front cover of Nicodemus and the Flight of the Argus

The story behind the story!

Have you ever woken up with a name or idea in your head that you just can't seem to shift?

Well that very thing happened to me, when, one morning my thoughts were constantly being interrupted by the name 'Nicodemus'. After a while I couldn't help myself and I found my old 'Baby name book' and looked up 'Nicodemus'. I was intrigued by it's meaning - 'Conqueror for the people', what a fantastic name for a lead character, I thought and instantly donned my authors hat, pulled out my pad and started trawling through the name book. Within a couple of hours I had a full character list, all of which had started inspiring me.

I can't tell you how I came up with the initial plan for the story, it's not that it's top secret or anything, it's simply because I don't know. One minute I had the list of characters the next I had an enormous piece of bright yellow paper taped to my dining room table (don't tell my husband!) and I had scribbled the beginning, middle and end. And really that was all there was to it.

Pedros hiding from the paparazzi

Now although it was quite clear, by all the Greek names I had chosen, that Greece would be the setting for my story, I had no idea where, exactly, it should take place. So I took down my Greek Islands books and was hoping that one in particular would jump out and grab me, and fortunately it did.

As I was flicking through the pages my eyes were drawn to pictures of a pelican, as I read more I discovered his name was Pedros and he was somewhat of a mascot on the Island of Mykonos. So I packed my bags and went to find him.

Pedros the wet Pelican

Which was quite easy really, as he hangs out at the harbour in Chora town, with his 2 friends Irene and Nikolas.

My plan, whilst I was there, was both, to take pictures and notes and to travel across to the neighbouring island of Delos, as this was to be the feature for my finale. I was not disappointed by what I saw and both Islands filled me with more than enough ideas for my book.

my father-in-law Derek and me
Derek and I in yet another discussion!

After I had finished my book I realised I needed to find an illustrator and that in itself could well have been a daunting prospect had it not been for the wonderful talents of my Father in law, Dr Derek Bishop. Who took on the role in his typical authoritarian way and proceeded to tell me all the areas that needed improving! Always good to have the honest opinion of others, I think.

And in my honest opinion, I don't believe I would have succeeded in producing the quality of book that I have, without his help, so thank you Derek with all my heart.

The pictures below were, taken by me and used by Derek, to give him inspiration for the illustrations. (Click on one of the thumbnails to view full-size image).

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