West Ashley dad Andrew Barton writes and illustrates children’s book ‘Heyward the Horse Loves Charleston, Of Course’

By Lorne Chambers | Editor

West Ashley resident Andrew Barton is a father, husband, designer, and illustrator who can now add children’s book author to his title. Barton wrote and illustrated a sweet children’s book, Heyward the Horse Loves Charleston, Of Course! It is the tale of Heyward M. Pinckney IV, a carriage horse in downtown Charleston. Heyward takes visitors on a carriage ride past a variety of Charleston area landmarks and attractions, including Riley Waterfront Park, Rainbow Row, historic churches and the Charleston City Market. With his magical bow tie, Heyward is able to fly his carriage over the Holy City, pointing out the marshes, plantations and the beaches.

West Of Free Press recently had a chance to catch up with Barton and chat about the book and the future or Heyward M. Pinckney IV. Here is what he had to say:

WEST OF FREE PRESS: When and why did you decide to write a children’s book?ANDREW BARTON: Not too long ago, I was feeling burned out with my day job (graphic design). I love my job, but I had the desire to create a character (and brand) of my own. I got serious about making a children’s book about Charleston in the Spring of 2017. At that time, my first child was 2 years old and I really enjoyed reading and telling her stories at bedtime. It took about 10 months from “getting serious” to holding a physical book in my hand.

WOFP: What is the message you want kids to take away from this book?
AB: I’d like kids to become aware of the beauty, history and magic of our city. There’s so much to learn and this book is a first step. Also, how cool is it that you can go downtown and take a carriage tour?

WOFP: You’ve done some pretty serious design stuff for pretty some big clients. How does this measure up in terms of how rewarding it is personally?
AB: As a graphic designer, my job is to get out of the way and focus on conveying the client’s message. As an author/illustrator, I get the opportunity to share my ideas and perspectives. It was challenging to change my mindset. The risk is higher because I’m putting more of myself out there. When retail stores started carrying the book, it was humbling and rewarding.

WOFP: OK, being a West Ashley guy, why does Heyward not make any stops on our side of the river?  No horse lanes?
AB: Haha … If you look closely, he does a flyover of Drayton Hall. Also, there’s an uncredited scene inspired by the marshes of Charles Town Landing. Perhaps Heyward can visit the Coburg Cow in his next adventure!

WOFP: Will there be more in the Heyward the Horse saga?
AB: I plan to “get serious” about a follow-up Heyward book soon. Starting is the hardest part!

Barton will be signing books on Saturday, Nov. 24 from 2-4 p.m. at Wonderworks, located at 975 Savannah Hwy. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/HeywardtheHorse/

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