As I write this I notice that my desk is covered in cartoon ideas for the Frog and the Well Comic and the sketches and prints out of notes flow seamlessly into the evolving manuscript for the follow up to Dying to Know- is there life after death, which has a working title of Turning inside Out – what if everything we’ve been taught is wrong?
I’m truly blessed that I have found the perfect outlet for my quirky and mildly freaky view on life and my complete lack of understanding of it. The Frog is my inner kid allowed to run free and see the world through daisy like glasses free of the idiocy of the so called ‘grown up’ world. It’s the closest I get to expressing the real me. I've realised that I don't know any of the answers to the meaning to life, but I'm on a journey to find out and Frog and the Well is an expression of some of the insights I find along the way.
The first cartoon appeared out of no-where as I doodled using Paint on the computer one lazy day and even though I didn’t know how to draw I felt a tremendous freedom in being able to make shit up without having to get anyone else’s approval.
And what was truly magical was that I wasn’t afraid to think the Frog would make a good book idea and pursued it with gusto. After 4 rejections I found a publisher who believed in the frog so much that they wanted to publish a series of books. The first, Unconventional Happiness was released in late 2011 by Big Sky Publishing
Everyone thought Unconventional Happiness was a kids book, merely by the look of it and no matter how much I resisted and said it was for adults, the kids fell in love it. Parents would read to it their kids at bedtime, one mum kept her copy in the car so when she waited with her boys for the school bus they’d all discuss certain pages and what it meant to them. One little 8 year old girl carried it with her everywhere, one boy kept it under his pillow for safe keeping.
The second book originally started out as a book of quirky ‘prayers’, but when we tested the ideas on random people no-one really got them, so it was back to the drawing board. Then out of the blue, the ‘Follow Your Heart’ idea dropped from the sky and I had the first draft finished in 3 days. The ideas flowed like honey. It was meant to be. For me the book is about people giving licence to follow their dreams without any fear.
At the start of 2014 I changed the look and feel of Frog and the Well to target adults by loosely turning it into a comic strip. I love this format, it gives me a new creative license where I can do whatever the hell I like! I also wanted to tell more of a story and this was the best way to do it. Mind you I’ve learnt what resonates with people and try to maintain that connection but every now and then I challenge myself and my readers. There’s a couple of cartoons I’ll ever publish until my leave my current place of employment!
Who knows where Frog and the Well will be in another 4 years time, hopefully with another book deal and syndication in newspapers and magazines around the world, that would be awesome.