have plans to rewrite that original manuscript into a series for young teens.
Throughout highschool, which I completed at home, I wrote my own newsletter titled ‘Lizzy’s Library’ a 8 page quarterly publication featuring book reviews, which I mailed to friends and homeschooling parents that I knew. When this folded after several years, I wrote for various homeschooling and Christian magazines and newspapers, including ‘Otherways’ and ‘The Challenge Newspaper’. I also wrote voluntarily for the Narrabri newspaper, ‘The Courier’, and other publications in our Shire while completing Journalism Level One through TAFE. During this time I found the Faithwriters website: www.faithwriters.com, and began to write in their weekly challenges, which I still enjoy doing. I also began to work on ‘Dad and Me in PNG’, my story of a mission trip to Papua New Guinea with my Dad, which took me several years to complete.
Dad and Me in PNG
At the beginning of 2012, after having finally officially changed my name from Gardner to Ainsworth, I decided it was time to pull out my dusty manuscript and have it professionally edited and prepare it for publication. As a young teenager I had been praying as to who would publish it and God told me He would drop a publisher into my inbox at the right time. An advertisement for Creation House had passed through my inbox several times and after much prayer and polishing I sent it to them.
One morning, a week after I had sent it to Creation House, and long before I expected a reply, I received an e-mail saying that my manuscript had been accepted and I started on the exciting journey of preparing a book for publication. My last few months have been busy editing, finding photos for the back cover, chasing up endorsements and choosing a front cover, but I have a very friendly and helpful team to guide me through these challenges, and I am looking forward to the release of my first book later this year.