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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best creativity magazine in the UK“, author of Journey To The Name Maker, Maxine Johone-Smith shares the importance of early learning through the power of storytelling and the positive impact of this on a child’s development.

Maxine Johone-Smith on The Table Read Magazine

Written by Maxine Johone-Smith


I was brought up in Winchester, Hampshire where I studied art and drama before moving to London for a career spanning over 30 years in creative product development and design, initially in the fast-paced world of fashion, and more recently within the fragrance and cosmetic industry. When I’m not writing I spend my spare time cooking, power walking in Burnham Beeches, visiting farmers markets, local boutiques and catching up with friends. I have a self-acknowledged addiction to shopping and a penchant for handbags, much like the Name Maker with his weakness for the letter S! I currently live in Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire.

Journey To The Name Maker Maxine Johone-Smith on The Table Read Magazine
Journey To The Name Maker by Maxine Johone-Smith

The Power Of Storytelling

As the daughter of 2 teachers, I was exposed first hand to the transformative power of storytelling. Some of my fondest memories as a child were when my parents read to me. I loved the closeness and attention I felt whilst being read to and attribute these early experiences for igniting my passion for writing.

I am a firm believer that stories have the power to shape our understanding of the world around us, instil a sense of confidence, and inspire us to pursue positive change. As a writer, I strive to harness this power in my own work, creating stories that not only entertain and delight, but also leave a lasting impact on the young readers who experience them. It is my greatest hope that the books I write will help to ignite the imagination and foster a sense of curiosity and wonder in the children who read them.

Journey To The Name Maker by Maxine Johone-Smith on The Table Read Magazine
Journey To The Name Maker by Maxine Johone-Smith

Journey To The Name Maker

Journey to the Name Maker was inspired by my own teddy bear called Scruffy, whom I have had since childhood. We have had many adventures together and it is these authentic memories and experiences that form the foundation of my story.

In today’s fast-paced, world, it can be hard to find time to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life. That’s why I wrote Journey to the Name Maker, to bring back the warmth and joy of good old-fashioned family values, and to encourage parents to spend quality time with their children, reading and exploring their imagination together.

Writing for children can be extremely rewarding, but it comes with the challenge of presenting your work in a way that is not only engaging, but also age-appropriate. It’s crucial to be aware of the content’s suitability for the intended age group. This includes considering the emotional and cognitive development of children and how the subject matter may influence them. A story meant for toddlers will have very different themes, language, and complexity compared to story targeted at a child of 7 or 8. As a writer, it’s important to strike the right balance between delivering a compelling story and ensuring that it aligns with the developmental stage of your young readers.

As the author of a book that’s meant to transport readers to a fantasy world, I knew that the illustrations were just as important as the words themselves. Working with the right illustrator who shared my passion for the story, understood the characters and their personalities and was able to bring it all to life in visual form, was a crucial part of the journey. When I found Joanna Scott, an award-winning children’s illustrator with a true gift for translating words into art, I knew that together we would create something magical.

Family reading Journey To The Name Maker by Maxine Johone-Smith on The Table Read Magazine
Family reading Journey To The Name Maker by Maxine Johone-Smith

Idea To Publication

The #1 Writing Tool

In some ways writing a book is the easy part! The greatest hurdle for any new author is the complex task of getting your book published. The publishing world is difficult to navigate and knowing where to start can be daunting. Being prepared for rejection is a necessary part of this process, and it takes resilience and determination to continue pursuing your dream despite potential setbacks. It’s important to be receptive to constructive criticism as you evolve and grow as a writer,

Despite the challenges, the act of writing is deeply rewarding and satisfying, primarily because it involves the creation of something new and unique. Whether it’s developing a character, crafting a plot, or exploring a new world, writing allows us to use our imagination and creativity. It’s a deeply satisfying experience to see your ideas evolving and taking on a life of their own as you refine and polish your work.

The ultimate reward for a writer comes when readers connect with your work and find enjoyment in the story that you’ve written, making the whole journey worthwhile. This connection between the author and the reader is a testament to the power of storytelling.

The ability to bring people together is a source of immense personal satisfaction for a writer.

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Find more from Maxine Johone-Smith now:



Facebook & Instagram – Maxinejohonesmithauthor

Website – www.maxinejohonesmithauthor


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