A special book like Message in a Bottle can’t be possibly created just by one person. When Wojtek and I began to develop this project, it was a no-brainer that we would need professionals to help up. Being still novices to the children’s books publishing, we wanted to learn directly from the pros.
We had already developed the concept and the storyline. I would be making the illustrations. Now we needed to find the following people for our team: an author, a biologist and an editor. (Why a biologist? Actually, we got quite ambitious about the storyline. You can read more about the educational side of Message in a Bottle here.)
During the creation of the book, it turned out that this was not enough: we also needed a book designer to make sure that the overall design of the book worked and looked great.
We also realised that we needed the voice of our audience, the parents, to give us feedback and help to promote the book from early on. Thus, before a single illustration had been done, we began putting together our own Book Launch Team. We reached out to Victoria who had impressed us with her social media understanding and her beautiful blogs. She agreed to help us with the launch team, and all of a sudden we also had a Social Media and Launch Team Executive!
And when we made the decision to run a Kickstarter campaign, we needed one more person: copywriter.
2 became 5, and 5 became 8.
So how did we find them all? By preparation, research, persistence and the endless resources on the Internet. With our book ‘pitch’, we approached countless people to ask if they would like to join us.
We went through every single literary agency with children’s authors in the UK and browsed through hundreds of children’s books to find authors we loved. We discovered a brilliant online platform called Reedsy where we found the editor. The freelancer network Upwork was a great tool to find the copywriter.
Now, I would like to introduce you to the entire team that made Message in a Bottle into reality:
Illustrator & Co-creator
Tuire loves drawing, and she’s been doing it as long as she can remember – portraits of fish caught at her childhood’s summer cottage, quirky characters spied waiting at bus stops, and Disney heroes studied from paused VHS films.
Tuire left her home country of Finland at the age of 18 to travel, and after many eye-opening adventures (including months of late night shifts in Disneyland and almost successfully auditioning to play Donald Duck), and eventually ended up in the idyllic Luxembourg. After graduating from Belgium, she set herself a mission: to launch a company to publish truly original, bespoke and fun children’s books that would be accessible beyond borders. And the first one would be Message in a Bottle!
Tom is an accomplished British children’s author and illustrator. He is the author of numerous books, such as the Little Legends series, Bubble Trouble and Jack’s Amazing Shadow. He has also produced covers and internal illustrations for the Skulduggery Pleasant series.
With his great passion for storytelling, Tom took Message in a Bottle to the next level. He created words, further developed the storyline and shared his invaluable thoughts on the visual narration of the book. We were amazed by Tom’s creativity that seemed to never run out!
Verity designs children’s books, from typesetting and cover design to the visual structure of the entire book. She makes sure that the book looks good!
Verity’s eye for colours and visuals is the sharpest we’ve ever seen. She challenged everything and everyone (especially Tuire!) to keep on reworking the story and illustrations to create the best possible book. With her magic, the words printed on the pages came alive alongside the illustrations.
Judith has worked on Message in a Bottle starting from the very first script. She reviewed the text over and over again with everything in mind: the story, structure, choice of words, characters’ personalities and grammar just to name a few.
Judith could take any problem encountered in the story and make it work – nothing was too challenging for her! There wasn’t a single incorrectly-placed letter or punctuation mark that managed to hide from her.
Evolutionary Biologist / Co-creator of Kiki’s Kids Club
Simon loves to translate complex, scientific phenomena into child-friendly language. He holds a post-doc from the University of Zürich and a PhD in evolutionary biology from the Jagiellonian University. If he’s not in the campus, he’s having one of his regular field trips to any corner of the world.
Like everyone else in our team, Simon is clearly passionate about what he does! We had great fun together exploring the world of animals in search of the best candidates to star in Message in a Bottle. Without him, we wouldn’t have found Kiki (aka the scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper)!
Social Media & Launch Team Executive
Victoria is a poetry writer, photography enthusiast, and lifestyle & parenting blogger. She is also a keen traveller and has seen many beautiful parts of the world – although not quite as many as Kiki has!
Vicky has been the strong voice of Message in a Bottle when managing our social media and our incredible Book Launch Team. Without a doubt, we wouldn’t have been successfully backed in Kickstarter without her endless perseverance and shared passion for Message in a Bottle.
Jake’s a freelance writer who is belatedly pursuing his creative dreams after escaping the murky, mathematical world of engineering. He pens everything from poetry to product descriptions and has a soft spot for helping other creative types, so getting involved in Message in a Bottle was a no brainer.
Jake has created and edited copy for the campaign, website and press releases, becoming a better friend to Kiki and the team with each passing milestone, until we decided it was time to feature him here!
Business Developer in Luxembourg
Clémentine is the latest addition to the Message in a Bottle team. French and Belgian origin and born in Luxembourg, Clémentine is our powerhouse on the Luxembourgish market.
She is brilliant at building relationships and if you see us in any events in Luxembourg, you will surely have the pleasure of meeting her. Clémentine speaks fluently English, German, Luxembourgish and French and has a great passion for politics. Her active role in Luxembourgish public affairs earned her the Young Women in Public Affairs award in 2017. Clémentine is professional, energetic, sharp and simply fun to work with!
After a dozen years spent working for multinational corporations in four different countries, Wojtek decided it was time to do something completely different. He met Tuire in Luxembourg and in summer 2015, they decided to create their own company to share their passion of storytelling with children and adults around the world. Wojtek is like a producer: he makes things happen (while keeping an eye on the budget!) and he has his hands on pretty much everything that’s happening in Blueberry & Pie, Tuire and Wojtek’s company.
Book Launch Team
Finally, our Book Launch Team has a very special part in this project. They shared their opinions and ideas for improvement of the illustrations, cover and our website to mention a few, and they actively shared us on their own social media. The fact that all of our launch team members are mums made sure that Message in a Bottle would resonate with our most important audience: children.
Mary, Hannah, Karen S., Emily, Leandra, Jemma, Linda, Michaela, Jenni, Rebecca T., Catherine, Kayleigh, Karen R., Rachael, Elaine, Karen B., Laura B., Jenny, Rebecca R., Amanda C., Sabrina, Carol, Sandra, Jade, Amanda v.M., Joanna, Kellie, Tanita, Chantelle, Mandi, Laura B., Vanessa, Oana, Claire, Lindsay, Victoria, Helen G., Rachel, Hel, Maria, Kelly, Ruth, Olga, Vai, Tom, Laura W., Helen N., Elena, Marta, Ayse, Chloe, Jacinta and Tanya
Thank You for creating the message templates that form the most important part of the book – the personal message to your loved one:
Linda Hobbis, Chantelle Hazelden, Rebecca Taylor, Are Pops, Carol Cameleon, Victoria Welton and Jake Waller
You are all amazing.