Bruce D. R. Grant is an excellent story-teller having a talent for stage acting, singing, voice control and teaching voice usage. He always enjoyed relating stories to schoolboys 2 and 3 classes below him, while at boarding school in the UK.
His theatre experience has spanned more than 65 years, starting at Primary school, on into Junior and then grammar schools, in Germany, UK, Canada and lastly, Russia. He has taught English at MGU, Moscow, and a number of Russian state English Language Schools.
He authored many articles for 'Gold Post' magazine, during the '80s, for Century 21…a massively successful Canadian real estate company, with a half-monthly 1500-word article entitled, "Wo-Man About the House!" Following this with his own publication called Select Shopper, mailed free to the entire South Shore of Nova Scotia (20,000 households) containing humorous articles dealing with home repairs, but offering coupons and discounts for N.S. businesses as well as the home renovations using the same Wo-Man About the House title.
He now lives in Russia, with a Russian wife, but has two delightful daughters, one who lives in the US and the other in Canada.. He says that life is nearly always enjoyable! He wrote a full-length book about leaving Canada and the first 2 years in Russia back in 1997, which has been used in numerous Russian English-language schools in Moscow. He is also "The Voice" for Gaijin Entertainment's War Thunder: The Shooting Range and Crossout: 'The Garage'. He writes short stories laced with his brand of humour covering any significant occurance in his life!
He has voiced a number of audiobooks for Russia's largest publisher for school children learning English at school. These books are the typical classics such as Jane Austen's "Pride and
Prejudice"; Mark Twain's "The Adventures Tom Sawyer"; Jack London's "White Fang"; Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" and many others.
For his own bedtime stories entitled, "The Humorous Adventures of Spindle Sticks and Ballast Bum" he uses a voice that children have always liked… a little like a fairy tale, with many pauses to allow the children to mentally visualise what is happening, and asking questions as to whether they agree or not!
Bruce says that he has inherited his humour from his Dad!
Julia Fawcett, an extremely talented young Canadian artist and illustrator, is still at school honing her skills yet further. She was recommended to Bruce by his younger daughter, Kristian, who owns her own riding school, 'Rider's Glory' in Ontario, of which Julia is an eager student. Bruce had been let down by 3 former illustrators, who just did not understand what was required! Julia and he met, along with her father, a commercial airline pilot, and he explained what his ideas were. She brightened, visibly and energetically, and accepted the role of illustrator. So far, she has done a lovely job and it falls exactly in with Bruce's own ideas. She is good… very good!
She is not only an illustrator… she is in involved with 'Kreative Kingdom' and other very worthwhile projects, keeping her extremely busy. As Spindle Sticks is her first commercial project, she has produced first class work. Bruce is hoping that this will springboard her career, if they prove successful in sales! She shows an innate ability to understand young children and their temperaments, more so than many adults, including the parents of these children, and she is able to transfer that understanding into creative illustrations. She brings life to her characters.
Originally from Moncton, N.B. she moved with her family to Barrie, Ontario, a few years ago and has blossomed into quite a success, for all of her young years.
David and Zhanna Higham have 2 boys and their escapades have been, in many cases, so funny… that I decided to write a few stories for children between the ages of 2 and 8 years old. These two brothers have certain humorous characteristics and traits. These stories are nearly all true and have been used for each incident.
David and Zhanna Higham are two good friends of mine (the author) and have agreed that I might use their children as templates for these very short bedtime stories for 1-yr olds to 8-yr olds.
With the competent artist I now have, Julia Fawcett, I hope to publish these stories to be sold through published book shops, on the internet and any other place that would take the stories to the children in the world. I envisage the text superimposed on the graphics, with, perhaps just one paragraph on each page, allowing the narrator (if a parent or adult) to further explain what the children are doing, allowing better understanding and possible a greater degree of interest for the listeners in learning some newer words.
The name Spindle Sticks was chosen, because the elder child (about 3-and-a-half) had a arms and legs that were extremely thin and spindly. Conversely, the younger child (about 1-and-a-half) was a solid little child with heavy arms and legs and a rather round rump that gave him the nickname of Ballast Bum. Two boys could hardly be so different from one-another from the same family!
As it happens, Zhanna has already told me that she read one of the stories to her children (the subjects of the stories, themselves) and both kids reacted in such a positive manner, that it was comical in itself! They actually obeyed the story instructions to go to bed!