We’ve really enjoyed creating the Zig Zag series of books for young children and hope parents and carers find them helpful too!

Barbara and Cherie

Author and illustrator

A bit about Barbara, the author

Barbara Townley is currently an Assistant Head at a small village school in Shropshire working with children aged 5-7. She has taught in the UK and abroad and has a PGCE, TEFL certificate, MA in Applied Linguistics and is a qualified AMBDA dyslexia teacher.

Reading hundreds of quality children’s books in her classroom has enabled her to find her own voice as an author and has co-developed Phoneys, a teaching aid to help teach phonics in primary schools.

In her spare time Barbara is a keen golfer.

Meet Cherie, who illustrates our stories

After obtaining a BTEC and then a Degree in Fashion Illustration Cherie moved to London where she worked in the fashion industry for 9 years. During this time she received training in graphics and computer aided design and in 2001 began working on a freelance basis. In 2009, having returned to Shropshire, she decided to rekindle her first love, drawing by hand.

Cherie was awarded an MA in illustration from the Manchester School of Art, and with a young daughter, her style naturally evolved towards children’s illustrations.

You can see more of Cherie’s work by following #cheriedidthis 

Our story and the story of Zig Zag..

Barbara and Cherie met at Cherie’s belly dancing class where Barbara says she initially moved like a member of the ‘Wooden Tops’ to being not a bad dancer. Cherie’s belly dance group, Bedouin Shiver, has sadly now ended but they are still on You Tube if you want to check them out!  They became firm friends, supporting each other through good times and bad, and eventually collaborated on the Zig Zag books. 

A word from Barbara...

It has been a great creative experience with both of us enjoying seeing Zig Zag grow from a chat on the beach in Aberystwyth to two (and soon to be three) self published books.

We set up the Long Mynd Press as a vehicle to publish the Zig Zag books as, in common with many new authors and illustrators, we found it difficult to find an agent and publisher.

We were lucky enough to find Matt Taylor of Colour Options who was, and is, very patient with us and was willing to put in time and effort to get the pages and illustrations exactly as we wanted them.

Once the books were published we had great advice from Ros at Burway Books, a fantastic independent bookshop in Church Stretton as well as Tim at Waterstones in Shrewsbury who gave us useful tips in how to bring the books to the right audience.

Interested in becoming a children's author or stocking our books in your shop?

We are happy to share our experiences about self publishing. Please read our blog, contact us on Facebook or use our contact form. If you would like to know more about stocking our books in your shop please do get in touch.