The Ghostly Ghastlys Readers’ Club


I haven’t posted here for a long time – because I have set up my website at I have done a lot more illustrating, using both the wonderful Krita art programme I mentioned before, and pen, pencil, ink, paint and paper as well.

Am very proud of my art development. If I can learn to draw and also work with an online programme, then anyone can. Give it a go!

Details of my children’s books, and a free welcome story for joining the Ghostly Ghastlys Readers’ Club can be found on my website and I would love for you to join. (But if you’re under 13, have a responsible adult join for you.)


castle 300ppi21ap18 with club

Having A Go at Illustrating – A Few More Illustrations for the Ghostly Ghastlys Book 7

There are a huge amount of YouTube demonstrations on illustrating children’s books, and I’ve watched quite a few of them. It’s so much fun to have a go at illustrating my stories, but I am the first to admit I’m not yet very good at it. I am using  and adapting, with her permission, the artwork that the hugely talented Christina Boon did for the earlier stories, and augmenting it with some of my own.

Here are some for Book 7, based on Christina’s original work.



Eggs, Pegs and an Elephant – Illustrated Chapter Book


front cover_finalWhen I was small – a long time ago – I was often given books for presents, because everyone knew I loved reading. I also loved illustrations, and I kept my disappointment to myself when a beautiful coloured book cover had only grayscale pictures inside.

So, when I published my chapter books, I had one or two colour pictures inside, to augment the grayscale illustrations.

Eggs, Pegs and an Elephant is different. There was a  problem with the print version, and the only solution that I could find was to colourize all the delightful illustrations that the wonderfully talented artist, Christina Boon, had done for me.

As Christina is not now illustrating, and as I wanted to learn to illustrate myself, I spent two months not only colouring, but adding to the smaller illustrations throughout. Almost every other page now has an illustration, and although several are not nearly as good as Christina’s, the 7-year-old me would have approved.

The ebook was published earlier this year, and I have updated the ebook format for the new coloured version on Amazon. As soon as I can find a way to reduce the size of the file, which now exceeds what will be accepted at Smashwords, I will get this new colour version uploaded to iBooks, Barnes and Noble,  Kobo and a number of other online sellers.

In the meantime, here are some of my favourite illustrations:



Eggs, Pegs and an Elephant is the story of a little elephant who goes in search of his friend, the porcupine in Pizzas, Pirates and a Porcupine. This is all about his adventures along the way. It also features Pegs, an adventurous chicken, a news-spreading crow, a monkey who is an expert at hair-dos, fur-dos and feather-dos, and a whole host of other characters – some of which are a bit grumpy.

Here is a map of his journey:


Available as a paperback and as an eBook on Amazon.


I am also currently working on my illustrations for Poggle, the Pirates’ Cat as mentioned in previous posts, and will update my adventures in Krita soon. I also intend to colour the small pictures in Pizzas, Pirates and a Porcupine, already published in paperback and an eBook to match Eggs, Pegs and an Elephant.


Continuing Adventures in Krita Illustrating

Spread 1 (4)


So for anyone wanting to do a spot of illustrating on their laptop, here is the first spread of my picture story “Poggle, the Pirates’ Cat” which I created mainly with Krita. Krita is the free, absolutely brilliant art programme that I found quite by accident.

The first drafts of this spread were pretty awful. Now I am starting to get “there.” The atmospheric stuff is fun to create – and stars, dust and planets too. Had to do a lot of drawing to get something resembling a pirate ship, mainly in my sketch book, and then scanned in. I have discovered that I very much like working with silhouettes, and also what I am told are “flat” images ie without too much shading, but I think that’s OK for picture books.

An artist friend kindly looked over what I had done and advised me to use a plain font for the text – I had previously chosen one of the fun ones. Her reasoning was that it was  clearer to read, so here it is in plain font, apart from the compass which is in Old English Text, which she said was fitting for the style. I might well change the positioning though, as not altogether happy that all the lines point to Jupiter. There is a way of getting them to, but I have yet to work that out.

So I am having fun with this, and if I can do it, anyone can. Just to recap, Krita can be downloaded for free from the site and I would then recommend having a look at some of the demonstrations on YouTube.





A Smattering of Know-How – Krita for Illustrating

So, Never Too Old….

Cover 2

For anyone who wants to produce some illustratins, artwork or even some cards or fancy lettering on their laptop, here’s my story about using an amazing free programme called Krita.

I wanted to illustrate my children’s books. I am not very good at it, but I hit a few problems last year with publishing, and this seemed a novel solution. Six months on, and doing something arty every day, I am starting to get there!

Though I work with a sketch book, especially for the beginnings and the awkward bits, it is now the computer art programmes that keeps me glued all night. Krita is fabulous! It’s not the easiest to get to grips with it, but well worth the endeavour. Many artists have tutorials on You Tube, so anyone like me who has an awful lot to learn, will soon able to create with a smattering of know- how.

Text is not always easy but the developers are working on solutions. If you can get it to do what you want it will astound you – it did me!

Krita is truly free. No adverts or rubbish like that, no need to even register anywhere. I downloaded it as my “reward” for getting those wretched tax returns in just before the end of January. It took me a week to work out how to make a mark on the page, five weeks to draw a cloud, and as for layers – who was I to guess at their amazing future usefulness to my life?

Now I can produce some reasonable artwork. It will be an age of course before it goes from “reasonable” to “good” but, for a sixty-nine-year old, this is the most fun solution to my publishing problems.

Poggle, the Pirates’ Cat is a poem I wrote for my daughter when she was seven. She is now thirty something, but the idea has stuck, and it’s become my first foray into illustrating a picture story. I’m intending to upload spreads here, for general entertainment, and to show how I’m getting on, as I get them into an okay state.

Now the really odd part – I have no clear idea how I created Jupiter. The circle started off as the sun, and whilst experimenting with blending, Jupiter “appeared,” complete with the spot. So the programme has a touch of magic embedded somewhere deep inside it, and we can all do with magic!

Please read about Krita or download at this site address: –

Special Screening of Paddington at Ambassador’s Woking

Disabled Access Day free screening – Grab your Teddy Bear and join the Teddy Bears’ Picnic at Ambassador’s Cinema in Woking on Saturday, 12th March. Teddy Bears’ Picnic starts at 10 am with the film at 11 am.

The screening has been donated by the film makers, Studio Canal, and will be introduced by CBeeBie’s Chris Jarvis.

Please contact Briony Tanner at

Here’s the details:

Ambassador’s Paddington Screening

Studio Canal’s Paddington

Chris Jarvis


Catching Up

front cover_finalLife has been very busy for me for over two years now, which is why I haven’t got on with this blog, or very much writing.

2016 will change this though, as more time on the horizon, and a book that has taken me nearly three years to write is about to be published. It’s been mentioned in my blog before, but now it is named and illustrated and I am on the final proof reading today.

So, here is “Eggs, Pegs and an Elephant” and a picture of the cover is above. Christina Boon has again provided some brilliant illustrations for me.  I will add links as soon as it is out.

Anyone for Pirate Treasure?

Arrr, shiver me timbers! Be there booty in the box?


Find out in Pizzas, Pirates and a Porcupine if the rascally band find the long lost treasure or not.

Available free to download on Smashwords, iBooks, Barnes and Noble Nook books, Sony books, and on Amazon for 77p.

Illustration by Christina Boon.