Me - in brief!

Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne quite a long time ago!

Studied Graphic Design at Brighton
I have a BA(Hons) in Graphic Design and an MA in Narrative Illustration & Editorial Design

Work
I worked for various publishing/packaging companies including Design Eye, Tony Potter Publishing and Inky Press before deciding to go freelance as Blooming Books to concentrate on my own creations until 2013. I now work for four days as an editor at Campbell Books, part of Pan Macmillan - fabulous fun!

Collaborations
I teamed up with the awesome Nick Sharratt to create some rather long-titled books, including these award winners: The Gooey, Chewy Rumble, Plop Book, The Icky, Sticky, Snot and Blood Book, Something Beginning With Blue and Yawn. Take a peek at the "My Books" section for more silly titles with Nick and collaborations with other illustrators and writers.

Writing
I must be a frustrated song-writer because I love writing in rhyme! I get a real kick out of the way words sound when they are read aloud, and enjoy using rhythm to shape a book – it’s rather like a piece of music, with slow, fast, quiet and loud bits!

Illustration
This is quite a new string to my bow, but after working with many fantastic illustrators, I finally plucked up the courage to have a go myself! I paint with a black, blobby line, which I work on in Photoshop. I use a lot of hand drawn techniques to avoid the result looking too digital, and I really hope you like it! I am represented by Frances McKay Illustration Agency, so please contact Frances at frances@francesmckay.com or use the "Contact Me" section to get in touch.

Design and project management
As a trained designer with over 15 years’ experience, I am used to working with writers, editors, illustrators and paper engineers, and can take a project from concept through to final print. I am good at drawing up visuals, especially for 3D books (click on The Icky, Sticky Snot and Blood Book in the "My Books" sections for examples). I also have a strong editorial bent, and can research and write about most things. I am fluent in QuarkXpress, InDesign and Photoshop, and can handle both simple and complicated formats. Please use the "Contact Me" section to get in touch if you have a job you need help with. I am happy to work from home or in house as required.

Clients
Walker Children's Books, Templar Publishing, Brubaker, Ford & Friends, Random House, Harper Collins, Nosy Crow, Simon and Schuster, Barrons, Running Press, Igloo Publishing, Inky Press, Cowley Robinson



Other stuff about me - not so brief!
Go Ape
I'm scared of heights, but make myself climb something high at least once a year. Here's me at Go Ape in the summer pretending to look relaxed.

I like beetroot and can eat a whole jar of Baxters Baby Beets in one go.

I was a county champion shot putter when I was at school, but I didn't tell many people at the time because it was too embarrassing.

Fungus the Bogeyman took me from Newcastle to Brighton. Well, he was the reason I chose to do my degree there... I wanted to be taught by his creator, Raymond Briggs. I spent my first year trying to work out who Raymond Briggs was (I sort of expected him to ooze green slime), but when I did find him, he was actually rather ordinary-looking. Even more disappointingly, he left at the end of my first year (I’m pretty sure this wasn’t anything to do with me stalking him). Luckily, the designer, illustrator, and hugely clever, George Hardie was my tutor, and he oozed brains which was probably a bit healthier than slime.

I like running a lot. I have run five marathons, two with my friend Kaye who can talk non-stop for 26.2 miles without running out of breath. Here we are at the end of the first ever Brighton Marathon, still smiling, although I think I may have gone deaf in one ear.
Sal&Kaye
My favourite book of all time is "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl - I had two copies as a child because I wore the first one out.

I still read Young Adult books on the sly. I am rather keen on Anthony Horrid-Bits (better know as Anthony Horowitz), especially his Diamond Brother series which make me and my son, Harry laugh (I read them aloud with a broad Yorkshire accent which I’m sure isn’t quite what Mr H. intended.)

At my first ever meeting with Nick Sharratt, he was so repulsed by my mock up covers for Gooey Chewy and Icky Sticky that he agreed to work with me. He was particularly fond of the bogey on Icky Sticky.

I'm terrified of heights but wish I wasn't.

I have an axe-wielding husband called Trevor (he's clever), who built a marvellous shed in our garden for me to work in. I have a cat called Bumble, who keeps me company in the shed. She sleeps on a cushion on my desk, but she'd much rather have my chair.

I have two rather fabulous children called Daisy and Harry who are, without doubt, my best ever creations!
This is Me