Sunday, May 5, 2013

My new children's book

The idea for The Midnight Mouse came up about two years ago.  I had just had my second mastectomy and was staying with my parents while I was recovering from the surgery.  My stepdad came into the kitchen and asked who'd been eating all the cheese as there was none left.  That night when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night, there was my stepdad in the kitchen having a midnight feast.  He was unaware of my presence and seemed to be sleep-eating as opposed to sleep-walking.  It seemed he was the culprit who was eating all the food!  My eldest daughter Kerri and I began calling him the midnight mouse.
As I have young nephews and a niece, I thought there had to be some way that I could incorporate them in the story.
My idea was to use actual photos for the illustrations, but change them into watercolors using Photoshop.  This proved to be more difficult than I could have imagined.  I google-searched many tutorials on how to do it.  I followed the instructions step-by-step.  I never liked the results and the steps were so complicated.  I figured there had to be an easier way.  Fiddling around with Photoshop wasted about a year of my time.  I shelved the idea and focused on my medical problems.
Last Wednesday was a public holiday and I decided if I did nothing else, I was going to get the illustrations for The Midnight Mouse sorted.  Once again I started worked my way through Photoshop watercolor tutorials.  And once again I got completely frustrated.  At some point bad words probably even flowed liberally past my lips.  Another search on Google and then I discovered  This is a great website that takes your photos and turns them into cartoon-type illustrations.  Just what I needed!
Here is an example of a photo turned into a cartoon with  So easy and user-friendly, I highly recommend  It makes me want to write more children's books!
Modern technology is really amazing.  You can illustrate your own books, upload them onto Createspace and get them published all within a day!
The Midnight Mouse is available for purchase as a paperback or kindle book on  It is a free giveaway from Sunday 5th May through to Tuesday 7th May.

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