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Today, we have something special in store for you! 

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Chris Morgan, the brilliant mind behind the children's book 'The Giant of Gilfach Fargoed'. Keep reading to discover the fantastic advice he has for aspiring creatives and the exciting projects he's working on next.

Hello Chris! We absolutely adore your book, The Giant of Gilfach Fargoed, here at TGW. Your talent shines through on every page, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with you. To start off, could you share a bit about yourself and what you have been up to lately?

I am an illustrator and character designer based in South Wales. I spent 20 years working in non-creative roles but decided to follow my calling during the COVID pandemic in 2020; and become a freelance illustrator. I enrolled at the University of South Wales and graduated with a first-class honours in illustration in 2023. Since I launched my book in November I have mainly been promoting it by doing readings and character design workshops at local schools and community events. I’m humbled at how well The Giant of Gilfach Fargoed has been received by children; and seeing how its inspired them to create school projects is very rewarding.

It's obvious that being an author and illustrator is your true calling and, your choice of folk tale to retell is simply genius, it's a big hit with the younger audience. We're interested to learn what inspired you to choose that specific one.

It’s a bit of a long story that started in 1994! I was at comprehensive school and to commemorate its 21st anniversary, the school produced a book about the history of our town. Lots of places in Wales have folktales entwined in their history and The Giant of Gilfach Fargoed is the one linked to my local area. I was asked to produce some illustrations for the story and they were published in the book. Fast forward 30 years and I found myself trying to think of a subject to produce a body of work for my final major project at university. I came across the book from 1994 and thought it may work as a children’s book. Following research, I found that local history is now being taught as part of the curriculum in Welsh schools. Additionally folk tales tend to be passed down through the ages by word of mouth; so, I felt bringing these folk tales to life on paper would be a valuable asset for children and adults.

It certainly does work well as a children's book and is a fantastic addition to the literary landscape. The illustrations in your book are also just incredible and add so much depth to the story. When did you first realise your talent for creating such beautiful artwork?

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed drawing, in particular creating my own characters. I am always trying to improve and the artwork in this book is very different to the illustrations I did when I was 16!

Your determination and commitment have unquestionably paid off, propelling you to become the accomplished author and illustrator you are today. We're sure you have valuable advice to share with aspiring writers and artists…what words of wisdom would you offer to those who dream of following in your footsteps?

Being resilient is key to achieving your goals. Use any criticism as a chance to get better and do not be afraid to fail. Success is only achieved through failure and if you embrace it as part of the process, you will be on the right track to realising your dreams.

Absolutely! Every failure is a step to success! What fantastic advice. Lastly, we're curious to know what the future holds for you. Are there any upcoming projects or exciting plans on the horizon that you'd like to share with your fans? We personally can't wait to see what amazing creations you'll bring to the world next!

The future is bright! I am continuing to promote my book and work with the local community. I hope to collaborate with independent writers and publishers to illustrate more books; and I am also working on my second folktale retelling the story of ‘The Green Lady of Caerphilly Castle.’ Hopefully I can follow on from the success of my first book and enter TGW award again!

We have no doubts at TGW that it will be just as successful!

The future certainly looks bright for this inspiring Welsh talent. If you're interested in exploring his exceptional work (which we strongly encourage you to do), we've conveniently provided the links for you to check out below.


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