Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Birth of a Baby Dragon!

Today is a big day for me as my first self-penned picture book and a very personal project 'Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights' is published today.

I'd like to take this opportunity to describe how the book came to fruition from a little idea to a big, bold, pink picture book!

I absolutely love all things fairy tale and have always dreamed of creating my own fairy tale world one day. So it was a real thrill when Kate from Nosy Crow called me a couple of years ago to say that she liked my idea for a little fairy tale story that I had emailed to her.

From a little idea originally entitled 'The Knitted Knight' inspired by the image of a knight wearing knitted armour which was in turn inspired by a slot on Anneka Rice's Radio 2 show called 'Knight in Shiny Pyjamas' (don't ask – inspiration comes in all forms!) we have created a lovely, funny fairy tale that I hope will inspire and entertain new generations of fairy tale lovers.

The very first sketch of the 'Knitted Knight.'

Developing the story, tweaking the plot details and designing fresh, appealing characters took quite a long time but the past couple of years has been really fun sketching, writing, meeting and collaborating with the Nosy Crow team.  Princess Daisy's editor Louise has really helped me to get the best from my initial idea and guided me with my first written text and designer Steph has been very generous with her gold foil and helped make the book look really special.

Initial layout ideas from my sketchbook.
Nincompoop Knight character development

The book has changed quite a lot from its inception with various ideas for endings (one involving the Dragon wearing a 'onesie' which didn't make the final cut!) and originally the story was in prose, but we felt that it would be a more fun and entertaining book if we made it a really fun rhyming tale.

Princess Daisy character development

Once the book was finished and sent off to the printers it was time for a glass (bottle) of vino then on to plan a bit of marketing and publicity which is one of my favourite parts of the book publishing process.

I designed a book trailer, bookmarks, badges, bunting, stickers and postcards all ready for the launch this evening.

Watch the book trailer HERE

A still from the book trailer.
A very pink, very spotty goody bag!

Badge making - my new favourite hobby.

I was really excited to be able to create a lovely window display in Pickled Pepper Books, the venue for the books exhibition, launch party and first children's event this Saturday where I will be reading the book with ALL the voices, drawing some dragons and doing some crafty crown-making!

Part of the window display at Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End, London.

The piece de resistance is the real life Baby Dragon which is going to accompany me to all of my school and festival events!  Of course she isn't a REAL dragon, but for the children who I read to, the Baby Dragon will come to life and will be a real highlight for them.  I can't wait to see their faces when I introduce them to this super cute creation! 

Baby Dragon Puppet Design
My lovely mum looking after the Dragon
I would like to thank everyone at Nosy Crow for helping me to create such a fun book, it really has been a wonderfully collaborative effort.  Also thank you to my fantastic family and friends for their ongoing support.

I hope that everyone who reads Princess Daisy will enjoy it and have a good giggle as they read the very silly antics of the Nincompoop Knights!

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