A PROFESSIONAL actor and photographer by trade, Bicton resident Mark Evans has crab-walked his way into the world of children’s picture books with his debut Crazy Crab.
The first-time children’s author is already making waves on the international literary scene after becoming the first Australian invited to Orange County Book Festival, the biggest children’s book event in North America.
Drawing on his background as an actor, Evans transforms into characters from Crazy Crab for live-readings and signings, a point of difference that led to his involvement in the festival.
“Most authors are hidden behind their stories; they’re not usually front and centre,” he said.
“It’s crazy to me that so few authors actually become their characters – I haven’t found any who are bringing their books to life by acting them out.”
In addition to drawing on his acting background for Crazy Crab, Evans took inspiration from his other day job as a real estate photographer.
“Over the years of doing property photography I’ve met a lot of gun real estate agents who are great at their job but seem really unhappy – as if they wish they were somewhere else, doing something else,” he said.
“Crazy Crab’s protagonist Steve is in real estate selling shells for a living, but he dreams of being the first crab in space.
“Steve is like the property agents I know – great at his job but not doing what he loves.
“The book is about self-belief, listening to your heart and following your dreams.”
Published by MacLaren-Cochrane in the US, a feature of the book is its a typeface that makes it easier for those with dyslexia to read.
“My daughter is dyslexic and had some difficulty reading when she was younger,” Evans said.
“It would’ve been really nice to have had her favourite books in a font that made it easier for her to read, with less time spent deciphering words and more time enjoying the story.”