Z.R. Southcombe, known as Zee by her friends, is a children’s book writer from New Zealand. She has self-published two books and is getting ready to release her third. Her first book What Stars are Made Of is a wordless picture book about the journey of the star maker who collects sadness, anger and sorrows from the children of the world. He then returns to his workshop with his materials and creates a new star as a beacon of hope so the world can be a brighter place. The illustrations are all brilliantly created by Zee. You can see the level of sincerity in her work and her genuine care for the children of the world.
Her second book, The Caretaker of the Imagination, is about a 42 year old accountant named John, who runs away from home in search of adventure and his imagination. It is a light-hearted, yet serious tale about how John (aka us grown ups) forgot to relax and live a little. We take life much to seriously and sometimes we just need a break from it all. The characters you met along the way come to life right off the page. I love her writing style as she never talks down to the reader and could possibly challenge some children’s vocabulary.
I had the opportunity to beta-read The Caretaker and the one that follows it in the series, Lucy’s Story. It has been fantastic to watch this young writer grow and develop her skills between each draft and the final versions. I look forward to seeing how her skills continue develop over coming years as she becomes more sure of her talent.
Not only is Z.R. Southcombe a talented writer with a wild imagination and a lust for tea, I am also honored to call her my friend. We met online a few years ago in a writer’s community. We have followed each other on every social media platform we are one (save Pintrest, I just can’t get myself to enjoy the site, yet) and we have gotten to know each other very well. I consider her my kindred spirit, though we are on opposite sides of the world, I believe we have formed a great friendship. We support each other through our writing and personal lives. I have no doubts if I had a problem she would be there for me in spirit to support. We have even become workout buddies by keeping each other accountable in our fitness goals.
Some people scoff at technology and talk of how people pay too much attention to their phones or computers, but personally I love technology. If it didn’t exist, there would be no way for me to have met such a wonderful, inspiring, and insightful woman as Zee. I am happy we have “met” and I treasure our friendship everyday.