Father-of-two launches first book project

Mark Blackburn says his children's book was a labour of love
Mark Blackburn says his children's book was a labour of love

A crowdfunding campaign by a new author is well on the way to its target after only three weeks.

Mark Blackburn, 43, from East Worthing, says it is thanks to local support that he has raised nearly £2,400 already, just £600 short of his £3,000 target.

He has just written and illustrated his first children’s book of short verse, called Today I Am, and launched the crowdfunding initiative to help finance a high-quality print run of 300.

Mark said: “It’s a fun book with 38 pages depicting children playing in animal onesie costumes, a very current trend, alongside a short verse reflecting the nature of the animal, suggesting it becomes the child’s mood or spirit animal for the day.

“It promotes a fun yet positive message in the poems, with an underlying theme that kids should feel comfortable being themselves, letting their imaginations run wild, and also presenting a few species of animals that they might not be familiar with and encouraging investigation into them.”

Mark has two children, aged nine and six, and has a keen interest in natural history, which is reflected in the animals he has chosen.

He said the book was a labour of love and the plan is to use 100 copies of the initial run to promote the book with the hope of finding a publisher to take it on.

Mark is also setting up readings in schools and booking live readings at summer festivals.

Visit www.indiegogo.com for more information. Donate £20 or more to receive a signed copy of the first edition.