Aspiring young poet Abigail Moore launches her first book, How I See It, tomorrow in Gorleston – at the age of eight! And she was inspired to be a poet by a trip to a second bookstore in Canada, complete with shop cats
“Take child to second-hand bookstore with cats. Buy child a poetry book. Child decides new life ambition is to become a poet, make art and live with cats in a country cottage”. That’s the Facebook post Abigail Moore’s mother, Grace added on August 15, 2022, after a day out during a family holiday to Canada.
“…from that day on, Abigail has been writing,” is a line from the “About the Author” blurb on the back cover of this eight-year-old’s first published book.
Abigail’s writing journey started quite serendipitously. The stars seemed to align the day the Moore family first visited Otis & Clementine’s Books & Coffee in Tantallon, Nova Scotia. The shop works in conjunction with the local SPCA, fostering mother cats and kittens until they’re ready to go to their fur-ever homes. Abigail fell in love with the shop cats and the family purchased a book of Shel Silverstein poems to read in the car.
Abigail was immediately inspired. Her first poem, “My Hair and My Heart” was a protest piece against the unnecessary use of the hairdryer after her bath time hair wash. It features as the first poem in her debut book How I See It.
Shortly thereafter, a family friend shared a 30-day writing challenge with Bookleaf Publishing. The initiative cost a small amount to enter, but everyone who completed the challenge by writing a poem each day for at least 21 days in a 30-days would get their own published book at the end.
‘The writing process came easily to Abigail,’ says mum, Grace. ‘She was constantly on the lookout for inspiration during her summer holidays. She used her everyday experiences and made them into poetry.’
As Abigail became more engrossed in her writing, her style developed as well. Inspired by the book by Shel Silverstien, she started using humour, rhymes, and irregular rhythms to get her message across. From a mosquito bite on her bottom, to the mouse evading every trap set by her grandfather, everything became a poem.
To complete the book, she chose her own title and cover and wrote a dedication and acknowledgment. Her parents wrote the back cover blurb and added a photo from the day Abigail decided to become a poet.
Abigail gets a small royalty from her book sales. She has big plans on how she will spend the money, describing it in detail: ‘I will split 4 ways: 1) for me to take my mum to Dover for the weekend, 2) to charity that helps cats, 3) put away for university, 4) a bit for my cottage when I’m grown up’.
To celebrate this achievement, there is a book launch event being held at No.36 the Art Gallery in Gorleston. Abigail attends Junior Art Club at the Gallery and has attended private viewing events in the past. She recalled how the artists would meet people and show their exhibitions, thus, No.36 seemed like the natural choice for Abigail’s book launch. Art Gallery owner, Sharon Thomson, was happy to oblige and help promote the event.
Asked if she ever thought she would get her own book, Abigail simply says: ‘No!’. She says she’s looking forward to her launch but a bit nervous about reading her poems in front of people. She continues to write poems in her spare time and hopes to find a UK-based publisher for her next book.
How I See It, by Abigail Moore, launches tomorrow (Friday August 25) from 3-4.30pm, at No.36 the Art Gallery at 36 Bells Road in Gorleston. Abigail will be there to sign copies over her book available to purchase and read a few of her favourites. For those who cannot attend, her book can be found on Amazon at How I See it, by Abigail Moore.
Featured image: Abigail Moore went back to the shop that inspired her a year later and presented the book to the owner Ellen Helmke. Images supplied by Grace Moore