Books and TV programs
I've written and illustrated 15 books, and also created and produced two children's television series about aliens and space knights. But my first choice is creating adventurous fantasy stories for children.
My sources of inspiration
JM Barrie, Lewis Carroll, AA Milne and Walt Disney are my greatest sources of inspiration. Disney was a genius at character creation, and developed exploitation of branded character IP across a vast array of media including movies and theme parks.
I studied Disney's business while working as a brand art director in advertising agencies McCann-Erickson and Needhams for 10 years, where I created TV campaigns for products such as Coca Cola and Nescafe. The marketing insights gained from that experience have proved hugely valuable for promoting my books.
Home is "Middle Earth"
I live in New Zealand in the South Pacific, where Peter Jackson made the 'Lord of the Rings' movie trilogy. My brother Tim was one of the Hobbits in the movies.
Peter Jackson and I attended Robert McKee's film school on story. Peter considered my Merlin Mystery story for a movie, but I think after LOTR he'd moved on from Wizards, elves, magic and wands!