Last February I finished illustrating a book by author Lissa Evans called Small Change for Stuart. I drew on A4 drawing paper, a pad of which I bought from Trago Mills (a department shop in Falmouth) about 4 years ago. It was going slightly yellow, and I spilt Ribena on it a while back. I used a pen also bought from the same shop – I stockpiled, as they were going really cheap at the time.
In September my latest book (cover) is going to be released. This is my first book cover for 10-year-old boys. When Maya Geis, my editor from Oetinger Publishing House called me on the phone I was very surprised. She had only seen my illustrations for small children and my newspaper illustrations. But she said she thought I would do a good job on this bookcover, so I felt encouraged to do my best on it.
Having completed my first book while pregnant, eight weeks after Alfie was born it was time to tackle book number two, 'Jack and Jill'. I'm not sure how I managed to do this. My candle was thoroughly burnt at both ends, but somehow a little waxy blob of sanity survived to pull everything together; nappies were changed and spreads were painted. I connect the imagery in this book with my late (and lovely) mother in law, Pat, who must have spent hundreds of hours walking her dog on Clapham Common; she had recently died and was often in my thoughts as I worked. It's dedicated to her memory; hope she'd have liked it.
The Mouse who saved Egypt will be published by Tradewind Books in July 2011 in the US and Canada, September 2011 in the UK. Tradewind are small but publish interesting stuff and have a fab typographer!
Who remembers what it was like to be a young lad? Well maybe if you are of the Lady persuasion it might be a stretch to do so, but if you are a man/boy like me(and we are many) it can all seem far far too close to recall. Someone else who seems to have a perfect insight into the world of the pre-teen boy is the writer, comedian, actor and all round creative type Jonathan Meres.