A CHILDREN’S author from Strathaven has had two books launched internationally.
James McKnight, whose work has already been published in the UK, started his career as an actor and performer in Edinburgh.
The best role he ever played was as cone-head alien Thuff in an educational play about space for children.
Unfortunately, he was snubbed by all mainstream theatre awards that year.
He went on to study writing and devising theatre before making a sudden change to study art in Nottingham.
Children's publishing is his obsession and his collection of children's books is his prize possession.
James who is originally from Strathaven now lives in West London.
His inspiration for his books came from the town where he spent his childhood.
James said: “As a child I used to gaze out the large front window of my parents’ home onto a little farm and fields of sheep and cows and imagined that if instead of those sheep, cows and horses, there were strange and wonderful monsters.”
Years later James remembered these daydreams and McDoogle’s Monster Farm was born. James is thrilled that the books in the series have been illustrated by award-winning illustrator Mark Chambers. He added: “Mark is a wonderful illustrator who immediately got the whole concept of McDoogle’s Monster Farm.
“Even his initial sketches were exactly what I had imagined in my head. I’m a huge fan of his work and was thrilled to work with him on this project.”
The books, ‘The Day the Gogglynipper Escaped’ and ‘Only Nooglebooglers Glow in the Dark’ were published in October by TopThat Publishing.
The McDoogle's Monster Farm books will also be sold in Australia from October.
James added: “We've gone international.
“At Frankfurt book fair last October, my publisher got great feedback from foreign publishers who were interested in publishing the series in their own territory.
“The first to come on board is Australian children's publisher Hinkler, who are printing Australian editions of the first two books alongside the UK editions.
“I can't wait to find out if the Australian children react in the same way as the British.”
The books are available from all good bookshops and online retailers.