Mild-mannered corporate counsel by day, Steven London, EMBA ’09, writes side-splitting children’s books by night.
As a lawyer I've worked in law firms and as general counsel, and have held senior roles in the investment industry. I had wanted to get my MBA back in the mid ’90s, so when the opportunity to pursue it later in my career came up, I jumped at the chance. The Ivey EMBA was intense, and when the Program was over, I found a huge gap of time had opened up in my late-night schedule.
I’ve always been creative, but as a lawyer there aren’t many opportunities where you can really exercise that part of your brain. I’m a very hands-on, goofy dad. I even make Muppets with my kids. Bedtime reading with my kids has always been a favourite part of my day, and one day it struck me—I could write a children’s book. The Inconceivable Adventures of Cabbage Boy is a fictionalized amalgam of memories from my childhood (my mom’s cabbage rolls were inspirational). The power that Ralph, the hero of the story, acquires—super flatulence—is something that I think many kids have thought about at some time. At least I did!
I connected with an artist who is about my age and who read the same superhero comics books that I did growing up. He’s done work for Marvel, and that was exactly the imagery I wanted for this book. It’s meant to reflect how a nine-year-old would see himself as a superhero.
I’m marketing the book through social media and my website. It’s a unique story—if someone doesn’t think that super flatulence is hilarious, they’re not going to be interested. But I wrote it knowing what a kid like me would want to read. These days, children often gravitate to computer games and handheld devices. Books have to be interesting in order to catch a kid’s attention.
I’ve written the second book of the series and have six stories mapped out. I would love for this to become something really successful. My youngest (he’s president of my fan club) wants to know when he’ll be able to buy Cabbage Boy action figures, and honestly I see this as the next great 3D movie franchise. You have to think big—I learned that at Ivey.
Photo: Nation Wong
Art Direction: Greg Salmela, Aegis