Suzanne Masefield was meant to be on holiday in Samoa but with a major speaking engagement looming, the executive life coach and body language expert couldn't relax.
"I thought, 'gosh, this is how many of my clients must feel'," says Masefield, who's a regular on television, offering insights into the body language of newsmakers — everyone from politicians to contestants on The Bachelor.
So, she went to a book outlet hoping to find something to take her mind of the forthcoming conference. A compendium of Enid Blyton stories, ones she remembered from childhood, caught her eye.
She read them and, transported back to childhood, felt a sense of calm descend. As a child growing up in the UK, Masefield — then Suzanne de Malplaquet — had loved reading and writing her own stories.
Remembering the happy feelings that engendered, she decided to write a children's book. Masefield wanted to tell a story that would uplift and inspire young people while giving them tools to help them deal with the hurly-burly of emotions, friendships and finding the magic within themselves.
On Wednesday, she launches Eddie Motion and the Tangible Magik in New Zealand. It's a magical fantasy about Eddie Motion, who's not like other children because he knows exactly what people are thinking and feeling without their saying a word.
When his beloved mother's life is threatened, Eddie and his best friend, Melody, travel to the fantasy land of Andalustria — his mother's homeland — where they encounter mysterious creatures and mystical guides who take them on an enchanted voyage.
They find that the things that made them different, even the bits they thought weren't particularly positive, are valuable and celebrated. Together, Eddie and Melody learn their choices have the power to turn lives around and change the world.
Masefield spent time last year on a writing retreat working on the first drafts of Tangible Magik. She also consulted school principals she works with and says this confirmed to her the need for a book such as the one she was crafting.
"What I've discovered is that the personal development and self-management around emotions is reasonably good in junior school but then it stops and, you know, what happens then? Our young people are going out into the world and things are challenging; focus is on academics or getting ahead but it's not on self-management or things like [dealing] with emotions."
But Masefield knew kids wouldn't want a "lecture book" so, thinking about her own love of magic and fantasy, she created the adventure story. Valuable tips and hints that form the "Tangible Magik Toolkit" are included.
She believes the story will appeal to those aged 9-13, but says adults may well get life lessons too.
EDDIE MOTION AND THE TANGIBLE MAGIK
by Suzanne de Malplaquet
(Think Success, $20)