Category Archives: Reading and Literacy

Book Piracy

It’s always been difficult making a living as an author. Now it’s harder than ever. The Median annual income from writing of a professional author in the UK is £10,500 a year, down 42% in real terms since 2005!

There are many reasons, which I shall be going into over the next few weeks.

One reason is people like the Internet Archive Open Library. I just searched their site with my name and 14 titles came up. These titles are available to borrow for free. They never asked me if it was okay and they certainly don’t intend to pay for the priveledge.

They claim they want to make – “all the published works of humankind available to everyone in the world.”

That’s fine for hippies, but as far as I’m concerned, they can pay for the honour being so generous.

Why on earth would anyone spend years of their life creating work for any old internet hacker to come along and steal it – for that is what is going on here – plain theft, robbery, piracy. The Internet Archive are a bunch of thieves and need to go to jail for stealing.

Each book has a contract page that usually says something like “You may not copy or distribute this work in any form.” That’s pretty simple to understand.

Look at their supporters! Complicit in illegal activity! I’m sure they don’t mean to be, but they are aiding and abetting theft on a huge scale

If they are getting funding, they can share some of that with the owners of the content they are stealing.

Recent foundation funding generously provided by::

As you can see below, my books haven’t been borrowed a lot, but many other authors have and it is not right or just. There is a principle at stake here and the Authors Guild of America

I have sent a cease and desist email and hope that when next you search my name in the Internet Archive – nothing comes up – or better still, the whole site has been closed down and the owners are in jail awaiting sentence.


How to create new characters – Meet Penni and Benni

Lots of watercolour painting in this video as I introduce the characters and concept of my new project – Penni and Benni.

This has been a long time coming and I’m going to use my new characters, Penni and Benni, to explain lots of things about character design and illustration.

It started with a book idea, but the characters have changed and developed and grown with me over the years and I have now decided to get them launched.

Starting with their Website – http://www.penniandbenni.com – and their instagram http://www.instagram.com/penniandbenni

In this video I show you how I draw and paint Penni and Benni whilst chatting and explaining some of what the project is all about.

There will be more about Penni and Benni in the coming weeks as I love towards launching them as a picture book kickstarter project.

Make sure you are subbed on the website here on YouTube and on instagram for updates.

How to Draw & Paint the Olive Tree From Pandora

This video shows you how I drew and painted in watercolour the olive tree that appears a fe times in my recent children’s picture book, Pandora. A longish video with a lot of chat about drawing, painting, illustration and making picture books.

The tree is a recurring theme in the book. I wanted something to connect the inside world of the story with the outside world.

In my researches I came across the stunning wall painting in Akrotiri in Crete, dating back some 3400 years. The swallows and the lilies really got me going, and then I decided to have a lone, ancient, gnarled olive trees too, as a symbol of the mediterranean and. You can see a video about Akrotiri and the amazing wall paintings here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gb7g9w6fxo

You can get your own copy of Pandora here:
Pandora on Amazon USA 
Pandora Amazon UK
Pandora Amazon Canada
Pandora Amazon Australia