Happy Tales Publishing

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 Happy Tales Publishing

Happy Tales Publishing is an award winning children's literature and speciality book publishing house that aims to educate and provide life lessons in a creative, fun and entertaining way whilst improving the reading level of children through gentle exposure to real-world issues and multiple languages. At the same time, we hope they gain an appreciation of the quality illustrators and their amazing artwork and maybe become enticed to learn more about the wonderful world of art and illustrations.

Author

Author Geoff Parker Sr.Geoff Parker Sr. at his writing desk.

Geoff Parker Sr. is a true islander. He was born in Bermuda and can trace his mother’s family history on the island back to the 1600’s. Prior to the 1600's the family tree has been traced back to the early 400's through England, Normandy and Scandinavia. His father’s family came from a region that the ancient Vikings settled. He has always been a bit restless, and looks forward to battling new challenges and finding new mountains to climb.

Having been brought up on a farm he has a close affinity to animals, except for those huge white leghorn roosters that used to chase him around the farm yard! It was during these early years, as an only child with his dog Sandy, that his imagination became an outlet. As a child he suffered very badly from asthma, sometimes spending weeks in bed. With few books in those days, Geoff began to write his own stories to keep himself entertained.

When he was eleven a new doctor came to town and suggested that he should exercise more to become fit and keep it up until he outgrew the asthma. Ever willing to give things a try, he worked hard and eventually became a well rounded athlete, defeating his asthma along the way.

As he was growing up he worked during school holidays at an importing company. He sorted rotten cabbages and potatoes, worked in the warehouse, and ran messages to and from the offices to the cable company – they didn’t have email in those days! He learned many life lessons along the way, particularly in accepting people for what they were, no matter the colour of their skin or background.

Geoff was also artistic and when he was sixteen he began working at a local architect’s office during the summer. While he didn’t make much money, he learned a lot about how his artistic side could be used as a trade. After graduating from high school he spent a summer hitchhiking around Scandinavia with a friend before spending the next two years at Ferris Institute (now Ferris University) in Michigan, USA, learning to be an architectural technician.

In 1968 he married Liz, the love of his life. Their two children, Geoff Jr. and Doug, have grown up, gotten married and have children of their own.

Over the years Geoff has spent most of his time working in the construction industry, with his architectural work, the successful roofing and waterproofing company he founded in Bermuda, or the marketing of special construction products to North and South America. But during this time he was always observing, always collecting stories about the people he met and the adventures he had along the way. Geoff has slowly been turning these adventures into a trilogy, though the process is a long one!

Geoff’s health took an unfortunate turn in 2000, causing him to shut down his international business travels. So he focused on his architecture, sold his roofing and waterproofing business and began a special fitness programme to regain his strength. By 2003 he was back to being “in great shape for the shape he’s in!” Geoff lost his Dad in 2011 at 89 years old, and his Mom in 2013 at age 90 - so he hopes to be around for some time to come!

In his ‘semi-retired’ state, he is working with plants, raising palm trees and hedging of all sorts for his private nursery. He still does a little architectural design work and charity work at his Church but his passion is to continue writing the Happy series of children's story books, especially now as his first two books, "Happy's Christmas Gift" and "Happy As A Fox", have been recognized by two prestigious Children's Awards by the Gelett Burgess Foundation in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The Back Story on this site tells that story. The rest is just history - or is it history in the making!

Illustrator

Lisa Fox with Gillett Burgess Award 2012Lisa holding her copy of the Gelett Burgess Award for the "Happy's Christmas Gift" storybook

Lisa Fox

Lisa grew up in a small rural village on the English Welsh border in the United Kingdom. She had an idyllic childhood with ponies, dogs, chickens, a pet sheep and even an orphaned Canada goose, which she hand reared. With all these animals and wide-open space to explore and fuel the imagination, Lisa was never to be found indoors playing with toys. More often than not she would be found in a den she had built somewhere, talking to her imaginary friends or writing and illustrating stories about them.

Just prior to joining secondary school, Lisa's family moved to the Isle of Anglesey, where she grew up into quite an angry teenager, and the whimsical world of animals gave way to black eyeliner, goth music, jumble sale chic, and blue hair and lipstick... and it was inevitable that art school beckoned!

Lisa then went on to study at Brighton Polytechnic (as it was then) & Glyndwr University, and then spent some time travelling around Canada and the USA.

She managed to combine freelancing with a career in design for 11 years, before deciding to return to university as a mature student in 2003. Whilst studying she gained her first book commission, no mean feat considering she was pregnant at the time with her son, baby Callum arriving just nine days after Lisa's deadline for the book, having kicked in resistance against the drawing board for many weeks prior!

Lisa went on to complete a further three books before finishing her course, graduating from Glyndwr University in 2006 with a BA (Hons) degree in Illustration for Children's Publishing. It was whilst exhibiting at the New Designers show in London in 2006 that she was spotted by The Bright Agency.

Represented by the London agency for four successful years, Lisa illustrated books for high profile clients, such as Parragon, Scholastic, Autumn, Albert Whitman and Publishers International. This year though (2010), it has been all change and Lisa has decided to step out on her own. Currently in talks with a major UK publishing company and editorial consultancy, hoping to branch out into other fields.

She divides her time between London and her studio at her beautiful home in North Wales, which she shares with her five year old son. She also lectures part time and often delivers workshops for schools, hospitals and community groups.

And ... before you ask ... no, she does not wear blue lipstick any more!

Visit Lisa's website.


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