Cynthia Pees, writing as Cynthia Thompson, has a trilogy of children's books to her name and is planning further writing endeavours.
"My middle daughter, Amy, did a painting for my niece's daughter: from that, a story came to me. That's how it all started."
Amy's painting was adapted by illustrator Susan Shorter and became the cover picture of the first book and the inspiration for the artistic style throughout the trilogy.
Cynthia was living in Australia when she wrote the first book in the Princess Esmeralda of the Land of Ur series. Titled The Magical Garden, it is about a subject dear to the author's heart — colour.
"I thought I'd write this story for my grandkids, and once I'd finished the first one, the second one came to me, and then the third one.
"They are stories I really want to get out there."
While the books are entertaining, there is a message that Cynthia needed to share.
"It's very meaningful for children to believe in themselves, and whoever reads to the children ... it's got a meaning for all of us. It's all around colour, vibration and caring for everybody and everything.
"We all have a colour, and that's the gift we share."
In the first book, The Magical Garden, Esmeralda starts her adventures in a land of grey, except for the golden curls on her head. But, living without mirrors, she is unable to see even that smidgen of colour. Until, into her life comes a magical seahorse and her world changes. Through colour and what she is now able to see, Esmeralda learns who she really is."
Cynthia was able to use the same graphic designer / artist throughout the three books.
"To me it's a series and they connect one to the other."
The books were produced through Balboa Press and Cynthia never actually got to meet Susan Shorter, working with her via email on how the books should look.
"I wanted something really colourful and the books are easy to read. They're along the lines of what I believe in," says Cynthia.
For her next book, she is looking at writing something more involved for an older age group. "It is starting to bubble up inside me."
The Princess Esmeralda series is available as e-books through Amazon or via Cynthia's website (winddancerbooks.com), or in soft-cover book form through Paige's Book Gallery in Guyton St.
A simple internet search will lead to a number of other outlets like Fishpond, Mighty Ape and more.