How the book Hollie and Figgs was born
When my daughter was suffering school phobia,anxiety and confidence issues a few years ago, her relationship with her cat Tiggs (the real Figgs) became very important to her. She created a special bond with Tiggs that no one else in the family had. At this time I had to leave my job in nursing through ill health as it was a very stressful and challenging time.
You can hear a radio interview with myself and my daughter talking about her anxiety and our project. The link is http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03q5wtr click on 01:07:50 on the time line.
One day I had the idea to write a story based on my daughter and her relationship with her cat. I wanted it to be collaboration with my daughter whereby I would write the story and she could illustrate it, in the hope that it would give her a positive goal and help her confidence. I undertook an online course in writing for children and began writing lots of different stories, until I came up with the version of Hollie and Figgs we have today.
I wanted the story to be magical and give the reader a feel good factor, encouraging them to read more and get to know and love the characters. I wanted the character Hollie to go on many exciting adventures, where she can have fun with her cat and have amazing experiences along the way.
At the beginning of the story, the reader is let in on the fact that Figgs is a magical cat, yet his owner Hollie doesn't know this yet. It is only when Figgs sees that Hollie is in need of his help does he show his true self and his magical abilities, and the fact that he can talk!
Hollie has to move to a new home and start a new school after her father loses his job. She doesn't prepare herself for the changes since she is more concerned with how Figgs cope. 'She began to feel lonely and started to miss her old school friends'...'Figgs hated seeing her looking sad, it made him feel sad too'.
Then one day at her new school, Hollie is given some English homework to do with the title 'Wishes'. Before bed, Hollie sets upon writing some of her english homework and says 'I wish I wish upon a star, that Figgs could take me to lands afar'.....Hollie Wishes Figgs could take her away from her sadness and on an adventure. And that is just what he does. Without giving away too much of the story, Figgs takes Hollie on an adventure to a magical land.
- If you want to find out more, you will have to read the book! :) The story ends on a positive note for the characters, and also the reader. The book will leave the reader with a smile on their face, a sense of excitement and wondering what Hollie and Figgs' next adventure will be!
The story has meaningful messages. That you can feel sad about moving to a new school, but make friends and become happy again. It also shows that a pet can have alot of comforting qualities and can be a great friend when you most need one! They also are very cute and great listeners :)
Bringing the story to life
A friend of mine who is the headteacher of a primary school, said that the story provokes some meaningful discussion, and raises useful issues for the younger age group. She also said it would be very beneficial for a class read and discussion.I also have interest from some local school nurses who would like to use the story for their primary school children.
I didn’t realise when I started this that I would fall in love with the story and characters like I have, also friends and family have read the story and they feel the same way!
A professional concept artist, who is also a friend of the family called 'Andy', offered to edit my daughter’s illustrations once he heard of my plan to get the story published. He kept as near to her initial drawings as possible, and we are all really pleased with the outcome of the illustrations. I then approached a Self Publisher who is going to publish the story for me.
My eldest daughter Naomi is very creative. She is helping me design a website, and has been actively involved in this project at every step, and with filming and editing the videos.
I have a vision to develop a 'World of Hollie and Figgs', so that young children can be actively involved. I would eventually like a hub where children can share their thoughts and ideas about Hollie and Figgs' adventures on my website. I plan to go into Primary schools to read the story as i am sure it will evoke some useful classroom discussion.
I have already set up an instagram page for Figgs the cat, so that young children and parents can visually keep up to date with his character. I am also having a plush toy of Figgs made for me to bring Figgs to life.
A chocolatier at 'Tasha's dairy free delights' has kindly offered to make some Figgs chocolates for my Kickstarter campaign, and i also plan to sell them separately through the website! My daughter, whom the story is based on, has a passion for animal welfare and this is also something I would also like to promote on the website.
I have already written the second story, which has the same core as the first book being meaningful and with a feelgood factor, but is a brand new and exciting adventure. I am also proud to say that I already have some pre-orders for the book!
I would like my Kickstarter campaign to help fund the publishing cost and the first 100 books to be printed. My publishers 'Matador' in Leicester have already given me a break down of the publishing cost. My story is all ready to send off to the publishers, and I have been advised that it will take up to three months for the release of the book. That is why I have included that the incentive gift packages will be sent out in August this year (but will be worth the wait!).
Marketing the book
I am wanting the book to be self marketed, with my eldest daughter helping me with this aspect of the project. She is currently doing a degree in Business and Marketing, and is also a content creator and online blogger. I am developing a Twitter and Facebook following for the book and although we are in the early stages, its going very well.
I have already approached a variety of bloggers, who are more than happy to read the book and write a review! This will help promote the book and also provide me with great feedback on how the book has been received.
I have done an online interview with a parent blogger, you can check it out here http://mammietammie.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/hollie-and-figgs.html
I have recently won a competition with 'Self publishers Showcase', whereby I won free lifetime advertising by writing a short script called 'My daughter, My inspiration'. I can use this advertising to promote my Kickstarter campaign, and i am searching on a daily basis for book promoters which will help the campaign reach even further!
I have a local bookshop who have offered to sell my book, and also do a book signing once the book is published. My daughter is also very excited at the idea of joining me on trips to book shops and book fairs, and im positive that this will help build her confidence even more.
Breakdown of costs and funding goal
My goal is £888.
- Pre press production cost for a 216x216cm 240gsm board paperback, with full colour pictures and text with number of pages 40pp - £700. (This includes Title setup and administration,ISBN allocation,British library legal deposit, bar code and QR code, Matador website entry, bibliographic data management, Typesetting and proof revisions, and cover design)
- Printing for 100 copies is £168.
- Funds towards the rewards £120. If it is possible to achieve more that I have requested I will look at developing the project further, or use a better quality paper or making the book into hardback.
Here are some of the rewards i am offering
This is a mock up of the book.
A signed copy of the book. The book will be a great quality paperback.
Some of the gifts/incentives on offer,a cute Figgs mouse mat,a Hollie and Figgs mug, and a car/window sticker.There are more, but this is just an example.
Thankyou for taking the time to read about my project. I am extremely dedicated to this story, and i hope that any potential backers of this project will see not only the benefit of the story, but also my commitment to bringing the project to life. Annette.
SOCIAL MEDIA -FOLLOW HOLLIE AND FIGGS HERE
Risks and challenges
- A possible issue could be a delay with the publishers. This would be out of my control but i would always maintain full contact with all of my backers and the publishers, to inform you of all updates and make the delay as smooth a process as possible.
- If we do not raise enough funds with this campaign, i will definitely continue along my journey to bring the story to life!
- I have time to devote to the project, and market the project. I cannot envisage any other risks or challenges.
I am sure things will run smoothly and I will keep all backers personally informed along the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)