"Telford in a book" he said...
We would like to thank the people of Telford for their amazing support this year, and also a few personal words from the author;
At the beginning of 2018 I had no idea I was about to become an author of a children’s book that would find me so much happiness to create, to share and to hopefully be a lasting myth for Telford...
I wasn’t in the best of places back in 2017. I had been through a difficult year and wasn’t feeling myself. I pondered on the person I had forgotten; an illustrator, a creative individual always looking for my imagination to have free rein! A few months went by and slowly but surely I began to believe in myself again, and found that I started to focus only on this...the idea of a new myth for Telford. To celebrate not only Telford’s 50th birthday but also to celebrate its people, places, businesses, scenery and culture. From these ideas and thoughts ‘The Ironbridge Ogre’ was born!
I have never written a published story myself before. I have always considered myself only to be an illustrator of which I love! However I began to think back to my childhood where I remember writing hundreds of stories, creating drawings to go with them and folding the pages together to make them look like real books on a shelf. (I’m sure there are boxes of them still in my mothers loft) haha!
So I thought why not, let’s do this, I can do this. After many drafts and screwed up pieces of paper I finally wrote The Ironbridge Ogre. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect until it was vetted by a few children so I had to get their approval first of course, and a little bit of editing assistance!
I spent the next 7 months creating the illustrations, alongside my daily work. My niche style is clay models which is not the quickest medium to use, but much more fun! I get my inspiration from films and books I read as a child. I was particularly fond of Wallace & Gromit, the BFG, morph, pingu etc. I think this shows in my work...and it comes so naturally to me to create models and illustrate this way.
Scenes in the story are just some of the very important areas of Telford to me; Memories I have from a child, places I have grown with, and some places have always just been there for me through the good and the bad. So the scenes are very close to my heart in many ways.
Since the book was launched in November 2018 I have been increasingly overwhelmed by the enthusiasm from local children, teachers, parents and councillors who have all made this journey so special for me. I have met some incredible people, and found myself becoming part of something bigger every step of the way. Visiting schools, helping local charities and forming friendships with many people. These people I may have never met if I hadn’t of created this book. Also supporting the community is something I really wanted to do. I want to give back to local charities and causes as much as possible, thats why I will continue to help where I can from using sales and promotions of the book to help these causes.
Having my friends and families support the whole way has been so important too, they have helped me in countless ways. We have had plenty of laughs too! You should have seen some of the Ogre’s dressing room scenarios! Haha!
I am so so glad I got to create this book, it has given me so much more confidence and will to always keep going no matter how rough the road is.
This is not just a book it’s ‘Telford in a book’ - my favourite quote of the year from the young boy at Old Park Primary.... couldn’t have put it better myself!
Thank you all for your amazing support, I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings! Here are a few pictures of my favourite bits! …and a few behind the scenes haha!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Telford!
Toni Sian Williams