Suzanne Hemming: Thea Chop Books

Updated: Aug 10, 2018

What did you do before coming a mum?

I worked in the TV & film industry, mainly in TV dramas and comedies as a Production Manager, organising shoots, looking after the budgets and schedules etc.

Where did your new business idea come from?

We’ve always loved reading with and to our daughter.  Around the time of her first Christmas, I wanted to buy her all the old fashioned fairy tales that I had read as a child.  Once I started reading them, I couldn’t help but think how outdated the messages were:  passive princesses waiting to be rescued, princes who had to be strong, and brave.  I started to think about nursery rhymes and kid’s movies, TV adverts.  I just thought, no wonder there's still such a gender gap; it’s what we’ve been telling kids they have to be and do for generations!

How did you move from the idea to business?

I’ve always loved writing, I was blogging and just started playing around with stories (I had a go at re-writing Cinderella, modernising it, just to see if I could really).  And once I started writing I really enjoyed it and began to write more.

What is your USP?

I write stories that children like, with positive messages that parents love. What’s your biggest barrier so far?Two really: self confidence - thinking, can I really do this?  Am I really about to tell people about this?  I’m not a writer I’ve never done it before!  That little voice in your head shouts the loudest eh?! And financial: any new business costs a certain amount to startup.

Who inspires you?

My daughter.  She’s the reason I’m doing this.  I could have carried on being fed up with old fashioned tales and worrying about the outdated messages she was receiving, or I could try to be part of a solution, and show my daughter that it’s important to positively create change. I also wanted to be able to pick her up from school, so creating flexible work that works for us was important. Working for myself allows that flexibility.

What do you hope for your future?

To publish more books. Book 2 is almost written, and my lovely illustrator has started sketching.  Hopefully She’s Not Good for a Girl, She’s Just Good! will sell well enough to allow me to release a second book!  And I have a number of ideas I’m working on for future stories too, so fingers crossed, (and with lots of hard work!) we’ll get there!


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