Author & Artists

Veronique Eckstein

Author – Mersea Mick, Christmas Seal.

Veronique Eckstein is available for author visits to your school or group.

She has always lived on Mersea Island, growing up in a time when you could set your watch by the hourly rides out of Miss Catchpole’s Riding School.  Like many Mersea children even today, it was an idyllic childhood spent mucking around in mud, and sailing through creeks.

She is the holder of a passport allowing access across the Strood to the mainland, where she was Production Manager of an independent film company specialising in environment and sustainable development. There she was involved in over 60 films for amongst others the BBC and Channel Four Television. She worked on the Rose-Conlon WWF musicals ‘Song of the Forest’, filmed with Sting, and ‘Ocean World’ with Sir David Attenborough, both delivering powerful messages about global ecological concerns.

Along with husband Gordon, local Dentist and Lifeboat helm, she set up Mersea Island Tales as a way of bringing stories to life using island illustrators Tom Knight and Leafy Dumas.

Testimonial: Langer Primary Academy, Head Teacher, Liz Bartholomew
“Veronique was superb! Her books were a great hit with the children and her delivery of the background to ‘Mersea Mick’ was enthralling. The children were mesmerised by the story and its links to World War I, the use of props and visual aids added to the authenticity of the whole ensemble. She had the children eating out of the palm of her hand. As an adult listening, I too was captivated by her tale!”

Testimonial: Blind Spot The Mersea Island Club for the Visually Impaired.
“Veronique Eckstein came to our monthly meeting in March and gave a very moving account of a local WW1 occurrence which she related beautifully, enthralling our members who are mostly in their 80’s and 90’s.”

Tom Knight

Illustrator – Mersea Mick

After several years of working as a graphic designer, Tom Knight eventually realised that true happiness lies in drawing pictures for a living.

He was raised on a steady diet of Beano comics, Tintin books and good sea air, and often found that the easiest way to make people smile was with a silly drawing. Inspired by the natural world around him, Tom is often found plonking away at stringed instruments when he should be drawing, or drawing when he really should be concentrating on the road.

He has illustrated several wonderful books for children, and is proud to be represented by the Bright Agency.


Leafy Dumas

Illustrator – The Christmas Seal

She was christened Alethea, but the world has called her Leafy for as long as she has lived.

Leafy had a nomadic childhood, living in Africa, the Middle East,  Europe and the Caribbean.  After attending nine different schools she graduated from Exeter College of Art with a First Class Honours Degree.

Leafy currently lives and works on Mersea Island.  Leafy’s love of Mersea stems from childhood memories sailing and playing in the muddy creeks.  She has strong ties with the island.  Her parents kept (and still keep) a gaggle of boats and a home in Mersea, always coming back between postings around the world. Her grandparents also had a cottage in the old City.  Leafy is a seasoned sailor and a member of West Mersea’s lifeboat crew.

Her work is inspired by island life and her love of the sea.  She is best known for her images of english nautical nostalgia.



All materials ©2018 Mersea Island Tales