Wednesday, 1 August 2018

EXCITING NEWS AT THE HOLLIE AND FIGGS HEADQUARTERS

I am so excited to be sharing some fantastic news with you guys. When I first started this project I had no idea where it would take me. All I knew is that I wanted to make my daughter feel better physically and emotionally. Her self-esteem and confidence had vanished. The main comfort in her life was her immediate family, but mainly our cat. I focused the project on her invaluable friendship with our cat and based the main characters on them both. You may know that my daughter Holly created the initial illustrations for the first book.

I hadn't planned to develop the book into a series. But on taking the story into schools and seeing how well children responded to it gave me the inspiration to write a second story and now I am writing the third. (to be released next year).
Financially it isn't viable as it is costing a lot more than I am making, but it isn't all about profit. It's about helping young children to believe in themselves, their dreams and their abilities. 

Like, who would have thought that I would be writing children's books? And who would have thought that now my daughter would be running her own online business and be very successful at it?

Holly no longer has time to dedicate to the project. She is physically and emotionally a lot better and as I said is now running her own online business. I would like to think that the Hollie and Figgs project has helped build her confidence. I know that she is very fond of the characters and the stories are very meaningful for her. 

I really didn't think about the impact that doing this project would have on me. 
I suppose I have suffered alongside Holly as you do when your child is suffering from any illness. This project has meant so much to us both. 

By taking the stories into schools I hope to continue to have a positive influence on young children. Let's face it there is so much pressure for children to succeed and they face many challenges they are not old enough to understand. So Hollie and Figgs is a light relief, yet it holds many positive messages, not only in the script but in doing and achieving something out of the ordinary.

I managed to find an amazing and talented young lady Beth Hilliard who was an illustration student at my local university. She has now worked on the second book, Hollie and Figgs: The Missing Rainbow and has started work on the third book in the series. I have been full of admiration for her artwork. Beth is now a graduate illustrator and I am sure she will be extremely successful. 

It became apparent to me that I could help promote young peoples work through my project as well. It's also great to talk to primary school children about different jobs they could aspire to have, like being a writer, an illustrator, a musician and an animator and I can demonstrate it through the Hollie and Figgs project.
I now have a talented musician Danny who was a music student and now runs Leicester Max Records. He has created an adorable theme tune for Hollie and Figgs. See where I'm going with this?

What is missing? Well, I really needed something to go along with the theme tune, something visual for children to watch whilst listening to the music. 
Ah, Lightbulb moment, an animation!! 

So back to my local university to see if there was anyone who would like to join our growing team of creative young people. I was introduced to Maisie Grant who is now a graduate animator. I am more than impressed with her work. And she is now working on the animation for the Hollie and Figgs theme music.

In order to showcase all our work, that's everyone who has and is working on the Hollie and Figgs project I am having a new website designed which should be ready to share very soon.

I will also be sharing details of the animation process. Check in to Hollie and Figgs on FaceBook as well to keep up to date. 
I have no idea where this will take me, but knowing that I have asserted some positive influence over young people in a world that can and is very challenging fills me with pride and pleasure.








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