As we are on the brink of submitting Angel’s Great Escape: A Christmas Story for approval across the globe, I wanted to write my first blog post to say hello! I am Kirstie Rowson, founder of And So We Begin and writer of this little tale, which has been so beautifully brought to life by my wonderful collaborators. I wrote the story at a time when I didn’t even know apps existed, before I had ventured into the world of the iPhone and before I knew how possible self-publishing could be. The story went through several incarnations and several rejections and then last year the plan to make it into an app slowly formed in my mind.
I work as an event manager by day on large TV shows and corporate extravaganzas, juggling clients’ desires and suppliers’ practicalities and my friends will tell you I have the tenacity of a Jack Russell. These skills combined have come in very handy with creating my first app! So here are my top five ‘must-haves’ for independent app making.
At various stages on this journey I have tried to:
* Narrate – my brother-in-law christened me Bernadette Cribbins but I sounded more like Marge Simpson. Thank goodness for Alan Titchmarsh. I am beyond delighted that he agreed to narrate my little story.
* Illustrate – whether I used pencils, pens or Paper my drawings were terrible and Angel looked more like a clothes-peg doll in a doily. Thank goodness for Kristyna Litten whose drawings are beyond what I imagined.
* Code – I decided I would try to code the app myself… Luckily I came to my senses and when I found Decoded, instead of asking them to teach me how to code, I asked them to recommend a tech whizz. Thank goodness for Jonny at J & J and Stefan at SN2apps, their skills are beyond my comprehension!
* Write a soundtrack - well, ok, truth be told, I didn't even try with this one! Luckily I have a wonderfully talented sister, Ginny Walker, who composed an absolutely perfect melody for the story and her equally wonderfully talented friend, Lisa Faye, played the piano for us… Thank goodness indeed.
In summary, for me collaboration is everything.
2. Social Media
Twitter and Facebook, a mind-boggling world of information and amusement. By meeting fellow app developers and creatives, albeit virtually, I have learnt so much, not least how friendly this little community is. Not to mention, both sites were a brilliant distraction when I was meant to be testing the app for the one hundredth time.
3. Trusting Your Instincts
Being independent is fabulous in many ways, I am the client, the project manager, the book designer, the marketing manager and the market all rolled into one, so I have to trust my instincts and hope they are right! Scary stuff.
I have realised that the app world is taking shape, no one knows everything and everyone is feeling their way to a certain extent so there are few concrete rights and wrongs. I am very much learning as I go along and when things haven’t gone to plan, I’ve figured it’s for a reason.
It all comes back to being a Jack Russell. I originally wrote Angel’s Great Escape more than five years ago. It was an animation script, then a tale told in prose, then finally the rhyme fell into my head and onto paper as I sat in a café in the sunshine one summer. I started plotting out the app almost a year ago. But picture by picture, word by word, line of code by line of code it took shape. And after all the set-backs and hurdles (more about those in a future blog!) I am so incredibly pleased with the result.
I really hope that you and your little ones will like it too!