Skellee was a character I created many years ago. At first there was only one Skellee character but over the last four or five years, as I created more stories, I had to create more Skellees. It became too much for one Skellee to deal with.
I loved the idea of creating modern day folk heros for children and this is what the Skellee Rescue Service represents.
Even though I was dreadful at telling stories to my own children, I think I have made up for that shortcoming by readily entertaining my grandchildren, who loved the Skellee stories.
I have also tested them on a group of nursery and after-school children whose ages ranged from two to seven. The response was incredible, according to the school staff. I certainly had tremendous pleasure seeing their little faces light up, particularly on the second story about the football.
In the end, it was the inspiration from my grandchildren, which instigated my developing the characters in a commercial way. Since reaching that decision, everyone I told the stories to, wanted to add something and basically get involved in some way or another.
My biggest obstacle along the route was learning to paint. Having a father who was a brilliant artist and studied as the The Slade School of Fine Art, meant it was quite a hurdle for me to overcome my fear of not achieving anywhere near his standard. However, I was fortunate to meet an amazing inspiration international artist, Mary Aitkinson, in Javea. She instilled in me that I had a gift and gently pushed me along the way until I achieved the confidence I needed.
By the time I finish the first edition of the series, I’m sure I will be quite good at painting and the second edition of the books will certainly be different. I just hope that people will find these first paintings of the scenes and the characters, endearing.
I know the children will love the story and that is what is most important to me.