My full time job here at Shape is a web developer, but over the past 14 months during my spare time I’ve been working on my very own children’s book. I’ve always enjoyed writing stories and I love to draw and paint. My main inspiration for writing this book came from my English Bull Terrier, Pebble. There are a lot of mixed views on Bull Terriers. Some people see them as these ugly or scary dogs, but they are actually big softies and I personally think they are very cute. There are loads of celebrities that own Bull Terriers, such as Marc Jacobs, Taylor Swift, Princess Anne, Liam Gallagher, John Bishop, Lily Allen and Nick Grimshaw.
One nickname for the breed is a clown dog and that is because they are very silly and funny. I never have a dull moment with Pebble, she’s always doing something funny and makes me smile every day. This is where I got the idea for my story. Pebble and many Bull Terriers I follow online sleep in funny spots and awkward potions. I knew this was a great story to tell and many dog owners would relate. I especially love the wash basket scene.
My goal is to create a book that shows how fantastic and funny the Bull Terrier breed is. To show diversity in the picture book world that not all dogs have to be fluffy with big eyes to be cute, that small eyes and a big rump can be just as good. I want children and parents to see how funny and loving this breed actually is.
My book is about a mischievous English Bull Terrier named Nelly who wants nothing more than a soft bed to tuck her head and rest her rump. See the funny, awkward, and unusual places where she tries to sleep on her quest to find the perfect bed.
These two lines Nelly says are repeated throughout the book. Repetition is featured in a lot of children's books. It clarifies the structure of the story for young children and helps them to remember what they have read. It also adds rhythm and a fun ritual for children to join in. The word "rump" I particularly like because it is another word for bum/butt, but sounds funny to say out loud. It is also associated with a large animal's hindquarters or buttocks and Bull Terriers are renown for their chunky, muscley butts.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been raising money on Kickstarter which is an online platform that helps fund new and upcoming projects. My minimum goal is to print 250 books for £1,500. I was very nervous at first because if this goal was not reached I wouldn’t get a penny, but thanks to a lot of amazing people and Bull Terrier fanatics this goal was reached after 3 days. After 14 days we reached 100 pledges. Ever since I started advertising the book people have been sending really nice messages and pictures of their Bull Terriers which has been really nice. I’m currently in the process of getting the books printed and then I’ll be investing in marketing in the hope to have my book in a physical bookstore.
The kickstarter campaign is still ongoing with only a few days left, ending 3pm BST 21st September. If you’d like to support and get your own signed copy then please back on Kickstarter.