Category Archives: Stories

A new way to make selfies?

During the recent heat wave our cat hardly spoke to us. He moped around the garden, hiding in the flowerbeds. In the evenings, he didn’t come in for his daily five minutes sitting on my lap. The day the weather broke he ran away from me, tearing over the garden fence, as if I was an ogre.

The next day it was cooler, and he nagged me all day, climbing onto my lap and sleeping on the floor by the studio door.

What was that all about?

I tried to take a selfie with him, to put on instagram, because that’s what you do, right? But the way I held him to face the camera looked like I was strangling him and I looked like a total muppet! Then I thought, “why not draw it instead, and use my alter ego, Benni, to play myself?”

I can never get a selfie to look the way I want it to, so maybe I have stumbled across the answer. Turn the moment into a story!

Special Delivery – Time to find it’s market!

I created Special Delivery a couple of years ago. It was an idea that I just had to get out of my head. It looks like a picture book and reads like a picture book, but it’s really for the parents!

Buy the book from Amazon UK   –   Amazon USA   –   Amazon Canada

I think it’s a perfect gift book for new families, who have just got over the trauma of childbirth and have brought their little bundle of joy home with them.

Wouldn’t it be so much easier to order the perfect baby online and have it delivered, with all the odds and ends that it needs, a mere nine months later? Plenty of time to prepare and get the nursery ready.

But these modern babies come with old-world problems. So good to know the helpful helpline lady is always ready and available.

And, as with any online order, there can be confusion. Did you tick all the right boxes? Did you read the small print?

If you know a new family with a sense of humour, this is the perfect gift for them.

Alternately, if you are being nagged about where babies come from – this story might fob them off for a couple of years!

“Perfect gift for a brand new family…”

Why your children’s story likely won’t sell millions!

@LouigiVerona, on YouTube, asked me the following, when commenting on my last video:

“A question: you are frequently saying that a story for one’s child is not necessarily a story that would work for other children. Could you talk more about it? I’m not planning to write anything like that, but I’m just curious what a writer should pay attention to and what, in your experience, actually works?”

I thought the easiest thing would be to make a video off the top of my head to start trying to explain this for you and for myself. There is a lot more to it and I will come back to this subject – especially if the video makes you want to ask more questions – please do so in the comments box below.

Having made and edited the video the following thoughts occurred to me:

Simply put, a story written for a particular child assumes the reader knows so much about that family or the child’ situation – the the pet names – the culture – the in-jokes.

There is often a lot that is written in a family story which actually excludes the reader.

To write a story that is universal, it must accessible for all children, or at least the target audience.

If you want to sell a lot of books, you want to make the story inclusive for as many children as possible.

The themes should be those of all children’s lives, not those of one particular child on one particular day in one particular culture.

It is good to share cultures and allow others in to understand, but that means finding the universality in the story.