I AM A LITTLE like Mr Benn in that I wear a number of different hats, all of which I like to think are eye-catching and well-tailored, or at the very least occasionally amusing.
My top hat is as a writer of children’s fiction, picture books and poetry – which I try to do with passion, imagination and a knowledge of the market. I wrote the bestselling Where’s the Dragon?, which was illustrated by my talented and much missed father Richard Hook. More recently, I wrote Wendy and the Wallpaper Cat for V&A Publishing, which became a V&A show, and my animal poetry appeared in The Forest Folk, The Marine Team and The Sky Guys, published by MIBO / Button Books. My first novel, Isabella Mawtle’s Immortal Vanishing Cream, for readers aged 8+, is as yet unpublished, and I’m writing a second YA novel and a number of picture books.
I love collaborating with illustrators and designers, so please do get in touch if you would like to discuss working with me. I’m also very happy to hear from publishers, museums and other businesses who would like to see proposals or need some help in developing, packaging, editing, taming or rescuing their own concepts and projects. After all, why else would I be asking a white rabbit to help me blow my own trumpet?
You might know me better by the flying helmet I wear as a publisher. From 2016 to 2020 I was at Ammonite Press, part of GMC Publications, where I led a small but perfectly formed team in creating a gift book list that included the 28-title Biographics series of infographic biographies, the innovative Sherlock Holmes Escape Books, the 4-Letter Words series, and photography books including the 52 Assignments series and the British Wildlife Photography Awards. Previously, I was the publisher at Ivy Press, where I conceived, developed and sold bestselling illustrated non-fiction titles on both sides of a large pond. I’ve created books for companies including A&C Black, Dorling Kindersley, HarperCollins, Penguin, Princeton University Press, St. Martin’s Press, Simon & Schuster, Sterling, Thames & Hudson and the University of Chicago Press. I conceived and commissioned the million-selling 30-Second Theories series of popular reference titles, which I curated and created with my wonderful colleagues in the Ivy team.
As if by magic, I occasionally borrow a wizard’s hat for developing animations and infographics with my friends at Watchbell. I collaborate there with a very experienced art director and a highly talented digital illustrator and animator. And my bowler hat always remains at the ready if opportunities for copywriting, scripting, blogging, editing and dressing up wander into the changing room.
So, please do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you…