The Witchy-Po is inspired by a little bedtime story I tell my two kids, aged 2 and 4, to get them to sleep. The characterisation of the Witchy-Po is drawn from references of old Chinese ghost mythologies and modern day fables of creatures of the night.

The word ‘Po’ is pronounced ‘puh’, such as in the word ‘pour’, leaving out the ‘r’ sound at the end. It is Chinese meaning ‘an old woman’.

The development of the book started in April 2012, when I pitched the idea to my friend Curtis, who had been showcasing some samples of his brilliant illustration work online.  The writing was completed in May and initial sketches and storyboarding were passed around, but our personal lives took the better of us, and things didn’t pick up again until September, when the concept art was agreed and things really started rolling.  We then began to finalize each of the illustrations and text layout page by page, and learning all about epubs, mobis, and the digital self-publication industry (credit to Liz Castro’s books and blog on epubs, and Jason Hibbs’ Blank Book, which are both great references).  In between our day jobs, personal lives, screaming kids, and late evening and extended weekend sessions, the project finished in October, taking six months to complete.

The first version was released in October 2012 as an ebook for Amazon’s Kindle device, minus the narration feature due to this being unsupported at the time.  The read-aloud version is expected to be available in the iBook store by November 2012.

A big thanks to Curtis Cunningham for all the hard work drawing and re-drawing the characters and illustrations to get them just right. Thanks also to Fung Ng for lending her time and voice to the wonderful narration.

Lastly, a special thanks to my wife for putting up with the kids while I worked on this project!

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the book!