How Hooray Heroes books are made
Every new Hooray Heroes book is an inventive challenge in itself. And fortunately, the inhabitants of our far, far, far away land love challenges even more than they love sweetest, juiciest forest berries.
There are more than 20 creative dwellers in Hooray Heroes Land who take on every challenge with a big bag full of respect and responsibility on one shoulder and all the enthusiasm of the world ready to launch from the other. We know that our words and stories will continue to live on in your child's imagination for a long time, and that is why nothing is left to chance in our land and a simple "it's okay" doesn't suffice.
From an idea to the first copy
Every idea for a new book sneaks into our heads unexpectedly. It's not uncommon that you, as the reader of our books, together with your children, also lend us a creative thought or two. But most often, the sparks of new stories burst into life in a strange land no one knows anything about, find their way into our kingdom and inspire the flow of creative magic.
The inner circle of seven individuals, also known as the ‘Fairytale Seven’, nurture each book from a single idea to the still-warm-and-toasty first copy straight out of the printing oven. The ‘Fairytale Seven’ are led by the author and illustrator and someone we call the producer. They put their heads together to make sense of all the doodles on the drawing board to create this meaningful and touching child-friendly book. The path to the finalised book is long and winding – a full year-long path, to be precise. It is paved by the creative leader, designer, head of printing and editor.
First drafts and sketches
The author is always the first to get the ball rolling. After weeks of brainstorming, the author steps in front of the ‘Fairytale Seven’ and presents a draft of the newest story. The Seven get introduced to the hero and the adventures, which range from travelling the world to trying out different professions. In this way, the team meets the hero, their friends, shares some dreams and see what lessons are there to be learnt.
With other team members brought in to hear the author's vision, the illustrator leads the creative team to battle armed with only a pencil, massive sheets of paper and their imagination. But in our land, a pencil is as mighty as a sword. Hooray Heroes books achieve their personalised touch through some complicated technological processes. But rest assured, we make it fun; for in our land, the best ideas are born on sheets of blank paper with pencils in hands, all accompanied by groovy background music.
After a good month or so of work, the first sketches emerge. Each and every page of the book receives the utmost attention, allowing them to grow and bloom into the masterpieces they come to be. The outcomes are doodles that only our most creative helpers can understand through conversations like, ‘First, we'll draw this here, and then that; now let's position it here and then this here will move over there, and appear here together with this and maybe with that as well ... Do you get it?’ They do try to explain, but mostly we just nod and place all of our trust in them. It's as if their creative minds are from a different planet and there is no other option but to adore them.
The final story and illustrations
The ‘Fairytale Seven’ work on the story and illustrations every day for the next few months. We do have to admit that it is not uncommon for them to seek help and guidance from the little heroes themselves. Which illustration do you like more? Which poem sounds better, this or the other one? Which colours do you prefer? Their sincerity is incredible and is one of the highest virtues in our land.
When the author finalises the story of the book, the illustrator starts the complex but enjoyable endeavour of colouring, shading and adding textures. We appreciate modern technology; however, in our land we believe that nothing compares to sitting down with a good book. So choosing the right colour palette is crucial for the ultimate reading experience.
Months have passed since the first idea was born and we get to admire the illustrations and the story. The ending may have been set, but the fun has just begun.
More than a million personalisation combinations
While the author enjoys a well-deserved rest, the illustration team faces a final, crucial task. The task that makes every Hooray Heroes book unique – for we are the first and only ones on our planet to create books like these, and it all takes place in our heroic little kingdom.
Each illustration in the book has more than a million combinations for personalising the hero and, in some books, the supporting heroes as well. Apart from giving your hero a name and setting the gender, you also get to create their appearances. The illustrator's detailed hand gives you the option to choose eye and hair colour along with other personal features like freckles and glasses
The first, fresh copies
The big moment has arrived! The first copies of the new book have been received from the printers with their irresistible aroma of freshly printed pages. We gather around them and start chanting in jubilation. No, no, no – it isn’t quite so dramatic, though it can be quite moving. Actually, when a book comes from the printers, we get so overwhelmed with emotion that we need a couple of hours of quiet time just to absorb the reality of the new arrivals.
It has been a year and the first children are cuddled up in their parents' arms reading the new book. Becky is a hero with black pigtails, Andrew is an adventurer with brown curly hair and freckles, while the scientist, doctor and astronaut is the red-headed Nina. Each one of them is the hero of their own new book and holds a piece of our land in their hands. What becomes of the ‘Fairytale Seven’, you ask? They smile in satisfaction and head off to face new challenges.