If you’ve ever had troubles getting the kids out of bed in the morning, you’ll know the struggle is real. Adelaide mum Sharyn Gunn knows about it all too well, with two daughters who love a good sleep in.
When the girls were younger, Sharyn would make up bedtime stories with them, including one about someone who struggled to get up in the mornings.
“My eldest daughter loves reading – there were never enough books in the library for her, so we would make up stories at nighttime,” says Sharyn.
“She was always sleeping in in the mornings and we were running late, so this one particular day I sat down and wrote this story about a person who wouldn’t get out of bed.”
Six years on and that story, The Terrible Timing of Terry Tortoise, has been published. The kids book follows Terry, who struggles to get out of bed in the morning and then is late for breakfast, then school, then lunch. He chats to his mother at night and realises the answer to his problems lies in just getting out of bed a little earlier.
It’s the first book for Sharyn, who has worked as a medical secretary for 30 years, and she says it was her late mother who inspired the book.
“My mum ended up being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, and her dying wish was that I finally see my dream come true and publish it myself,” says Sharyn.
Sharyn worked with artist Kristy O’Neil, a fellow mother from her children’s school, for the illustrations.
Sharyn is currently undergoing her own treatment for breast cancer, but isn’t letting that hold her back – she’s working on her second book. It’s in its early stages, but she says to expect a story focussed on hundreds and thousands, with early inspiration coming from a bag of Haigh’s Speckles.