Book Launch - Author Shae Millward is launching her childrens book
Book Launch - Author Shae Millward is launching her childrens book "A Boy and a Dog" at Books by the Sea on April 6th. Cody Fox

Bay mum's disbelief after publisher picks up her first book

THERE was a moment of disbelief for Shae Millword after receiving an email from New Holland Publishing offering a contract to publish her children's picture book.

The Hervey Bay mother-of-four had always had a flair for writing but she never imagined in her first attempt at becoming an author that her adorable 32-page book - titled A Boy and His Dog - would be published.

"Not only is this my first book, it was the very first book I wrote and sent off to a publisher and put in the lush pile where they get about 300 picture book manuscripts every week, and mine got chosen," Shae said.

"It was the first thing I had sent and I wasn't expecting that.

"The email I received went something along the lines of: "Hi, it's not usually my job here to look through the lush pile but your story just kind of jumped out at me and I loved, loved, loved it".

"So I think it got into the hands of the right person ... I think it was meant to be."

The story line is quite simple but also a heart-warming read for children aged between three to eight, with the pictures based on the illustrators' little boy and his border collie.

The classic tale tells a story of a lonely boy and a lonely dog who find each other and discover true friendship.

"It's about the special bond between a child and an animal," she said.

"It's about a boy and dog but it can relate to any child and any animal and that connection that they make.

"Once the first four lines came to me, which are: There once was a dog who just wanted to play, but his owner was busy - no go away! And there was a boy who just wanted to play but the kids at school shouted, no go away! So those were the first four lines and once I had them ... well I had to finish to find out what would happen."

Two years after accepting the contract, Shae is excited to officially launch the book at By the Sea Books on Saturday, April 6 at 2pm.

Families are invited to bring their children along for a book reading and signing by Shae, and the added treat of cupcakes, balloons, book marks and activity sheets themed towards the book.

Shae will also host another book reading at the Maryborough Library on April 13 at 10.30am.

By the Sea Books (formerly Mary Ryan's) is at 414B Charlton Esplanade, Torquay.