• Tell me about your career journey...
My background is in web and graphic design, which I worked in for the past 14 years or so. I always enjoyed drawing cartoon characters and over the last few years I started to bring my cartoon illustration into my graphic design services, offering my clients cartoon character mascots to go along with their company branding. However, after 14 years in the industry I was feeling really burnt-out from the being creative but always working on someone else’s project or vision. I really felt the need to create my own project, something I really cared about. After bouncing around several ideas for a personal creative venture I created Toon World – www.toon.world. Toon World is a super fun brand for children based around a large collection of cute cartoon animal characters which feature throughout various children’s books, toys, games and merchandise. The Crocodile Who Couldn’t Swim is the first in the collection of children’s books I am working on, and it features four Toon World animal characters, with the main character being Codi the Crocodile, who unfortunately can’t swim.
• How did The Crocodile Who Couldn’t Swim come into being – what was your inspiration for the book?
When my children where young we read them bedtime stories. I only really enjoyed reading them picture books that rhymed and had a great flow, as any parent will know when your kids enjoy a book they will normally insist on having it read to them day after day! I think when a book is well written and has a nice rhyme; it just makes the day to day repetitiveness a bit more enjoyable for everyone in the house, so when it came to writing my own book it was very important for me to get the rhyme and flow perfect. I self-published The Crocodile Who Couldn’t Swim in September 2020 and I am currently working on my second book, which will hopefully be released in the second quarter next year.
• What do you hope children will take away from the story?
I want it (and my future children’s books) to be fun to read for both parents and children, but also to spark emotion and inspire empathy. I feel it is very important to teach children to think about others and treat people as you would like to be treated yourself.
• How are you selling the book?
I have been selling my children’s book at various markets including Haywards Heath, Horsham, Chichester, Redhill, Eastbourne, Epsom and Croydon. If you would like a signed copy you can come and meet me in person at one of these markets. Just drop me an email to see where I will be on which days [email protected]. You can also buy my books directly from the Toon World website or through Amazon. I am also planning school author visits next year, so if you would like to organise an author visit, please get in touch.