A Galway couple have combined their talents to create a highly popular children’s book series which continues to grow from strength-to-strength – not only in Ireland but also internationally.
Captain Cillian is a fictional adventurer that has been created, written and designed by husband and wife John O’Connor and Carina Ginty. The book sees the readers follow the character’s discoveries whilst he and friends explore the Wild Atlantic Way.
Carina is a native of Salthill and upon completing a PhD in Marine Tourism in Ireland, she found herself working in a variety of roles regarding education development in GMIT, while John is a graphic designer, who is originally from the Newcastle area of Galway city.
Marrying their skills together they had all the tools necessary to spawn this unique concept – and their own experiences provided all the inspiration required.
“We are so used to going into a shop looking for a kid’s book and all there is Thomas the Tank Engine and other English characters,” explained Carina, the author of the duo.
“There wasn’t really any Irish role models or explorers that had an Irish connection. I thought wouldn’t it be great, because I saw a small gap in the curriculum and a gap in what you could get in the shops.
“Taking all that I had learnt and with Johnny being a graphic designer it was a win-win situation. I had this idea for this explorer and I looked at different names and I thought of Captain Cillian.
“I had just had my first son in 2008 and he was called Cillian. The name Cillian was just really strong – it’s got that sea-faring, Irish explorer type of ring to it. So we thought that’s a winner.”
Carina admits that she and her husband have had ‘many late nights’ while working on the series, but she takes immense pride in how the series has developed since her initial musing.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.