About Pauline Mackay

It is with absolute delight that I feel able to say I am a children's author, publisher and bookseller. With a background in languages and a longstanding love of writing stories, in 2005 I started up my own children's bookselling business specialising in bilingual picture books. In 2007, after a chance conversation with a marketing consultant, Ablekids Press was born.

Self-publishing was still in its infancy and with zero knowledge of the publishing industry, I definitely had my work cut out. I remember looking up a site online which offered no hassle self-publishing with a rather handy list of all the elements of publishing it would take care of. I made my way through them  with a sense of self-satisfaction that there wasn't anything I felt I couldn't handle myself until I got to the dreaded words 'Legal Deposit'. They stopped me dead in my tracks for several months as the word 'legal' turned my self-confidence to jelly.

However, the desire to create my own books didn't disappear and eventually I acknowledged to myself that those two words had frightened the living daylights out of me but I didn't actually know what they meant. Discovering that 'Legal Deposit' simply meant sending 6 copies of each title to the Legal Deposit libraries taught me a very valuable lesson in not jumping to conclusions. The rest, as they say, is history. 

I now have 9 titles, most of which are published in a variety of languages. My 'Wee MacNessie' series has proved very popular, appealing to schools and tourists alike. It has been a pleasure to introduce people to the concept of bilingual books over the years and nothing pleases me more than hearing  the countries my little character has travelled to all over the world.The fifth book in the series is underway with a Canadian character ready to make his appearance. 

Working with illustrators has been an incredible experience. Seeing a story come to life through pictures is magical and being part of that process is hugely rewarding. I feel very lucky to have found illustrators who could get the films which run in my head onto paper.

Going out to nurseries and schools for storytelliing sessions has led to the development of props, songs and patter. This is a side to storytelling which authors of picture books might not think about, but having a performance is essential as it only takes a few minutes to read a pictue book and then what do you do!

Seeing my 'Wee MacNessie' stories being turned into a puppet show for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a wonderful direction to be heading in and I look forward to  many new experiences ahead.

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