I am so delighted to be writing this blog post. Glub, my curious purple creation has had a rough start of it and has been on a real adventure but I feel like he has finally found his true home.
I wrote the story of Glub around 12 years ago, after a trip to Paignton where we always go in to the arcades and have some wholesome family fun. My husband was adamant that he wanted to win a particularly unflattering teddy of Micheal Jackson because in his words “it is so bad, it is brilliant?’. Our then one year old daughter Lilly was horrified and was grabbing for the cute teddies and really no one would blame her. Sadly that day we walked away without any prizes but an idea was beginning to form in my mind.
On reading the first draft my husband drew many pictures of Glub, I absolutely loved his concept art and you can find one of those images today as the end papers in the finished book. The book then sat dormant for a while, I was getting the Cornlings all finished and ready to publish and I wasn’t sure if Glub would be watercolour or felt. He really had to be fluffy didn’t he!
Many, many months went into felting the illustrations, wet felt and needle felt followed by embroidery and some bead work. Jamie photographed it beautifully so that every image still looked fluffy. But I still didn’t do anything for a while.
So Glub waited and waited, he was patient. I was really nervous to show him to people because by this point I was really quite attached and if he was rejected I would be heartbroken. However, with a little encouragement in 2018 I entered him into a contest to win publication and cried with happiness when he won. Glub was going to be published! Happy ending, right?
Definitely not, I told you it has been a journey! When the publishers (who I won’t name and are no longer in business) were preparing Glub everything felt amazing. Publication day came and I hadn’t received copies, however the presages had gone out and my goddaughters had received theirs. We raced over to see it and honestly I cried and I cried, no longer happy tears. My book that I had poured years of love into had been released in a format that was cheap, nasty and really overpriced. I called the publisher who had a truck load of excuses but refused to make changes. I was truly upset to have my name on work that was so poorly created. I went through the next few months of stress trying to claw back ownership of my own work and I got it! Glub was all mine again, sadly Amazon refuses to take my name off of the awful listing so please if you want Glub, Amazon is not the place to buy him.
I left him for another year and decided that he was to good to just be left. I decided to self publish Glub to a high standard like I had previously with my Cornlings books. I put him on Amazon but sadly he does not show in the search listings because Amazon algorithms prefer price to quality. (Again do not buy Glub on Amazon). I thought this would be the end of Glub’s story, forced into obscurity because I had made some bad decisions with an unscrupulous publisher.
Despite this Glub has always been a favourite on school visits, children really do love him and at the end of the day that is all it is really about.
Don’t worry, I am slowly getting to Glub’s happy ending.
Whilst working with Stour Valley Publishing on The Soggy Little Bee by Simon Henderson, they purchased a copy of Glub from me, my self-published version. I was delighted with the sale and did the obligatory happy dance as all authors do when you purchase their books. Then I received a message to say that they would like to take on Glub as one of their titles. I immediately explained all that happened above and assumed it would be a deal breaker.
But on March 1st 2021 Glub was published, bigger and better and in more detail than ever before. The print quality is far superior and Glub looks like he always should of done. I can’t thank Carl and the Stour Valley Publishing team enough. The entire experience could not of been more different to my first publishing encounter.
Glub is a story about not giving up on finding a home and a family and I can honestly say that I am glad that I didn’t give up on Glub!
You can purchase him now and make me do a happy dance, from independent and amazing bookshop, Shookbop!