On Tuesday 21 July we held the first advisory group meeting for Beyond Words’ new book on weight loss. Since our first editorial meeting back in May, artist Mike Nicholson has been thoughtfully sketching a set of black and white illustrations, based on the detailed storyline that we wrote as a group. Last week’s meeting was the first chance for people to have a look at Mike’s drawings and read the story as a whole.
Several new faces joined us for the meeting, including self-advocate Beverley Smith, her supporter Danielle, and a number of dieticians and other health professionals, who travelled from across the country.
In small groups, we read through the story picture by picture, making notes on anything we weren’t sure about as well as things that worked well that we really liked!
It was exciting to see our original story brought to life in Mike’s drawings and everyone agreed that the story was engaging and informative and our character – we called her Rose – was likeable and authentic.
People had lots of ideas about how they might use the story in their work, as well as things to add and ways to improve it: we imagined Rose’s backstory and thought about how to bring this into our narrative; we talked a bit about food advertising and food packaging as well as food preparation and cooking skills; we even found time to talk about Rose’s pets! Not all of these ideas will make it into the final book, but it certainly gave the authors a lot to think about.
The next step is for the authors to agree what changes are needed, and for Mike to make a new set of colour pictures. We will then trial the colour pictures more widely amongst book clubs, schools, healthy living groups and other interested groups, and find out how well the story works for them.
Stay tuned for the next update in Rose’s story.
If you know or are part of a group who would like to try out our story and be part of the development of this important book, please get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org.