Due to a human error (on my part) rather than my latest children’s book be available to pre-order like the ebook version, it’s now gone live and is available to purchase! Click on the link above to go to the amazon page.
“A Wonderful Little Read Full Of Great Illustrations!”
22 black and white illustrations accompany this fairy-tale about a lonely and bored garden gnome that ends up having the adventure of a lifetime. To get a taste of the story, you can read the beginning or watch a video reading via these links:
New, illustrated children’s book coming Spring 2021.
Here’s the second sample section of my latest children’s story, Michael and the Magic Hiccup, which will be released some time in March. If you haven’t read the first part, click on this link: Part One.
The Story Continues…
” Ha- Ha- Ha – HICCUP!”
This time, something very, very peculiar happened. When he opened his eyes, he noticed that the rain had finally stopped, and the sun was pouring down upon him instead. His wet clothes, drenched from the cold rain, now steamed in the warmth of the sunlight. As he looked around, he realised something even stranger had happened, he was no longer in the front garden of Mr and Mrs Poops!
As Michael stood there looking around this new land, the goldfish started to wriggle and cough on the end of his fishing line. This was all getting stranger and stranger by the second! Eventually the goldfish managed to cough himself free from the fishing line and landed with a ‘splosh!’ upon the grass. Michael just looked in amazement.
“Cough! Cough! Cough! Oh, that’s so much better,” said the goldfish, clearing the water from his gills. “What dreadful weather we’ve been having for the time of year!”
“Excuse me?” was all Michael managed to say, as he stared at the silly goldfish, wriggling like a fat, orange worm upon the green grass, his scales shining in the sunlight.
“Excuse you? Why, what have you done?”
“Nothing,” replied Michael, “well, I don’t think I’ve done anything. I just hiccupped.”
The goldfish stopped wriggling and looked up at Michael with his eye nearest to the gnome. “You did what?” exclaimed the goldfish.
“I hiccupped. I was about to sneeze, but then I hiccupped instead, and now we’ve ended up here.”
“Oh, that’s great that is! One minute I’m dangling from a fishing rod in the comfort of Mr and Mrs Poops’ garden, the next I’m flapping about on the ground like a fish out of water! Now that’s a fine state of affairs for a goldfish!”
Michael didn’t like getting told off, especially not by a silly, plastic goldfish, but before he could speak, a large breeze started to blow and the sky went dark, very dark.
“Oh no, not more rain!” coughed the goldfish.
It didn’t feel like rain, but it did sound like thunder. Michael looked up at the sky to see if he could spot any rain clouds – he had spent so much time outside staring up at the sky, he knew every type of cloud. As he looked up, he jumped back with fright. A huge, brightly coloured dragon was swooping down towards them. Michael crouched down with fright clutching the fishing rod for protection. The dragon spotted the goldfish wriggling uncomfortably upon the grass and screamed with delight.
“Ooh my, what have we here… GOLD! Oh goody-goody!” she screeched, as she swooped lower, holding out her talons to grasp the goldfish. In one huge glide, she plucked the poor fish up by the tail, and began her flight back up into the sky.
“What the-” came the shocked response of the goldfish as he dangled precariously from the dragon’s clutches.
“Oh no!” cried Michael, as he watched the dragon fly off with his fish. “What on earth do I do now?”
To Be Continued…
To find out what happens next, stay tuned and subscribe to my blog, as I’ll be announcing when it’s ready to pre-order and buy from Amazon as we get closer to the release date. In the meantime, while you wait, why not print off the pictures and colour them in, I’d love to see them! Pre-order your copy here.
The proof of my new book, Michael and the Magic Hiccup, has arrived, so I thought I’d give you a sneak peek and read you the first part of the story and you can hear the entertaining voices I’ve added to the characters. Have a watch of this video as I give you a sneak peek:
For the longest time I’ve wanted to illustrate my children’s books, but never really thought I had the talent to do so myself. However, during the lockdowns last year I began painting again, and was rather surprised at the results. That’s why when Boris and his clowns announced this latest house arrest, I thought I’d dig out an old fairy-tale I wrote back in my twenties and attempt to draw some artwork to accompany the story.
22 Illustrations Later…
It helped knowing the characters inside and out, and having already recorded all of their voices for a reading I did twenty-something years ago. I have to say, it was jolly good fun. Here’s one I’m most proud of…
Part Two Coming Soon
Stay tuned for the second sample of the story – with some more illustrations. I’m awaiting my proof from the printers, and hope to publish the hard copy of Michael and the Magic Hiccup some time in March. Pre-order your Kindle copy here: pre-order page.
Here’s the first part of a new children’s story I’ll be releasing later this year. Subscribe to my blog to stay up-to-date on the release date. I’ll be uploading the next section and some more pictures later this month, and hope to have the final version ready for mid-March. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, please let me know in the comments below. If you’d like, why not print off the first picture and colour it in – I’ll love to see how it looks once you’re finished.
The Adventure Begins…
Michael was bored. He was always bored. Today, more than ever, he was especially bored. It had been raining constantly for over a week now. Not just the normal, drizzly rain, but that cold, grey rain that made everything look even more dull and boring. Nothing exciting ever happened when it rained, in fact the only thing that happened when it rained like this was that things got wet, very, very wet. That was exactly what was happening to Michael, because Michael was a garden gnome, a very wet and very bored garden gnome.
If he’d had a choice in the matter, he would much rather have been a knight, or an explorer, or an adventurous snail, or anything else for that matter, as long as it wasn’t a garden gnome. But he didn’t have a choice, so there he was, Michael, the garden gnome, stood in the front garden of Mr and Mrs Poops, very wet, and very bored. Year after year he stood there alone in his silly red hat, bright green tunic, dark blue trousers, black rubber wellington boots and, not forgetting, his very stupid fishing rod with the plastic goldfish dangling boringly from his fishing line. About the most exciting thing that ever happened to him was Mr and Mrs Poops’ Ginger Tom that would come and sniff at him every once in a while. It really was a boring life being a garden gnome.
The old couple weren’t so bad. Mr Poops had long since retired as the town’s local bank manager, and spent most of his time tinkering in the garden or in his potting shed. Mrs Poops, who Michael thought must be going a little mad, spent most of her time stroking her ginger cat, or stranger still, talking to it! As if a cat could understand what she was talking about. Mr Poops had long since stopped paying attention to his wife, choosing instead to talk to his favourite garden ornament.
Michael really was getting fed up of standing there in the pouring rain. He hadn’t seen anyone for days now. Not even the Ginger Tom had come out to have a sniff at him. He hadn’t even seen the postman come up the pathway to deliver their daily mail. If it didn’t stop raining soon, Michael thought he would have to do something rather drastic. He didn’t know what that would be, but he had a great deal of time to think about what he might do. Most of all he longed for some kind of adventure.
Michael was bored, wet, cold, and tired. Having been out in the cold rain for so long, the stupid goldfish had filled with water, which made his arms ache from holding the heavy fishing rod. Worst of all, Michael could feel himself coming down with a cold! He felt like just throwing down the rod and running away. Just then he felt a strong need to sneeze:
“Ha- Ha- Ha…”
Oh, he hated that, when you could feel a sneeze coming, but it didn’t!
“Ha- Ha- Ha – HICCUP!”
Michael couldn’t believe it. He hadn’t sneezed, but hiccupped! What was all that about? How very strange. Had he been out in the cold too long that his mind was playing tricks on him? Even the silly goldfish looked surprised that he hadn’t sneezed. Then he got the feeling again:
To Be Continued…
The story doesn’t end there, it’s only just begun. Stay tuned for the next section, which I’ll be posting up later this month. Let me know in the comments section what you think about it so far. Pre-order your copy here.
It’s been a bit peaceful over here on my blog, as I’ve been distracted promoting my charity Christmas song on my band website, but my writing and artwork projects have still been simmering in the background.
Michael and the Magic Hiccup – Coming Soon!
Although I wrote this story back in 1998 before I emigrated to the US, like many of my other works that have only been more recently published, this too slipped through the cracks. In my twenties as an up-and-coming writing sensation, having written ‘Eric, the Brick‘, I had bragged that I could write a story about anything. I was challenged to write this story by a close associate at the time based upon five random words/ items: a goldfish, a teapot, a broom, a ginger cat, and a dragon. The obvious solution was a fairy-tale about a common or garden gnome!
Here’s a sneak peek at a draft idea for some of the cover art:
Stay tuned, as I’ll be posting up other artwork and a sample chapter to read as the weeks progress. Naturally I will let you all know when the book is finally available for pre-order in due course. Read a sample of the book here: First Sample
One of the nicest things about being a writer for me is getting responses from my young readers. Sure, it’s fun to spend time creating new stories and doing the artwork, but that feeling fades with time, and is often overshadowed with the real hard work of promoting and marketing the work afterwards. That’s what makes it especially wonderful when I get feedback. Most of all it’s the best when my works inspire young people to get creative and either write their own stories, or draw pictures. Look at the wonderful artwork I received today…