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  • Debra Palmen

Up, Up & Away


One thing that Covid lockdowns have taught us is that lots of people enjoy working from home. And I’m one of them.


My favored working attire of t-shirt and undies doesn’t result in complaints to Human Resources (well, not many), I can take time out to meet friends for coffee whenever I jolly well want, and I can have The Bold & The Beautiful on in the background without anyone scoffing (well, not much).


Many people have found that you can be far more productive when you work from home. I’m not sure that’s true in my case, but I can report that in addition to writing feature articles for that most excellent magazine Antiques to Vintage and taking stands at the Peregian Beach Markets and Collectorama Antiques Fairs, I’ve also been working towards getting Vol 1 of The Foodies Guide to Antiques & Collectables finished. I’m almost there, and hopefully it will be published early next year. But more on that later.

Most recently, I’ve been beavering away on getting A Cat’s Tale, Calypso’s illustrated storybook series progressed. For a project that started off as light relief from all the research that goes into my own books, Calypso’s series has actually required a huge amount of my time.

That’s because I have taken on the role of the production designer. I don’t provide a few dot points to my artists and leave them with it, no, no, no. I provide a full-on production brief that details how every scene in every book will look, from costumes to accessories to décor, backgrounds, colours, expressions, pretty well everything. With a good artist (and I have two good artists) you can take the production brief as a starting point and then collaborate to make a stronger image, and I think that’s what we’ve done.

And this leads me to announce – Ta-dah! – Book 2 in Calypso’s series, called Up, Up & Away, has now been approved for publication. Yay, just in time for Christmas! This one features kites, hot air balloons, biplanes, and the Paris Air Show’s Grand Race along the Champs Elysees and around the Arc de Triomphe.


Calypso’s stories are pretty up-beat and a bit of fun. She lives by the Important Cat Rules and is forever quoting them. If you know cats, you’ll instantly recognize all the Important Cat Rules yourself. A few include:


Important Cat Rule Number 1: Everything is Mine

Important Cat Rule Number 9: Never actually listen

Important Cat Rule Number 11: If you must sick-up, do it in a shoe

Important Cat Rule Number 15: It’s never the wrong time to wash your bottom

Important Cat Rule Number 22: All bugs must die


All the Important Cat Rules rate a mention at some point throughout the series. And why not? They’re Rules everyone should live by.


As you can see, I’ve included a few sneak peeks of parts of Up, Up & Away here. You can find Calypso’s books (and mine!) on the Books page of our website www.frenchandvintage.biz.


You can of course buy each book individually. But if you’d like to buy both of Calypso's books (or mine!) contact me before you purchase because I can give you a discount on combined postage. And if you see me in person at Peregian Beach Markets or Collectorama Antiques Fair, you can save all the postage costs.






Calypso’s Book 3, called That was Zen, This is Meow is close to being completed. It's about how Tallulah goes to Japan to learn inner peace and become a ninja.


Calypso doesn't need lessons because every cat is a natural-born ninja, did you know that?











Book 4, called Catnappers from Planet Crykee is underway and already looking good.


That one's about how Calypso escapes after being catnapped by an evil Space Queen.


Tallulah comes to the rescue but Calypso doesn't need help, thank you.

Well, not much.




Thank you so much for your support for Calypso’s book writing efforts (and mine!). We’ve worked hard to create a beautiful product that will appeal to adults as well as children, and we hope you love it.



















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