The Goblins of the Bramble


“Pim” illustrated by Bailey Quillin Cooper

Something about seeing three of my story’s main characters fully illustrated made everything about this book seem legit and authentic. I feel like now that they exist on paper no one can stop them from invading the minds of future readers.

Bailey Quillin Cooper, illustrator extraordinaire, was and is the only other person I trust to truly understand the goblins of the bramble (She is no novice to goblins and other fantasy beings).  I wanted Bailey, to take the characters in her own direction and to bring them “to life” (however cliché that may sound). She did that and so much more! I’m amazed how she took my basic sketches and scribbled notes and fused her vibrant imagination with mine. I’ve really never been more pleased and excited by a collaboration!

I think her blog post introduces the characters perfectly, so I’m sending you directly there! While you are on her blog, be sure to take the time and check out her other incredible projects! There is an entirely magical world living in Kringle Forest.

Bailey Quillin Cooper’s Illustrations for Beyond the Bramble




A bit of the backstory behind “Beyond the Bramble”

This blog  should have been up and running months ago. It was certainly haunting me at the back of my mind, but when you’re knee deep in college finals and family matters, well… blogs tend to get ignored and placed on the back burner.

I’m going to use this blog  to introduce the different goblins who live in the Bramble and to share some of the concept art and story plot with you. This is the place for those who’d like to follow my journey as I attempt to take my book from a rough first draft all the way to publication. What this basically means is that you’ll hear from me on the good days when the creativity is flowing, as well as the bad days when the rejection letters flood in!


Concept art for “Pim”, one of the books main characters

But before I jump into the book, I thought I could share some of what has prompted me to even write a children’s book, especially one packed with mischievous goblins and secret worlds.

The ideas for this book have been gathering since my own childhood and it was only a matter of time before I gave in and put them to paper. Fantasy films like Labyrinth, The NeverEnding Story, and Willow gave me vivid worlds to escape to. Books by Mercer Mayer, Lewis Carroll, Avi, Brian Froud,  and Maurice Sendak have given me wonderful and unusual friends to escape with. All of these influences together have been busy saturating my brain with inspiration!

Also lurking in my brain were the memories of my grandparents’ basement, packed with boxes of antiques and endless shelves of books. Everything about that basement was magical and mysterious to me.Their backyard was no different. In my grandparents’ backyard were several overgrown, thorny bushes, which we called the “Jungle.” I cried the day they finally cut them down, because it was the place where I was certain these fantastical creatures lived. That tangle of bramble inevitably became the start of my book’s setting.

The characters that appear in Beyond the Bramble are un-apologetically stolen from real life. The story’s main character was drawn from two real girls I know, who would never harm a book, let alone think twice about being a little quirky. The book is both written for them and for every other kid who could use a creative friend like them.

The final little element that couldn’t help but creep into my book is my constant companion and the most ornery of dachshunds, Annette. She found herself on the first page and proceeded to wriggle her way from one page onto the next. But if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way, nor would the other characters in the book.