The Story Writer.

Claire Donald.

I live in Risca, near Cardiff in South Wales, United Kingdom, with my husband Norman. We have a grown up son Elliot and two wonderful grandsons. Noah is a highly strung whirlwind, noisy, clever, excitable, very active, with a great imagination and sense of humour but he is sensitive too and eager to please. Teddy is more relaxed and easy going but also very stubborn with a wonderful wicked streak. Both are very loving and in common with most children their age, very funny! They keep everyone entertained for hours.

As is typical of many valley communities, my extended family live very close by. They all provide inspiration for my stories, including our mad dog Manny, Kipper the cat, and Bob 17 the goldfish. I also write about our horse Jenny, and her friends in the field and barn.

I was a primary school teacher (specialising in Early Years and Special Education) before becoming an author and I draw heavily on the experiences and knowledge gained during that time when writing my stories. Indeed many stories typically have an educational slant and are great resources for teaching and learning.
I wrote many plays, songs, poems and stories for my pupils and the school. But, it wasn’t until a school’s inspector read some of my work and encouraged me to publish them, that I even considered becoming an author.

Since that time I have been busy writing and editing a range of titles for children 3 to 8+ years of age. I now have quite a back catalogue that should keep my illustrator and publisher busy for quite a while.
In addition to writing I also design games for a leading educational supplier.

The Illustrators

 I was very fortunate to know Simon, who is a local water colour artist. I persuaded him to do my illustrations and I’m so glad he took up the gauntlet. We have forged a very positive and productive relationship. I am thrilled with the way he brings my stories to life. He is also part of the educational visit team and teaches children how to draw amongst other things.

Simon Taylor.

Hi, I’m Simon Taylor, artist and newbie illustrator. I live in the same town as Claire with my wife Sharon and two grown up children, Oliver and Harriet. I have always been interested in drawing and painting and I particularly like water colours as a medium. I had never thought about becoming an illustrator but when Claire approached me and planted the seed, I looked into it and quite fancied giving it a go.

I am inspired by other artists and like both Luke Scriven, an illustrator and the artist, Andrew Tischler .

Most of my ideas come to me in bed so I keep a note book on the cupboard for scribbling things down. Our collaboration involves me reading Claire’s stories, then we discuss ideas for the illustrations. I do a lot of loose sketches, send them to Claire for approval then paint in to find a colour palette and then produce the final piece.

I hope people like my traditional style of painting as I prefer to use water colour rather than digitalised images.
My favourite work I’ve created is a portrait of Sean Conway, an explorer and hero of mine.

Nature has always been a massive part of my life. A big issue that is concerning me at the moment is the plastic problem and how we’re collectively going to solve it.
I have several interests in addition to my art. I love walking the hills around my home or training my dogs. I love animals and have several dogs, chickens, and hawks that I train and fly. I also do Thai boxing, coach rugby, recycle furniture and litter pick around my area and when I am out walking.

Chrish Vindhy

I was fortunate indeed to find Chrish in a Facebook group for authors and illustrators. I loved her style and colour choices. At the time she was in SriLanka but as luck would have it she was moving to a town not far from me. I was so pleased with the first illustrations she did for me, I gave her more stories to illustrate. We have developed a great partnership in a short time. Chrish is very professional and meets all deadlines, including rush jobs I thrust onto her.

Chrish is a multi-talented UK based Sri Lankan illustrator who can tell a story from pictures without uttering a single word. Her God given ability to bring mere stories to life using both digital and traditional techniques has made her a master of this craft. These creative illustrations are a result of her dedication and commitment . She is also an author of children’s books and uses her imagination to pen the best memorable stories for children. Vindhy is also a loving wife and a mother to 4 children. Apart from storytelling and being an illustrator, she is a qualified Architect. In her leisure time, Vindhy also finds time to create unique crafts, bake cakes and create beautiful icing structures combining all her abilities in her arsenal.

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