I am a woman of many facets. I write all sorts of things and sometimes I write things because I want to educate or entertain my children. This is how The Land Far Away Series got started.
The first book was “Pika the Phluph and the Gribblebid Tough“, and my original idea was to show my son and daughter how the letters PH make the sound FF. They helped me create the creatures, both by describing them and sketching them as well as by lending certain aspects of their personalities to the characters.
For example, anyone who knows my daughter will immediately recognise who Pika is based on and the Gribblebid has my son’s temper!
The stories are told in simple rhymes and many of the names that I’ve made up for the creatures, while they look difficult to pronounce, they’re easy to break down into phonetics in the same way that the children are taught to read at school.
I am the first person to admit that my rhyme schemes are not the most polished, but to entertain and teach a child, they don’t have to be. The important part is the story.
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It was nearly three years ago now when I first met Maria Kuroshchepova through a mutual facebook friend. It turned out that we both loved fantasy and we both adored nonsense rhymes, almost as soon as I started playing with one!
It soon turned into a working relationship that spanned the ocean between us. I’d write the words and Maria turned them into pictures. It was only a moment or two (or that’s what it felt like, anyway) before we started to turn the words and pictures into a book.
“What does this have to do with monsters? After all it is Monster Monday.”
Well the Land Far Away doesn’t really have monsters. It has creatures that may, from one point of view, be seen as monsters because of their behaviour or the way they look.
The Grungegogglers are one such creature and the easiest way to describe them is to let the Piskaphluph bird tell you about them:
A slick of bright colours floated out on the lake,
The Piskaphluph bird felt herself shake,
“Who is committing these terrible crimes?”
And over the building she flew one more time.
Trudging from the building some creatures appeared,
To the Piskaphluph bird they looked really weird,
Their bodies were green and covered with scales,
They had red spikes down the length of their tails,
But as she soon finds out, the Grungegogglers are creating this pollution for a very good reason. So she pops off to find help.
Sadly the Grungegogglers discover the damage they have done to the Land Far Away more than a little too late. I won’t tell you how the story ends – you need to pick up a copy of the book to do that!
It’s only in paperback at the moment – I am sorting out e-book versions and a-book versions as fast as I can, so if you want to find out more about the Piskaphluph and her adventure with the Grungegogglers here’s the link: