Business name / website address?
Oscar the ferry cat http://www.oscartheferrycat.co.uk
To enable a wider audience of children to be able to enjoy the adventures of Oscar and to be able to deal with loss.
Where are you based?
London. My flat in London and all over Britain as I go for various book signings and events. Agnes, the illustrator, is based in Sussex.
Where are your clients based?
All around the world, largely in Schools around Scotland
Where are you now in the lifecycle of your business?
Onto book number two of seven, I hope. I plan to write a series of books based on places around the world that are important to me or played a part in my life. Namely, Italy, Scotland, Africa. I also hope to base each story around someone who has been important or played an influential role in my life.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
Ideally I would like to be pursuing writing full time in 5 years, hopefully have a lovely little cottage with a type writer, maybe a horse or pony and a nice garden I can potter around in. Maybe a husband and some children too would be quite nice!
What motivated you to start your business?
I am a teacher so I am used to working with children, I thought this would be a nice chance for me to try out having an interest and involvement in something outside my teaching life. It has been very engaging and fun and fulfilling. Reading a story in front of a huge class of children who actually love what you are reading is a very fulfilling and enthusing event.
What have been your most difficult challenges so far?
Trying to find a publisher was quite a challenge. Also getting the pictures and writing to match up was tricky, Shaun, my publisher, was very good at this! He has been a star at getting it together! The first book reading was a rather daunting prospect but once started all these things become much easier!
What have been your biggest wins and most satisfying highs?
Getting a quote from Alexander McCall Smith and reading in front of a class of children who are genuinely thrilled and excited with what you are reading. Also having feedback from random members of the public, and having been told by one lovely lady that I might be famous one day!
How do you let off steam/relax?
I knit and have bubble baths, and the odd glass or two of wine always goes down a treat! I enjoy relaxing by going for nice country walks and talking with friends.
What are the most valuable tools you use to communicate with your clients?
My clients are generally children and as I am a primary teacher the two compliment each other pretty well! It is always good fun talking and chatting with children about what their favourite bits of the story are or if there is anything they would change. I love it!
What’s your personal motto?
God helps those who help themselves (taken from my father!)
Pick one person (male or female) who has inspired you most on your journey?
Alexander McCall Smith for believing in me and making it all happen. He is such an affluent and influential person, with no real need to be nice to me but he chose to be. I have been lucky in my life to come across influential people at just the right times, he is one of such men!
Pick one person who would be your dream business or life mentor?
My father as he has always encouraged me and always been there for me, no matter what, from canoeing down the river to climbing hills to chatting over a g and t and a game of draughts! He has also been very successful in his business in his own right!
Why is being part of a membership organisation like The Goddess Formula (ie. creating a likeminded business support community) important to you?
No man is an island and so it is important to club together, working at a school teaches me that- the effort from many is much more than the effort from one.