A new book about honey bees, penned by a Kirkcaldy grandfather of four, looks set to create quite a buzz.
Graham Swan (59) of Elgin Street, started writing tales of woodland creatures for his four grandchildren – Dan, Leah, Max and Naomi – about seven years ago.
The graphic designer and accomplished artist, who lectures part-time in graphics at Fife College, has already created 14 books, printing them through an Edinburgh copy house.
But he has now taken a leap of faith to have his latest story, Kimmy the Koala Helps the Honey Bees, published and marketed through a London-based publishing house.
Graham, who lives with partner Jan Hills, told the Press: “The animal theme came from Leah’s love of animals and I felt that other children love my animals too.
“I came up with the idea of the woodland animals and drew them all by hand, creating characters and their fictional home, Summerdown Wood, which I drew a map of.
“As I teach graphic design, or visual communication as it is now, I used the storyboards to help my students, and it just went on from there.
“I had them printed, but I can’t publish them for the cover price as it’s too expensive to make any money from.
“I exhibit my paintings occasionally and I would take my books along to the shows where they seemed to go down well with visitors, so I thought why not try to get them published professionally?
“I sent them off to publishers and got the usual rejections, then an agency called Authoright, which helps first time authors with things like marketing, came back and said it would like to publish my book.”
The book is being published through Clink Street Publishing, part of the Authoright agency, and costs ....
It will be available from August 1 through Amazon and to order through Waterstones and other bookshops.
The book tells the tale of Kimmy the Koala who loves honey. He is startled to learn that the bees who produce the honey are struggling because of the weather.
Determined to help, he recruits Penny the Panda, Ronnie the Rat and his other forest pals to help save them.
Cheerfully illustrated in his own hand-drawn style, the story helps teach young readers the positive message of working together and helping a friend in need.
And after the story is finished, extra illustrations are included so children can colour in their favorite characters.
Graham added: “I am a firm believer that you have got to make things happen yourself.
“My grandchildren love the books and look forward to them every Christmas, even Leah, who is now 10. I hope other children will love them too.”