GET FUNKY: Kallea Hughes (11), Janae Bartle (11), Jeremy Darro (6) and Alicia Roberts (6) with childrens' author Chris Collin at Gladstone South Primary School.
GET FUNKY: Kallea Hughes (11), Janae Bartle (11), Jeremy Darro (6) and Alicia Roberts (6) with childrens' author Chris Collin at Gladstone South Primary School. Julia Bartrim

Funky chicken author shares stories behind his books

IT WAS at Deepwater National Park, just south of Agnes Water, where children's author Chris Collin first came across the creature that would one day star in one of his books.

Collin was living and working in the region in 2002 when he had a chance encounter with an Australian giant burrowing cockroach.

They weigh about 50g, they're the heaviest cockroach in the world and they are one of the few insects that give birth to live young, which they nurture like a family, he said.

 

The giant burrowing cockroach gave children's author Chris Collin the idea for his book - Doug The Bug.
The giant burrowing cockroach gave children's author Chris Collin the idea for his book - A Bug Called Doug. Julia Bartrim

The hefty insect proved the spark for the creation of Doug the Bug a "responsible adult bug" and the star of a book released about five years go.

The former construction project manager turned children's author is best-known for his first book about a 'funky chicken', which has been listed on the Australian curriculum for Year 3.

But this book only came about by chance.

Collin was helping out on a school camp in 2007 when he was tasked with writing a play the children could perform.

He sat up all night in his tent, struggling for an idea.

It was 3am and Collin had started to freak out when the idea of a book featuring the funky chicken and friends occurred to him.

"To this day I don't know where the funky chicken came from," he laughed.

Collin is touring the country with his books and yesterday visited Gladstone South State School. The children were enthralled to meet real Doug the Bugs.