Stuart Simmonds and Bill Greenhead were introduced by a mutual friend and finally met in July 2017. With the release of Stuart’s autobiographical cricket book “Watching With My Heroes” set to be launched in the Autumn of that year, he needed an illustrator to come up with the front and back cover artwork and to try and help him with his initial ideas.
Within minutes of meeting, they hit it off completely. Stuart was delighted to meet a grown up man wearing a Captain America T shirt whose house was full of Marvel and Star Wars posters. Even before the coffee was made, they were discussing Thunderbirds and the many other Gerry Anderson shows and as anyone who knows him well will tell you, that was easily good enough to win Stuart over.
Bill was enthralled by the tale of the stories that Stuart had written for his two girls and that it had taken seventeen years to finally get round to doing something about it. As they say, the rest is history and within a few months StuHead was formed.
The bizarre thing about this whole story is that it would never have happened if some of the artists that Stuart had approached for help had actually bothered to phone him back some months earlier.
I’m sure that Hannah and Lucy would have been delighted that their Dad’s phone never did ring because if it had, their beloved bedtime stories may never have made it to where they are now……and we’re sure that Aubrey, Harry the Karate Monkey, Dancing Bears, Robots, Professors, teachers, zoo keepers, dodgy bank robbers and a huge bunch of Polar bears would feel the same.
What we are certain of is that before too long, children and parents all around the world will be delighted that Stuart and Bill did finally get to meet and bring their amazing stories, illustrations and characters to life for everyone to enjoy.
Stuart Simmonds was born in Birmingham and has spent most of his life either playing or coaching sport, notably cricket. Good enough to play against some very famous players, Stuart finished his time by writing the critically acclaimed “Watching with my Heroes” about the fact that being good at bowling a red ball at some sticks took him around the world and meant he avoided having to get a proper job. To his amazement, it has currently sold considerably more than the ten copies he originally thought that it might, with all the profits going to the blood cancer charities.
Apart from still being involved in sport, Stuart runs a successful property business and is the worst guitarist imaginable. He cannot get his head around that fact that he now writes books for a living based on the bedtime stories he made up many years ago. He currently lives in Sussex with his wife, his two daughters and his two dreadfully behaved dogs.
Bill Greenhead was born the year England won the football world cup and is the living embodiment of how long England never won the cup again. It's not pretty.
For the record it was 1966.
He has been a professional illustrator for over 30 years working for children's book all around the world. He sees himself as a bit of a maverick citing the fact that he refuses to sieve the flour for his banana cakes.
Married happily for 26 years now and having 3 children he can't wait to illustrate more of Hannah's amazing adventures.