About Foxwood Tales

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Foxwood Tales started life from a single greetings card I painted, which I took ( with a host of other material ) to Deans books in London in about 1979 or thereabouts. The MD of Deans, having singled out that image suggested I might find someone to write a story around it and mock it up into a book.

I was duley given a couple of square 16 page blanks to work on as their preferred format and on leaving his office found a phone box and promptly phoned my wife to ask her if she was any good at writing. She said she didn’t know but would have a go and so within a short time I had embarked upon my first book.

After taking some months to complete the intial mock up I started making appointmets to show my work and very quickly found that the mainstream publishers would not even consider a sixteen page book no matter how nice it was. It simply had to be a 32 page book. Dissapointed that I had spent so much time working on the wrong advice from Deans the project was then shelved and placed in the bottom drawer of a large plan chest where it gathered dust for the next five years.

Early in 1984 having built up my freelance contacts and working more from home now I decided to close my London office and in doing so had the big clear out that went with it. It was then I re-discovered my forgotton mock up and remembered my initial failed attempt at moving into the world of children’s publishing.

It’s not often old work is looked upon with any fondness in the early days of one’s carrer as very often we look back and realise as we move on that what we thought was good at the time was in fact rubbish. However in this case I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked what I had started five years previously and so decided to pick up from where I left off and try again.

My first job was to make up a blank book ( Thirty two pages this time ) then double up on the pictures  and then get Cynthia to expand her story. Within a few months all was complete and I had made appointments with three of the top London publishers on the same day. ( in the good old days when you could phone a publisher, make an appointment, sit down with an editor and discuss your project.)

Well imagine my surprise when all three made me an offer. However I had promised the first one, Andre Deutsch, that if I anyone elase made me a matching offer but no better then I would give them first option, which I did and the rest is history.

The first two books came out in the summer of 1985 one week after our first son came out.

Life was sweet that year.

Oil on Board     inches      
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