I dreamed up my first published book one night in 1980, on the end of a pier in Torquay, England. The original story had a much more open-ended ‘darker’ feel to it, with a star convincing Arthur to help him down out of the sky, then escaping into the countryside. Arthur, observing that there seems to be just as many stars in the sky and that it won’t be missed, goes back to bed, but then the large moon face (below) appears at his window.
Not really the kind of image for a little kid’s bedtime story! I was lucky Whitcoulls editor Gillian Weiss saw the potential in the characters and helped me massage them into something more
accessible for young children.
The book had an unfortunate start as Brierley’s bought out Whitcoulls and Arthur’s Star was
remaindered almost immediately. Perhaps , however, that meant lots of people were able to get
hold of a copy. It certainly still seems to have a wee fan club out there.