Peter Digs A Den is a beautifully illustrated children's book told in rhyme, written by Amy Stretch-Parker and illustrated by Kate Brunskill. It's the story of a small boy with a big idea. Peter has a dream, to build a den big enough for his entire family (and all their pets) to sleep in. He works hard to get the money to buy the tools he needs and works even harder to achieve his goal.
We are looking for backers to help make our dream a reality, to help us dig our den. The text is written, the characters formed and a plan is in place to self publish by October 2017. Once the book is completed we intend to take it to schools, festivals, and children's organisations and to run creativity workshops which we hope will inspire children to get outside, get creative and find their passion.
Our book is still a work in progress but we have created the storyboard, developed the illustrative style and have researched and decided upon the best way to print, market and promote our work. The story has been edited and has received very positive feedback.
We have created a professional audiobook and will have an e-book, hardback and paperback version available for sale throughout the Lake District and with various online sellers. All we are looking for now are the funds to pay the illustrator, get the necessary barcodes and ISBNs, a little towards marketing and promotion, some extra editing software, professional assistance in the printing process and for an initial print run. We will be using a print on demand service to keep our costs as low as possible and have already gained interest from local newspapers, community organisations and online media.
I believe we have created reward tiers that will encourage you to back our project. Kate has created some wonderful artwork just for our backers, there's an audiobook version up for grabs, an e-book, the book itself in either paperback or hardback, signed of course. There are invitations to our Den Day storytelling festival in Ulverston in October which promises to be an event for all the family with craft activities, storytellers, book swaps and workshops. Large pledges mean a special workshop for your child's school or organisation and for those who pledge the highest tier, a dedication in the book itself. Whatever you can pledge we will be truly grateful for.
Help us dig our den and bring our story to the next generation of den diggers.
How it all began...
I love where I live. The Cumbrian landscape inspires me daily, which is why I decided to embark on creating Peter Digs A Den. I wanted to tell the story of a child who grew up like I did, surrounded by beautiful countryside, unlimited by fear but in an environment full of potential risk taking opportunities. Where a simple dream can become a reality with hard work and determination and where isolation (and often boredom) fuels the imagination.
Cumbria has a rich literary heritage, especially for children's literature. The Lake District is the place Peter Rabbit came to life and where Arthur Ransom's Swallows and Amazons ventured into the unknown. It's wild and rugged and the perfect setting for a children's story.
Our Peter is real. This isn't the story of a child with magical powers, this isn't the story of another world.This is simply the story of a boy who has an idea, figures out what he needs to do to accomplish it and sets to work. It's a story that all children can relate to. It's a story that will hopefully inspire children to self-motivate; that sometimes the journey is the reward, that sometimes the simple things in life are the greatest pleasures.
My partner was homeschooled. His opportunity for self-directed play unfettered by a classroom environment. One day he decided to dig a den in the garden and so he did. This is his story. Opportunities for digging a den in a back garden are few and far between these days, but the simplicity of his decision to do something, figuring out how to buy the tools and setting to work spoke to me on many levels. It reminded me of all the things I deemed possible when I was little; digging my way to China with a bucket and spade on the beach, flying to the moon in a cardboard rocket, winning the Eurovision song contest with mine and my sister's song "I can stand on my own two feet". His simple tale of digging a den inspired me to follow one of my childhood dreams. Writing a children's book. And so I did.
Choosing the right illustrator
Social media is a wonderful tool for connecting people, especially when you live in such a remote area as Cumbria. The community I live in is full of artists and reaching out to find an illustrator was an easy process. Kate Brunskill also lives in my home town of Ulverston in the South Lakes. Kate's an incredibly talented woman whose art captures the imagination and the colours of our countryside perfectly. Her artwork brightens the windows of our town during the festival season and lends itself to storytelling well. She's also very hard working, methodical and self-directed, talents I deem necessary for completing a project within a deadline and without external pressures.
Thank you for reading... Please help as much as you can. Rewards start at £2!
Amy and Kate x
Risks and challenges
Of course with any creative project such as this there are challenges and risks. We have carefully considered the potential challenges and have a workplan in place we believe is as secure as possible.
The main challenge is ensuring the illustration is finished, checked and edited within the deadline - ours is October 2017. Kate is dedicated to this project and has developed the initial sketches for each page of the book from our storyboard. She has created the main character, the colour palette and has assistance in place for making the pages proofread and print ready. She is experienced in working to tight deadlines and I have every faith in her delivering not only on time but with perfection.
The other possibility is that we exceed our budget. I have carefully and diligently researched the cost of every aspect of the project and believe we have created a conscientious and realistic budget. I have allowed a contingency of 5% overall. All fees including the kickstarter fees, reward costs, postage and packaging have been worked carefully into the budget to reflect the limits of each reward tier. If we appear to be exceeding our budget at any point I have identified areas where we can spend less to create a balance but still allow for full completion by the deadline.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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