'Night Fright' needs crowd funding help

Natalie Morrell always wanted to publish a children's book, and now her dream is set to become a reality. But first she has to raise enough money within a set timeframe to pay for printing.

A graphic and web designer, Natalie has teamed with her friend and primary school teacher Mel Isaacson to write the book and Natalie will illustrate it.

Ferguson's Night Fright is a delightful tale of Ferguson the fantail who meets Millie the morepork in the night. Ferguson is frightened of the dark but Millie, being a creature of the night, shows her new friend it's not that scary after all.

Encouraged by friends, Natalie's goal is to print a small run of 150 books. To make this happen she needs to raise $2800 to cover printing costs.

To do this she has established a page on ThrillPledge.com - a crowd funding website. Crowd funding allows people to pledge money to support projects in return for rewards. The project is only deemed "successful" when it reaches its target amount or above within a timeframe. If the target amount is not reached, no funds are released and no one gets charged for their donation.

Natalie, who must reach the $2800 target by December 9, aims to have the book printed by March.

Working for a Cambridge graphic design agency during the day, Natalie has been creating the colourful illustrations for the story in her spare time.

The illustrations are created from hand-drawn characters and digitally painted watercolours. The idea for the book stemmed from a few native bird sketches and was influenced by Natalie's childhood fear of the dark.

Ferguson's Night Fright will be printed in New Zealand and distributed privately, through the people who back the book on ThrillPledge.com.

Natalie says interest in the book is "growing fast" and if she manages to raise more than $2800 she may look at launching the book as a digital iPad e-book.

- Hamilton News

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