03 Sep 2019
Simon Mockler leads the BT and EE Advertising Regulation team and unwinds by writing a children’s trilogy with his young son.
Tell us a bit about what you do for BT?
I've been at BT for just over five years and I lead the BT and EE Advertising Regulation team. I work with the Marketing and Product teams to make sure we can make the strongest claims possible and get our ads cleared for broadcast. It's about staying one-step ahead of our competitors, enabling the regulator to understand BT's perspective. If they feel we've exaggerated our claims, I defend them, which involves explaining how our technology works. I also challenge competitor claims when they over-step the mark.
Tell us about 'Beatrix The Bold' Triology?
The series tells the story of Beatrix as she discovers the truth about her parents, works out whether or not she has magical powers and decides whether she really wants to be Queen of the Kingdom of Beluga. Along the way she battles the Evil Army, defeats the Riddletown Dragon and escapes from Devil Sprout Island in the middle of the Sea of Sinking Ships - all with a little help from her friends, Wilfred the Wise, Oi the boy and Dog the dog. It's published by Piccadilly Press and edited by the team who worked on the Harry Potter books. The series is aimed at 6-9 year-olds with a sense of adventure who love silly jokes.
When are the other two novels coming out?
The first book, Beatrix the Bold and the Curse of the Wobblers, is already out, and the second, Beatrix the Bold and the Riddletown Dragon, was out 5th September in the UK. The third and final story in the series, Beatrix the Bold and the Balloon of Doom, will be out in February next year.
From thrillers to children's books – where did you get your inspiration from to write for a younger audience?
My 10-year-old son, Louis. I started writing the Beatrix the Bold series with him, which was great fun. He was seven at the time. I played on ideas of a fairy-tale and adventure story. I'd read a couple of pages to him before bed and use him as a sounding board. He told me what was and wasn't funny, and if there were any words he didn't understand. He also helped me choose illustrations for the books.
My daughter, Penelope, is a big influence too: the main character Beatrix is loosely based around her personality. She's very high energy, and a lot of fun.
How do you manage to find time to juggle writing a book series, a family and your job?
I write in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed, usually from about 9pm to half 10. I also write on the train to work, my brain is much more awake in the morning and I reckon I’m at least twice as productive before 9am.
Tell us about how BT has supported you to have the career you hoped for?
I didn’t have a career plan, I still don’t, but I love learning and working with lots of different teams, from technical experts to PR and marketing. I’ve had the opportunity to shape the strategy for my team, take on some complex projects and really understand the business, which has been great.
Finally, what advice would you offer to someone who was considering a career with BT?
Go for it! There’s a real energy to the place, great people and so many different roles. It’s a company you can feel proud to work for.
Gabrielle also takes on exceptional outside of work activities, working for the UN to help tackle climate change. You can read her story here