I’m excited to launch my first self-published children’s book – Rosh the Grumpy Corgi.
Rosh was a corgi who was just a little bit grumpy. He was so grumpy that he had a list of things that annoyed him. Until one day, he found the one thing that made him truly happy…
Rosh the Grumpy Corgi is a full colour 24 page illustrated children’s book featuring one of the internet’s favourite dog breeds – the corgi! It is a loving tribute to a real life corgi named Rosh and his unique personality. The author remembers her childhood pet in this book filled with splashes of Australiana.
Rosh the Grumpy Corgi is available as a softcover book and eBook. At this time, hardcover format is not available. I’ve set the royalties at next to nothing as I want the price point to be the lowest possible just above cost prices. This was a passion project and I’m just pumped to have it published. Your purchasing this book or eBook helps support an independently published creative (me!). Good vibes are guaranteed to head your way.
If you have Kindle Unlimited membership, the eBook will be totally free – be sure to drop me a rating and review if you enjoy it. If you aren’t part of Kindle Unlimited the eBook version is available at a very low cost.
The creative process
About 10 years ago I did an online course in vector illustration and Adobe Illustrator. I’ve dabbled in some drawing for t-shirt designs since then using my Wacom tablet, but nothing serious. As an aunty I’ve read a lot of children’s books and had an idea for years to write and illustrate one of my own. I came up with the concept – a book about my childhood dog who was a corgi that our family adopted from the animal shelter as a wee puppy.
His name was Rosh – he came with that name and we never worked out it’s origin! Like all good corgis, Rosh was a pretty moody dog. He was a very intelligent dog who got grumpy over so many things, he was a real character. This attitude is a common breed trait as evidenced by Facebook groups such as Disapproving Corgis (1.2M followers) and the regular antics of Maple from Maple & Morty (351k followers) on Instagram.
There is a bit more about Rosh in the bio on the final page of the book including a handsome photo of him with his big ears on point.
It all really happened and a salute to Postman Pat
Yes, everything that made Rosh grumpy in the book happened in real life. The barking at the postman became such an issue that over one summer school holiday I decided to train Rosh so I could open the front door to go get the mail without him going beserk. His hearing was so good that he good hear the postie’s petrol bike from halfway down the street. I started by singing the tune of “Postman Pat” with lyrics while carrying him to another room and closing the door on him. Over a few weeks this minimised to humming the ‘do do do do dooo dah do’ tune or just saying ‘postman pat’ and he would automatically take himself to the other room and quietly wait for the door to be closed. He was a smart dog! One day when a relative was over, they said the word ‘postman’ in a sentence with no emphasis and Rosh picked himself up and choofed off to the room! We asked Rosh where he was going before we figured out the keyword had activated his * sleeper agent * mode!
Early stages of the book
The writing was the easy part, I drafted and finalised it in under an hour. I decided to target it to an audience of 0 to 5 years. I settled on a 24 page book and the first step was to do a basic wireframing of all pages, mapping out the text to pages and coming up with some very basic artwork concepts using pencil. It was nothing fancy but it gave me a good indication of how things would take shape on the digital design. I got out old photos of Rosh for reference, especially of when he was a puppy before his ears stood upright (including the awkward week where only one stood up).
An ode to Australiana
All illustrations were drawn using my graphics tablet, vector based for flexibility. The pages with more details took considerable time. I was vigilant with my path, object and layer naming because it got very hectic the further I progressed. I wanted the story to reflect having grown up in the suburbs of Sydney and also my love of Australian native birds. This is why you’ll see a Rainbow Lorikeet (my absolute favourite), a Galah, a Cockatoo, an Ibis (infamous-bin chicken). I fit in more Australian iconography with an Akubra hat (just like my dad wore), a Hill’s Hoist clothes line, a Victa lawnmower (like we had) and a local council Sulo wheelie bin (every Aussie has one of these).
Historically accurate inclusions
Rosh had two iconic toys that are featured in this book. His favourite was a sailor version of The Muppets’ Kermit the Frog. “Kermie” as it was affectionally known was a stuffed toy bought at a school fete for 20 cents. It soon became Rosh’s favourite toy and was subject to numerous surgical and cosmetic interventions over the years until one day it could not longer be restuffed. The other was a goose toy that I bought on a trip to the United States and was marketed as indestructible and made from Kevlar material (bullet proof fabric) and claimed a lifetime guarantee. On returning back to Australia the toy lasted all but 15 minutes before Rosh debeaked exposing the stuffing. Refund!
Finally, it’s happening
After many late nights (over what feels like an eternity) I’ve finally finished this project. I had a proof copy printed and apart from a few self critical nitpicking things I was really happy with how it turned out. The next step was to press publish.
- 24 pages full colour premium color ink on white paper (90GSM), gloss cover (220GSM)
- ASIN: B0B15NSBLX
- ISBN-13: 979-8418073365
- Dimensions – 20.32 x 25.4 cm (8×10″) portrait orientation
- Language – English
- Publication date – 17 May 2022
- 24 pages full colour
- ASIN: B0B1JFBWS4
- Dimensions – Ratio designed to fit most tablet screens, portrait orientation
- Language – English
- Publication date – 16 May 2022