Since launching Mam Cymru in 2017, we’ve discovered so many amazing businesses run by so many amazing Mums or Dads in Wales, but could you run a business with your other half?! My parents do it, but I think my husband would agree that it wouldn’t work for us, but husband and wife team Luned and Huw Aaron from Cardiff have decided to do just that!
For those who aren’t lucky enough to know you, who are Luned and Huw Aaron?
We are a married couple with two little girls – Eos who’s six years old, and Olwen who’s three. We are both artists and authors, but we had different careers before turning to book publishing. Huw’s background is in accounting as a manager in the health service and Luned worked in the media and theatre mainly, before focusing on creating children’s books in recent years. Huw has established a comic called Mellten and Luned has been producing books for young children with Gwasg Carreg Gwalch.
So, you’re setting up a new press, why now?
We have been discussing setting up a press which would focus mainly on books for children and young adults for a while. The trigger for this was a commission that Huw had from the Government and the Welsh Rugby Union to create the Seren a Sbarc series. 11,000 copies of the first book by Llyfrau Broga were distributed around schools in Wales (Seren a Sbarc yn Achub (Cwpan) y Byd) by Huw and Elidir Jones, so that was a good start!
What are your main goals?
Venturing. Experimenting. Hopefully breaking new ground.
We both have many ideas and there is such a lot of talent in the visual and writing fields here in Wales. We are both keen to facilitate the process of new, fresh books seeing light of day.
In a digital age, we are keen for children to experience and enjoy the magic that can be found between two covers. Our main aim as a company is to reach reluctant readers and create new readers. As a press, we are eager to produce as much original Welsh material as possible. Certainly, the visual element will be crucial. Children must be respected and we must remember that the visual language is the first language of every child.
There are lots of publishers in Wales creating amazing books for children, what makes you different?
As far as we know, there has been no other publishing press in Wales which has focused on publishing original books for children and young people, so, hopefully, we will be filling a gap and offering something a little different.
Tell us a bit about the process of producing new books and how do you work together on this?
We both have different strengths – Huw is confident with the financial side of things because of his background in accounting, and Luned is comfortable with organising and pitching ideas. Other than the administrative side, we both enjoy contacting and discussing with individuals the potential of books and of course, we write and draw regularly ourselves.
What do your children think of the venture? Will they be a part of the process?
Maybe they’re a little young to understand but they certainly like seeing mum and dad creating books for children and love browsing the books themselves!
Do you do everything in the family home? How difficult is it to juggle a new a company and the children?
We both share a studio in the attic and try to keep family life and work separate, as much as possible. Locking the studio door at weekends helps!
Where can we find and buy your books?
Broga’s books can be purchased at Welsh book shops or on the Gwales website.
You’re busy people! What else are you doing at the moment?
We are both working on different books. Luned is creating a story and picture book for young children and is writing her first novel for children. Huw is busy producing Ble mae Boc 2 and Trio 3 with Manon Steffan Ros, as well as holding many cartooning workshops. The next book by Llyfrau Broga will be the second in the Seren a Sbarc series – another collaboration between Huw and Elidir Jones.
Finally, what were your favourite books when you were children?
We both loved reading. Huw enjoyed the Tintin and Asterix series, Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s books and Cadwgan y Llygoden o’r Lleuad by Elwyn Ioan. Luned liked the Rwdlan series by Angharad Tomos, the Hud a Lledrith books (beautiful hard-back books) and several of the Cyfres Corryn books.
Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru
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