Once upon a time...
It all started shortly after my nephew was born. I was really keen to write something, a story just for him that could be told to him at bedtime.
I'd always loved dinosaurs as a kid, I had this Ladybird book and I loved looking at the pages and imagining what it would be like to stand next to one.
I recall the first time someone said to me, 'Are you writing a children's book? You should go and check out the ones in Waterstones...'.
So down I went into the basement of a Waterstones, and picked up the first thing I laid eyes on, it was A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson.
At the time, Bradley and the Dinosaur was in it's first stages, it was just a story in prose - it didn't rhyme even, but as I thumbed through Julia's story, my heart both leapt and sank. The pictures were gorgeous, the story rhymed in an instantly appealing way, and even better, there was a moral of the story too that was both hilarious and poignant. I had learned something from the story after reading it.
I could see I was going to have to go back to my story and go right through it from the start again, to give it pace, and rhythm. I was on the path though, more importantly, I was captivated by the excitement a story could bring. I was hooked, and determined to bring my story to life.
Once I'd got the words right, I started to draw the pages as I imagined the story - a storyboard. When I'd got the whole thing worked out, I needed to find someone who could bring this into a rich and vivid clarity. So I met the fantastic and hugely talented illustrator, Jacqueline East, and she helped to bring my ideas and images that I'd sketched beautifully to the page. This also took a year or so.
From start to finish, it took me about ten years to get that first story to published print. Having learned the ropes, the sequel - Bradley and the Magic Carpet took just two years and was published in 2018.
The latest chapter in this story is that following the publication of that book in October 2018, I went on a holiday retreat. I'd spent so long putting the older stories together, that I had not had time to write anything in a while. I was overjoyed that new stories just came bubbling up and the first of those was all about.... sausages!
This time, I set myself the goal of doing it all myself, words and illustrations, Jumbo Giant Sausages was first published in 2019.
My fourth picture book, The Button and the Bean which is the second story in the Read and Learn series was released at the end of 2021, and tells a new story about inseparable friends, while also looking at words in a fun way.
Finally, the end of 2022 saw a whole new book, Bradley and the Rocket, completing the Bradley's Magic Adventures series.. and the extremely popular Jumbo Giant Sausages was also translated into French (Les Saucisses Géantes).
Next up will be the completion of the Read and Learn Stories series with a third installment about a Teddy Bear.
What an adventure!
Last updated July 2023