Norwich mother’s crowdfunding campaign to publish her first children’s book
PUBLISHED: 17:05 24 January 2017 | UPDATED: 18:19 24 January 2017
Copyright: Archant 2017
A Norwich mother is appealing for people to help her realise her ambition to publish her first children’s book.
Who Would Hug A Hoggle? is the named of Stephanie Walker’s debut book which revolves around a group of furry, friendly monsters who live all around us but are difficult to spot because they are so shy.
Thirty-one-year-old Mrs Walker, who lives in Dolphin Road, Costessey, came up with the story over Christmas, with the help of her five-year-old daughter Lucy and her 31-year-old husband Stephen, and since then she has developed the idea into a book which she is hoping to publish by May.
She has set up a crowdfunding campaign on the Indiegogo website and hopes to raise £1,250 to cover the cost of self-publishing the book.
Mrs Walker, who runs a toymaking business called Stitch It Mama, said: “I had written stories for my daughter for years and even at school I was known for my writing but I had never really taken it any further.
“Over Christmas I was working on new toy ranges and I came up with the idea for these furry monsters and made what has become the Hoggle. My daughter came in and immediately asked me lots of questions and from that this whole story developed.
“Her first question was where it lived, and I came up with the idea that it lived under the bed and eats socks, and that’s why you can never find matching socks!
“We came up with all of these different Hoggles, it was a huge amount of fun. There is one that lives in a cafe and eats sugar packs and drinks coffee, one that lives on a bus and collects tickets, one that lives in a doctor’s surgery and eats plasters, and another that lives in the attic and eats Christmas decorations.”
From here the former English tutor wrote the full story and sketched out illustrations before testing out the book on her daughter’s class at Bignold Primary School.
“I read it to them and they absolutely loved it. It was great and now I get children coming up to me in the playground asking me more about the Hoggles.”
Mrs Walker estimates she will need about £1,250 to cover the costs of the publishing company’s fees and paying for shipping, distribution and marketing, and for art supplies for the book’s illustrations.
In return for supporting Mrs Walker’s fundraising campaign people can receive a variety of perks, ranging from signed copies of Who Would Hug A Hoggle?, limited edition art prints and a Hoggle toy.
Mrs Walker said: “I just want to get the story out there and for people to have as much fun with it as we have.
“It would be a huge thing [to have the book published]...It would mean the absolute world to hold that book in our hands and to see other people reading it and enjoying it.”
She added: “A fun, family read would be the best description for it. The story itself is something that will get children looking a bit harder at the world around them to see if they can spot these hidden Hoggles.
“The book describes where they live, what they eat and how you can befriend them.
“I would like to have a series...we are considering another book about Hoggles on holiday.”
To support Mrs Walker’s fundraising campaign for her book, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/who-would-hug-a-hoggle-children-s-book#/
Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at email@example.com