Finally we have the published book CRIC CROC. Now we are flat out trying to work out our marketing strategies. We have spun off a number of items based on Cric Croc the character. These can be found on ebay. Take a look they are good value especially the combo pack where you get book + toy croc + gift bag for $33.
Still in Mildura having problems with hot spot. News relates to publisher who has suggested reviewing 7 pages of Cric Croc. Will do this next Wednesday when we are back in Perth.
Thanks to those who have shown interest in the colouring-in book and to those who have bought some. Check out the colouring in of one of the pages by a youngster on Facebook. Sunday 27th March 2016
Have changed the page heading as I am now going to start working on the future Cric Croc Books. There has been one that I have had awaiting an illustrator that was called WHY CROCODILES SMILE. It is based on the wildlife found in the Daintree and is in rhyming text. Unfortunately the illustrator fell through so I took the opportunity to move the idea to Cric visiting his grandparents and observing the Daintree and its unique and beautiful flora and fauna. I have also been able to attach the idea to a friend who operates the Solar Whisper Boat Tours and he has been very happy to be included.
Will get Nikki Ball to use her immense artistic talents to illustrate this.
In the mean time Nikki has begun the other Children’s Picture Book illustrations. This is also in rhyming text and is called Cric Croc and The Bedraggled Pony. It’s a beautiful story of rags to riches; ugly duckling to pretty whit swan; true friends can make a difference… I am sure you and your children will love these books when they are finally published.
Sunday 20 March 2016
Have sent Cric Croc the book to the publisher last week. Will consult as they put it together ready for printing.
Will keep you up to date as things progress.
The Cric Croc mobile is now out on the street so watch out for it.
I have changed the title slightly and selected a new cover picture to reflect more closely what the book is about. Hope you love the book.
Tuesday 15 March 2016
Flat out getting book ready for deadline with publisher. Changed name slightly to Cric Croc. Cover looks stunning and more appropriate to the overall theme of the book.
Awaiting 2 pictures and setting up the inside cover material and then ( fingers crossed) we should show you a wonderful book.
For those who haven’t worked it out yet the bargains are with pledging money through OzCrowd. This gets you a cheaper book, cheaper plush toy crocodile, book signed, prints signed and special discounts on more books/ crocs. Think about that.
Monday 22 Feb 2016
The Crowd Funding is moving along but we need to do more to convince people of the worthiness of the project and the value in each Pledge. Just the $50 gets you a Cric Croc Rocs book $18, a cute plush toy crocodile 20 cm high $18, P&H of $13.80, gift paper carry bag, book signed by author and illustrator $5, 20% voucher off a second book or toy croc $3.60. that’s nearly $55 worth.
Nikki Ball the illustrator has now completed the first 12 pages and the art work is quite dazzling. Those on the $100 pledge will get one of the pages as a signed print now that’s value along with the book, toy croc, P&H, 20% voucher, gift paper carry bag, signed book etc…..great value.
One of these has jumped out as the likely cover it has the WOW FACTOR.
At the rate Nikki is working we should get the book to the publisher mid March which gives us a likely launch some time in May. Don’t forget you get an automatic invitation to the Launch through the $100 pledge so there’s even more value.
Thursday 17 Feb 2016
Got the OzCrowd Fund Raiser underway and have some success with backers coming forth. Hopefully people will see the value of producing several Children’s Picture Books. Children will benefit from reading or having stories read to them about the cute little character Cric the Croc. The illustrations by Nikki Ball are quite stunning and compliment the rhyming text that children love to hear and repeat.
If you want to help makes these books a reality click on the link below
Tuesday 2 Feb 2016
Got the shock of my life today when in the post is a contract from a publisher for one of my novels. This is a huge step forward for my writing as it means those that count big time believe in me. The one sticking point as I see it is a request for a substantial amount of money. Generally this does not happen so I will keep my excitement tempered until I do a lot more research on this. Well at least I have a lovely letter espousing my virtues as a writer.
Found some old scribblings in among my files and found a poem that I will share with you all. Interesting.
Monday 1 Feb 2016
Notified Nikki Ball that she has the job as illustrator of the book Cric Croc Rocs. She was so excited which is is a great sign. Her illustrations of baby Cric were really lovely.
Once she gets under way the little critter will be up to all sorts of activities. It will be a long but rewarding job.
It’s interesting that in this publishing profession you can go through so many emotions in a very short time. But when the plan comes together and when the book is produced gives a wonderful feeling.
Thanks to all who have followed me this far and continue to encourage and promote my work.
I have sent in a submission to Penguin Random House with the other ideas re Cric Croc Tours. It remains to see if they like the book(s) and whether they will take on the publishing.
Being biased I think the ideas are fabulous and way at the cutting edge of book publishing. I may in fact be too far advanced with what I am trying to do……we’ll just have to wait and see and continue to search for that publisher who sees the value that is on offer.
Here’s a sample page for your thoughts
looks pretty normal doesn’t it? Watch this space as I show you what can be done hint: I have been battling away learning to use Corel Painting Pro X8. What a magic software once you start to get the idea.
Thursday 28 Jan 2016
Only one of the illustrators has offered drawings of the character Cric at this time. They were very impressive so at least one book will be a GO. Another has shown a lot of interest and been in touch with various questions so it will be interesting to see what she comes up with.
In the mean while we have been looking at a new computer software called Corel Painting as an alternative to paying for illustrators. The series of books that I am looking at contains a lot of detail and the cost of drawings may make them prohibitive. If this is the case we may need to resort to using photographs and attaching Cric and Roo to each. So far I have found the programme hard going but will press on.
Another idea that has sprung to mind is to try Crowd Funding the Series. This would involve offering books and plush toy crocodiles for a given amount in an effort to raise enough to at least publish the first 2 Cric and Roo Tour books. It is more like the old system of apro where you pay before you receive but at least you get something for something which is a win. win situation. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
My next nonsense poem is below and is part of the Aromatic Poems group. No comments so far but they would be appreciated:
Thursday 21 Jan 2016
Illustrators Put feelers out for illustrators for the books and waited patiently. There was a list of artists on the SCBWI website so I chose one from their portfolio and sent an email. Still waiting a reply.
In the mean time our great friend in Queensland, Peter had been running a show at the Flow Centre (Fitzroy Basin Centre) with his crew The Little Aussie Encountres and happened to meet an author illustrator by the name of Marilyn Williamson. He suggested contacting her through the centre.
A very pleasant surprise came via an email from Marilyn two days later asking what the book was about and what the illustration entailed. I sent her a full reply along with photos and will wait for her reply.
Deb showed her usual initiative and sent out an ad via Facebook and we got two promising replies. Again I sent out the information and the photos and will wait to see how these illustrators feel about the job.
My original artist, Rochelle Duckworth has not been in contact for over a fortnight to indicate how she was progressing. Will have to wait until nxt week to find out what she is deciding unless she lets me know in the mean time.
Steve Johnson who is Deb’s brother and lives in Christchurch New Zealand has accepted the illustrator job for the book “Why Crocodiles Smile”.
What I am after from the other artists is 3 drawings of Cric the baby crocodile and a kangaroo so that we can determine the LOOK I am after. He has to be green, cuddly, friendly, animated, loveable and fluffy.
Sunday 17 Jan 2016
SCBWI Australia West I did something that I should have done months ago, I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. They are found on http://www.scbwi.org if you are interested.
The exciting part is I get to meet and interact with a large group of people dedicated to writing and illustrating Picture Books for Children. This should enable me to get the best advice that I need to publish the books that I have been working on.
If you determine that this is a group you are keen to join then I’ll offer you a hint that will save you a lot of time. After registering I rushed to the Blue Board and Chat Room only to find myself stuck. After seeking help I finally was offered the following advice and hey presto it all fell into place.
“I thought I’d send you this quick tutorial. To post on the Introduce Yourselves! board, first go to the top right hand corner and click the dark blue “New Topic” button.
http://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?board=94.0 Next, scroll down a bit and you’ll find a place to fill in the subject (this will be the title of your new thread which reads: Hi, Hello, Howdy, Nice to meet you!). From there, you’ll want to scroll down past all our emoticons (we have lots to choose from!) and you’ll see a box where you can type your message. Beneath that, you’ll find two more boxes, one that says post and one that says preview. Hitting preview allows you to see your post as it will appear on the boards so you can check it over (if you’d like) and hitting the post button will do exactly that, post it to the boards. There will be a small delay before you see your new post on the boards because new members first posts have
to be approved first (to avoid spammers).
As a new member, you can receive a personal message but you can’t send one yet so you will not be able to reply back. If you have any further issues, go to any existing post on the boards and hit “report to a moderator” so you can send us another SOS.
We have an entire HELP! How to use the Blueboards section with tons of helpful tips, http://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?board=33.0 too.”
I am looking forward to interacting with other writers from around the world and especially here in the west.
Hopefully I’ll get those books out that I keep promising but now they might be even more professional.
Thursday 14 Jan 2016 Insert
Cric Croc Picture Book
When you are writing a Picture book there are numerous things that you must consider to get the balance right so that children enjoy the poems, stories and the illustrations.
I have completed writing the poetry for Cric Croc and am pleased with the rhythm and rhyming. Each page has clear messages for mums and dads to show that Cric is a cuddly, well behaved little crocodile. And all the messages lead towards Cric being a role model for all the children who are exposed to the poetry and the illustrations. Rochelle Duckworth is busy matching the illustrations to the poetry on each page ensuring the drawings are large, colourful and full of action. Once each page is presented we intend to find some helpful critics to add the finishing touches.
The Too Fast Dunny Man
One of the funniest but smelliest episodes in my young life was when the dunny man tipped his truck on its side ride outside our front gate. The truck was loaded with cans that were full to the brim with excreta. They went crashing and bowling all over our front yard and the pong was unbelievable. Below is a poem about the incident. I’m the one running away.
Monday 11 Jan 2016 insert
What do you think of the Latest in Technological Innovation for the World? Give me your thoughts about this amazing BOOK.
Sunday 10 Jan 2016 insert
This is another from my AROMATIC POEMS. It is called Swatting it Out and is based on a real life game my brothers and I played whilst dealing with our daily visit to the toilet (dunny, dub, thunder box, shithouse, long drop, outhouse, craphouse, bog)
I am currently working on a very big and long project that will involve a very cuddly little character and his best mate. At the moment all is top secret so sssssh.
I have always had an interest in two quirky things and it was only recently that I believe I found the answer to why I love to whistle and to sprout poetry.
As a very young boy I was always with my father who was a rabbit trapper. He was also a gun shearer and a champion country sportsman. On our many trips together in a trusty holden (he would never buy or own anything unless it was Australian made as his war time experiences embittered him towards the Germans. Italians and Japanese), He would get to the top of each hill in Kojonup where we lived and he would put the car in ‘angel gear’ and coast all the way to the bottom. On the way down he would whistle tunes. I didn’t know them but the whistling must have stayed with me. Most of my own efforts at whistling as I grew were embarrassingly poor until I started to wear hearing aids and suddenly a whole new World opened up.
Dad was not well educated having reached year 7 before being cast into work to earn a living. During his brief schooling he learnt many poems by heart, loving the rhythm and rhyming. He would break into all sorts of poems at a whim and I would listen mesmerised. As I grew I found myself making up poems that rhymed, funny, silly, clever and mostly nonsensical.
As a teacher for 45 years before retiring in 2014 many of my pupils would comment on my poems even suggesting that I write them down and turn them into a book. Now that I have lots of time on my hands and the confidence to try I have decided to follow this dream. I have a huge project in store that will begin this year and with some success flowing could continue for years to come. At the moment it is TOP SECRET but I will share as the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together.
In the mean time let me share with you my first true efforts at poetry writing which I started last year and is based on my childhood and my pet hates as a teacher.
What shocked me more than anything was the decline of morals and hygiene as the years drifted by.
My upbringing was not easy street but we certainly were taught the correct manners, hygiene and morals that allowed us to function as polite and sensible children. We did not swear in public and certainly not near grown ups and at school. We did not spit, pass wind , wee in public settings. We always had a handkerchief to deal with sneezing or a runny nose. Our hands were washed for eating times, out nails cleaned.
In my early school days hand and nail inspections were a must before we marched silently into our rooms. We did not give rude signs to others, in fact I don’t recall having any such signs in our thinking.
So what I’m saying is that thanks to our parents and our teachers we were well bought up so what went wrong? I believe it has been the decline of communication to our children and grandchildren. We are all too afraid to talk frankly about issues such as farting, snot, spew, swearing, shitting, peeing, spitting and so on. We leave things to just happen and quite often instead of pulling the perpetrator up and explaining that they are doing and how they should deal with the situation we allow the episode to go past to the keeper or worse encourage it by sniggering or commenting inappropriately or worse still joining in.
By writing the poems I am offering all parents, grandparents and teachers a chance to CHANGE THE MORAL WORLD. They have a series of funny poems that bring to light the dirty, the smelly, the filthy and gives them a light hearted way to deal with the very serious. These could and should lead into other areas that are thought to be too hard to discuss. Start with the very young and include the very old. We can make a difference.
My original book title was AROMATIC POEMS. I include some below:
Itz Not Funny
This book is full of ghastly matter
Read about them and go mad as a hatter
Things in life are yucky and smelly
They make mums cringe and go to jelly
From out of your tummy, mouth or nose
Most will not smell like a beautiful rose
Rather they wiggle out looking weird
For small children they may even be feared
We talk about lots of green runny snot
And brownish stuff that comes from the bot
The saliva that forms in the mouth so quick
And the smelly fart that turns the air thick
Go on and turn the page at your peril
When you’ve finished you might be feral.
Learn the lessons that we will share
Become a person who really does care
You’ve been told so often by your mum
Not to scratch or pick your bum
It seems she thinks it’s the action of a witch
But how else are you supposed to deal with an itch?