THIS IS TUBBY TIN
Once upon a very long time ago, when I was a young art director in advertising, I debated many times with my friend and copy writer, Robert Lee, how we could best become tax exiles. Various schemes came to mind, but writing a childrens' book was favourite. Reading books to our own children also made us realize there was a lot of rubbish out there, and we could do better.
So, Tubby Tin was born.
Written mainly when we were supposed to be working, the ideas flowed. One thing we were very sure of, there would be no violence, perhaps a little pushing, but no guns, and every story would have a moral. At this time, please note Tubby’s catch phrase:
IF ANYONE CAN, TUBBY TIN CAN
Came many years before ‘Canon Could’ and did!
We got ourselves an agent, and made plans for off shore bank accounts, houses in Jersey and private jets. As one does!
Our agent finally found us a publisher (same as for the Mr Men series!) - Better make it two jets each then, so we were well on our way.
Bubbles do have a natural tendency to burst, and ours was no exception, although our bubble just slowly went down.
Along with publishers, come deadlines. Robert had a family crisis at that time, and found meeting these deadlines difficult. The outcome was that he was paid off, and sadly our partnership ended. Our stories were edited by Georgie Adams, and I scribbled away with magic markers (no computers then!).
Four books were published, and I had ideas for many more. Sadly, they never materialized. I explained away their delay to Tubby’s little growing fan club; “He is out in Deep Space” I shamefully lied.
A difficult time for publishers had arrived, and cut backs were made. Alas, Tubby Tin was one of them. The jets went back.
Strangely enough, a friend’s daughter had a boyfriend who grew up on the TT stories. “Wow, that wasn’t you was it?” he said admiringly over a double espresso in Starbucks.
Who needs a private jet when you have that kind of fame!
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MIKE SHEPHERD IMAGES