Monster Monday: The Grungegogglers.

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.

* * *

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:


Well that was quick…

… PIKA is here!!!

Look under your bed and what do you see,
A place full of dust or a magical tree?
Crawl under your bed and continue the tale,
There’s a ship by the tree and it’s about to set sail.”

So begins the journey into Land Far Away – a magical domain filled with strange creatures, like the Phluphs, the Linzers, the fearsome Grungegogglers, and the gentle Snuggles. Join the author Kira Morgana and illustrator Maria K. on the first Land Far Away adventure, as Pika the Phluph sets out to conquer the heart of the savage and uncouth Gribblebid.

 Available on Lulu now!

Coming soon – The Land Far Away… once I can wrest it away from the children that is!

I had a wonderful parcel arrive today.  The plain cardboard sleeve protected the proof copy of the book that Maria K. and I have been collaborating on for over a year and a half now.

That’s right, the first book of “The Land Far Away” series is almost available to purchase!

But back to the parcel… I wanted so much to sit down and savour the feeling of holding the first printed copy of our work in my hands.

The silly little rhymes that my children and I had come up with while NOS was doing his homework; the characters that the children created for me; the pictures that linked me with my friend in NC… All of these things make this particular book incredibly special for me.

So I pulled it out of its packaging carefully and sighed over the smooth, shiny cover and thick, smooth paper of the pages. I began to read the clear writing and marvel at Maria’s bright pictures…

“MUMMY!” the children thundered down the stairs and into the room like a herd of Skruffs. They caught sight of the book in my hands.

“Is that MY Pika book?” PT demanded.

“It was MY rhymes that mummy used.” NOS snapped at his sister.

“Pika is MY character! She’s soft and pink and fluffy, just like me.” PT stamped her foot.

“You can’t read properly, so it’s MY book.” NOS replied smugly.

The two of them fetched up in front of me, looking down on the pages. I looked up at them, raising one eyebrow at them.

“Who wrote the book?” I asked.

“You did.” NOS answered sullenly.

“No. We all did. You, your sister, me and Maria. We all wrote this book together. It was a…”

“Team effort?” PT asked.

I looked at NOS.

He shrugged. “I suppose so.”

I rolled my eyes, but he didn’t seem to register my expression. “I tell you what, why don’t you go read it to your sister.” The kids glanced at each other and shouted “YES” loud enough to be heard in the village centre.

I laughed and handed it to them. “Here you go then. Go careful with it please.”

They dashed away upstairs, book in hand.

I followed behind quietly with the camera and waited until they were engrossed in the story, before I snapped a photo to mark the occasion.

The kids road testing the book...

Isn’t it pretty?

If you’re interested in what the book is about, then check out “The Land Far Away” page in my bookshop.

I think having the proof copy is one of the more emotional experiences in my writing career. It’s the fulfillment of mine and Maria’s efforts and having it in my hands is a wonderful experience.

Now all we have to do is get it out there to be bought and hope that people like it enough! The thought of someone actually buying it gives me butterflies in my tummy!