I started work on my first children's book on a whim, but it's grown into something, which happens with writing.
I had finished my next novel and was in the process of doing the writerly thing and sending it out to agents and publishers for rejection. My plan was to give them a few months time to categorically refuse to help my latest story get into print, say New Year's Eve, before doing what I've done in the past and going it on my own, with the help of Kindle Desktop Publishing (KDP). At that point, I'll self-publish "The World Beneath the World" and get serious about writing the next one.
Until then, my plan was to noodle around with various side-projects: a collection or two of refurbished and expanded shorts and novellas, a website to help people on a semi-guided MFA-like experience, a serial for the new Kindle Vella program, a couple of articles about tortoises for reptile magazines, writing a grant proposal for an educational program I'd like to design, and connecting with local bookstores and schools and libraries... in addition, I jokingly talked with my wife Gail about writing a Children's book about Chili, the male Russian Tortoise that I live with.
I've sold a bunch of them online via Amazon's website, and a bunch more signed copies through my home office. The book's gotten great reviews so far, from readers all over the place, and it's those reviews, along with pictures like the ones below, that have me working on the next book, which will deal with the Redfoot Tortoise that I live with, Darwin.
The second book is taking the same approach, through one of the tortoises that I live to examine a subject that some readers may experience and struggle with... in this case, sexual identity and its role and importance in placing you in society and the world.