The wonderful authors we work with at Fi & Books!
We are so proud to work with a wonderful bunch of authors from all over the world! Helping them on their self-publishing journey and bringing their stories to life as real books has brought us so much glee. All of their picture books are unique, inspiring and filled with joy, learning and loads of fun. You can read more about our authors below and if you fancy joining our author community, just take a look at our Become-An-Author package!
If you would like to get in touch with one of our authors for an interview or to buy their book please follow the links below to their websites, or you can contact us.
Helen Hasler, author of The Naughty Cough:
Writing has always been one of those little niggles in the back of my mind. I’d have an idea but I never seemed to find the time to sit down and put pen to paper due to being mummy to two little ones alongside working as a dental hygienist and therapist. Most nights I make up silly stories for the kids before bedtime... (probably their way of dragging bedtime out longer) but I love it so I always give in!
During lock down in 2020 my dental practice closed. My husband was furloughed and suddenly I had the time to really take my book ideas somewhere and do something I had always dreamed of (it also gave me a bit escapism for being mummy for a few hours each day!). So The Naughty Cough came to life... initially it was only meant to be for my little ones, but it took off with my nieces and nephews too and before I knew it Fi and Books and the brilliant illustrator Bells Scambler brought my ideas to life!
I love writing because... I love the excitement of having that tiny idea in your mind's eye and watching it grow into colourful pictures and glossy pages in your hands. It has been incredible to get some amazing reviews and see pictures of other people’s children reading the story that I dreamt up. I can’t quite explain how lovely it feels to think that you are making a positive difference to a little persons life.
Jonell Hart, author of A Zat? What's That? and Grandma's Leprechaun
I am a mother of two grown sons and a grandmother of four adorable grandchildren. I can remember always liking to write poetry and wrote a lot of it as a teenager and young adult. As my children were growing up, I sometimes would just make up a short rhyme to say something about what they were doing. To this day, they don’t let me forget some of them – and it remains a running joke in our family!
I never really considered publishing any of my writings, but as my grandchildren came along, I wrote a short poem about a funny critter and wanted to get it illustrated and printed in a book for them. Last year, as the quarantine lingered on here for weeks and months, I had time to think about and look for an outlet to get my rhyming story illustrated and published.
I love writing because... I guess writing for me, especially in rhymes, has always been a way to express my emotions and feelings. My inspiration for a poem usually comes in the middle of the night, and I have to get up…or grab my phone…and write it down! I’m always touched when others read my poems and feel a sense of emotion, too.
Sometimes it’s a chuckle, and sometimes it’s a little bit of teary-eyed sentiment. I’ve never been a great conversationalist, so writing helps me to relay thoughts and feelings in a more fluid and relaxed way. And now that I’ve actually had a story published, it’s such a feeling of accomplishment to know that others enjoy it!
Angela Smith, author of Dear Santa, I can explain!
Angela started writing after she became a mother. It is one of the world's greatest mysteries just where she found the time to do this. Oh no she remembers now, everything was mostly written on her iphone, one-handed while she practised the art of mindlessness (which is the opposite of mindfullness but made her very efficient).
Despite having no time to write and the odds of being published being stacked against her she was addicted to writing. She went to the Winchester Writers Festival where a very kind agent said her work had promise further fuelling her enthusiasm. Angela has attended a picture book writers' workshop and has submitted to every agent and publisher she could find. Angela illustrated one of her stories Stella’s Starlings with her daughter during lockdown and published it to raise money for a children's charity. Having enjoyed seeing her story in print and the buzz of people reading her words she decided to approach Fi and Becs to enlist their help with self-publishing.
I love writing because... I love crafting a story. I love the excitement of finding the next part of the story or beating an idea into shape. I love lyrical stories and funny stories. I also love visual story telling. Although my artistic skills are limited (I’m being overly kind here) I can envisage how I would like a story to be told through pictures. I also like the manageable size of a picture book.
I enjoy how invested my daughter is in my stories so it’s something she loves to share with me.
Den Keanie, author of The Resilient Ratties series:
I am a mother of two and a qualified occupational therapist working in the field of mental health. As you can probably tell from the title of my book series, I also have, lets say, a fascination with rats and keep various varieties as pets!
If anyone had told me 2 years ago that I would go on to publish children’s books I never would have believed them!
I am now working through my series one step at a time, publishing books for children aged 4-8 years old with the aim of teaching children skills to help understand and manage their own emotions. There is so much to learn about writing, publishing, running a business and marketing that it can sometimes feel extremely overwhelming but I am so glad I took the chance as I am loving every minute of this experience! If you are reading this and wondering whether you should take the first step or not – do it! I am confident that you wont regret it!
I love writing because... I get to see a story come to life. One of the most exciting things is when I submit my briefing and then I get to watch everyone work their magic! Being part of the whole journey from having a little flicker of an idea to putting a real life book into a pair of little hands is so rewarding! I absolutely love to hear feedback from those who have shared the books with their little people, and best of all – hearing stories of how children are using the skills to help them understand their own emotions and how to cope with them better. It is an honour to be able to share a little bit of their journey with them and know that these skills can be used as they grow into teens and adults. Oh! And the smell of newly printed books, I love that smell!
Matt Flukes, author of The Olly and Lilly series:
I am a father of two wonderful children, who I adopted with my husband a few years ago. We live in a busy household with the four of us and three cats!
I came up with the series of Olly and Lilly as I found that many books aimed at talking about families and love didn’t resonate with our sons.
Through storytelling I cover important subjects without hiding from the truth but in a fun and colourful way that allows children to understand their own life story as well as open up for key questions.
I was diagnosed with Myeloma bone marrow cancer in 2018 and had various treatments and a full stem cell transplant. During my convalescence I decided to take the concept of Olly and Lilly that had arisen from an informative adoption training we had attended in 2016 and here we are today!
I love writing because... ever since I was a child I found books as a real escape mechanism and a chance to explore exciting worlds and themes. In between the ages of 8-14 if anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I was older the answer was always - an author! It has taken 30 years for this to become a reality.
Writing allows me to escape but it also gives me a format to tell a story. I want to write books that help children of all ages in all situations with circumstance they may face. By using fun and colourful illustrations, exciting language and characters that many children can connect to I hope to allow the to transport themselves into that story and to think and discuss how they might deal with a situation or theme.
Kelly Ayling, parent of the author of Me and My Cystic Fibrosis:
I have always been a doodler, finding it very therapeutic and a good coping mechanism.
The first year Molly-Rose was born was full of hospitals, operations and appointments and drawing provided a good outlet for me.
Being born with Cystic Fibrosis, Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome and Hip Dysplasia, finding that time to draw and create was even more important. Between working full-time and running my daughters treatment regime, I try to grab any downtime I can to escape. As my daughter grew older she would write short stories or we would create bedtime stories and I loved creating new worlds and characters for them.
During first lockdown in March 2020, Molly-Rose (now 7) started to ask questions around her condition and, utilising our time, we decided to draw a comic of her story, in her words.
She would sit and talk to me about how living with Cystic Fibrosis makes her feel, what she understands about it and what her hopes for the future are. I would then sketch characters around the story…naturally, this story would star her!
Our aim behind publishing was to try and help others like Molly understand that they are not alone, that there are others just like them and if we help just one other child (or family) linked to CF or not, then we will be so, so happy.
I love writing because... it’s complete freedom and can have such a positive impact on people you will never meet. You can reach others and let them know that they’re not alone, that being who they are is absolutely fine and in our case, that living with a degenerative condition does not define who you are, and as long as you have dreams and believe, anything is our to achieve.