Chris’ stories for children reveal a love of wordplay, rhyme, and a penchant for whimsical characters living in curious places.
At an early age, Chris enjoyed the naive heroes of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, the menageries of Dr. Seuss and Mercer Mayer, and the busy towns of Richard Scarry.
Chris’ first internationally published children’s book was co-written with friend and award-winning illustrator, Angela Keoghan in March 2017, and published by the TATE museums in the UK.
Inspector Brunswick: The Case of the Missing Eyebrow showcases the talents of the world's greatest cat detective, and his loyal assistant, Nelson.
In April 2018 the book won the Storylines™ Notable Picture Book award at the Margaret Mahy Awards Day.
Since he was small, Chris has enjoyed the poetry of Edward Lear, Spike Milligan, Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl.
Of his poems, Chris says: ‘I love to mix and meddle with words in ways that will delight readers. When I’m writing rhyme I often have to shut myself away from everyone because I’m always talking out loud to myself to hear if the words I’ve chosen work together or not. I enjoy the constant challenge of trying to balance rhythm, meaning, and audience enjoyment in every line.’
Chris is currently working on a collaborative series of whimsical poems called ‘Secretive Creatures’ with longtime collaborator and illustrator, Angela Keoghan from The Picture Garden.
‘This collection of poems is for people who enjoy beautiful illustration, and being transported to curious places where mythical creatures that time has forgotten have their stories retold.’
When asked about the creative process: ‘It’s 50/50. Sometimes the words come first and inspire Angela’s illustrations. Other times, I might spot a curious character pencilled in the margin of one of Angela’s sketchbooks and that will inspire the words. That happened for our Nodbeagle poem; he began as a simple sketch and took on a life of his own.’