About the Author – Jo Eshuys

Jo

Words…. slippery things that won’t stay still….little nuggets that punch you in the gut…..long squirmy worms that confuse your brain…..but… if we can just hold them still, listen to their sound, grasp their meaning, then our world opens and blossoms into stories and poems and sayings that lift our spirits, make us laugh or cry, hungry to see how the tale ends…that is the power of words.

I first realised this when, as a child, I wrote a story from the point of view of the race horse, Hi Jinx, winning the Melbourne Cup. No one expected him to win. It was a sad story because, although he had won, he still felt alone in his stable, while all the humans were celebrating. My parents were so enamoured with the story they showed it to all our neighbours. It was then I came to realise that people liked stories filled with emotion and drama. It taught me the power of words. It taught me to share.

Later, my career as a writer was very different… books filled with facts for students and teachers. It taught me a lot…keep the language clear, easy to follow, precise, transparent words. The words were the means to get facts or ideas across….not much interest in the words themselves. The interest (if there is any interest in text books at all) was in the information… whether it was about the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the killer whales of Antarctica, a gold medal winner in the Olympics, or a volcano in Pompei. Not much chance to catch and tame slippery words.

However, one text book, The Power of Poetry, made me feel once again the power of words themselves… the rhythm and flow of feelings and ideas, lifting and making stories live again.  And so, teaming up with illustrator, Craig Jackson, it brought me back to the world of storytelling for all ages: the poignant love story of Fire & Water, the adventures of Harpo and Boo, the frightening journey of Marley and the Magic Stone, and more. They’re all about human emotions and how we deal with them as children, teenagers and adults.

I love grappling with the words… sometimes they run amok like a bolting racehorse, other times they slide perfectly into place like a key in a lock, or rest quietly purring like a kitten on your lap.  My granddaughter constantly feeds me little scenarios for stories. I play with the words, over and over, until they finally stay still and the story is born. I hope you like them.

Jo Eshuys

About the Illustrator- Craig Jackson

From a very early age, I have always had a love for all things creative. It stood to reason that it would follow me into my adult life.

I have been an illustrator for many years now and have worked on many books, mostly in the area of secondary school text books for educational publishers. It has been an interesting career and the work was always challenging, but it had been a long held dream of mine to produce children’s books. Setting up the Ghost Crab project has allowed me to start realizing that dream.

I like to consider myself a fairly quirky character with a healthy sense of humour. I am always trying to find some fun in the mundane, and will always draw upon that when developing my concepts. I also like to think my ideas have a nostalgic flavor to them, that they hark back to the books that grabbed me when I was a kid.

Craig

It is a lengthy and difficult process to produce each book. A lot of work goes into developing our ideas. Each one has been its own little mountain to climb, but I think that is reflected in the final product. I hope you enjoy our work.

About the Technical Editor – Duane Forster

I was brought up in the dawn of the computer age…clumsy, old desk tops, small squat monitors with grey-black screens and green print. But it was a revolution that accelerated beyond anyone’s imagination.

When I was about 10 years old I asked my brother how to run an old DOS game on our PC and he showed me how to look up the instructions and said, “Just figure it out from there”. From that point on I was determined to learn as much about computers as possible and develop a skillset to make them work for me.

Whenever our family PC had a problem I was the one to diagnose and repair it. Sometimes even disassembling and rebuilding it without my parent’s permission. Eventually I realised I could create the programs myself and, after scoring a cheap copy of Visual Basic 6 from a swap meet, my mind was opened to endless possibilities.

I eventually opened my own computer store, fixing peoples computers day in, day out. Tedious… but it inadvertently taught me to direct my passion to develop apps for my clients’ needs. My work turned into developing websites, phone apps and now into creative world of on-line publishing.

Working with Craig and Jo means receiving the manuscript and then somehow replacing the work previously done by their international publishers into separate formats for both paperback and digital versions. Jo’s flair for words and Craig’s stunning art work is just the beginning. They are tough task masters requiring excellence and meticulous attention to detail.

I love the challenge of transforming their manuscripts into vibrant books. My persistence over the years to conquer the intricacies and foibles of computers now allows me to create exquisite books that in the past only highly skilled teams in professional publishing houses could achieve. Now Craig and Jo’s beautifully coloured books can be read not only as a hard copy in your hand, but also on Kindle, IPad, mobile phones and of course on huge TV screens. I have joined the revolution.