Monday, 17 October 2011

Image of the Hunter from the story "The Child on the Hill"

The Child on the Hill
I received another illustration from Jodie to accompany the story "The Child on the Hill" recently and I love it.  It shows the hunter and proud father of a newborn son resting by a tree, while in the distance the stag watches in sorrow.  Until now, I have been quite secretive about this tale; showing no-one apart from my daughter Arisha - and when she read it - she cried!. 

This in itself is quite a compliment, as The Child on the Hill is meant to be sad.  It's not shocking or close to the knuckle; there's no blood or gore; nobody dies a gruesome death and there's nothing overtly supernatural about it.  It deals more with parental love and the hope and dreams that one has for their children. 

It was originally based  on an old Japanese tale I once read in an equally old book that I bought for 5 pence at a school jumble sale( that's what they were called in those days.)

Even though the final draft of my story bears no resemblance to the original, I should still credit it as inspiration.  However, I have spent quite a few hours trying to find this story again on the internet but haven't had any luck.

In addition to illustrating The Child on the Hill, Jodie has also agreed to do the illustrations for Golden Arm and One-Legged Steve and in return I am going to turn her impressive portfolio into a separate stand alone ebook complete with ISBN number  et al ready for sale on t'internet. 

The Pot Bellied Cook and the Three Legged Dog

Kim has sent over several rough images for The Pot Bellied Cook and the Three Legged Dog which I shall start work on in November.  The finished book should have the same look and palette as Be Careful Ethel.

In an old wooden tavern, quite close to a bog
Lives a pot bellied cook and a three legged dog
He spends all his days making green smelly cheese
While the three legged dog sits and scratches his fleas

High up in a tower, lives the Old Purple Bint
Who drinks nothing but smoothies of onion and mint
She grows all her food in a pair of old boots
And makes soap from the juice of the dandelion root

As I mentioned in an ealier blog - the inspiration for this poem came from several sources, The cook was based on a heavily pregnant friend and the three legged dog was her pride and joy - Colin the whippet who had recently survived cancer at the cost of his leg. 

Secondly - one of the first people to buy the Hairy Plug Monster, also blogs and tweets under the name 'The Purple Bint'  (worth more than a cursory visit), and I said  would include her character in a poem.  

In these days of being 360 degrees PC, it would be unwise to use the word 'Bint' given all the derogatory connotations so over the  last week she has undergone a makeover  and has been re branded The Old Purple Leach.  (sometimes you have to compromise for the greater good)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Download your copy now!!!

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 Be Careful  Ethel  2.99 GBP
 Download your copy now ! 

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 Download your copy now!
The Hairy Plug Monster 2.50GBP

Coming Soon:

There's Something wrong with Grandad

Monday, 3 October 2011

Be Careful Ethel ebook published, The Hairy Plug Monster ebook published, and much much more

 It's taken a while to sit down and write another blog, but I've had so many things on the go - I didn't really know where to start. So I will mention them as I remember them.

Firstly, I totally nailed the 'e-pub' issue and now have two titles published on the Waterstones website.  Considering I starting from a zero knowledge base three months ago, I am quite "chuffed" that I managed it and can see a definite future for myself as a writer and HPM Media Ltd as a company.

  I accept that Ebooks are not 'the only future' but they are going to play a major role for children's picture books in the coming years and I am hoping to be there as a 'playa'.

With sales figures being collated on a daily basis Waterstones, both titles: Be Careful Ethel and The Hairy Plug Monster, have both enjoyed positions in the top 10, and it is only a matter of time before they will eventually occupy the top two positions in the children's e-book charts.  

I have already almost finished the Polish translation of  The Hairy Plug Monster, and this should be uploaded to the Waterstones server within the next fortnight. The Italian version is underway and the Farsi translation is due to be sent to be typed up this week.  I also called on an old friend who seems quite keen to organise the French and German versions, while another older friend is hopefully writing up the story in Russian.  Such is the power of social networking. :)

I still haven't quite figured out my marketing strategy for the foreign titles as yet, but to have them registered with their own ISBN numbers and made ready for sale seems a good starting point. 

There's Something Wrong with Grandad is also nearing completion; requiring a couple of illustrations by Jodie Muir - and hopefully (this time I mean it!!!!!) I will be going into the studio to record the audio book versions in November. I need to rethink the target age group as 9+ maybe slightly too young for some of the stories: Zombelina and Child on the Hill in particular.

Kim Eagle is working on illustrations for The Pot Bellied Cook and the Three Legged Dog and as soon as I have them I can start work on the book. It will probably be January 2012 before it will be ready to upload, but I am hoping that I will remember everything I have learnt over the last three months and cut the production time in half.  One of the benefits of  learning the e-publishing process is that I am now in a position to offer this service to other writers and illustrators - with a collection of Jodie Muir's pictures being the first to be published sometime in the very near future as well.

At the end of the month I will be going to London to attend the National Teaching Awards with one of the schools with whom I have built up a good relationship. I cant really say more than that as I don't want to jeopardise their chances of winning, but they will win and I might meet the 'Fonz'

Another 'hush-hush' project involved me nipping to London at the start of the month acting as a consultant for a possible future project with the BBC, but again that is all I am going to tell you at this stage.

Staying in London; I sent off three songs to Steve Ancliffe at  Popblast World and am in the process of writing another three for him, I did develop writer's block due to having to assume a certain level of 'geekiness' with the e-pub projects, but hopefully I am over that now.   Still inspired by the Children's Media Conference in April this year, I am finalising ideas for a T.V. series involving Popblast World and the band members and hope to have something tangible to present to them in November.  Then if I can get them on board, I need to recruit some additional animators and then prepare a bid to entice someone to pay for it.

So that's about it for the time being. It's nice to write about projects that I have completed rather than write about things that might happen.