I received the most exciting long-awaited parcel from my agent yesterday – my first two children’s picture books as author. I immediately made a cuppa and sat down to read them – twice – being very careful not to spill the cuppa! Although I’ve illustrated numerous children’s books over the years, this felt like an achievement because I’d been writing for eight years before I had any manuscripts accepted, signing the contracts almost 18 months ago. This isn’t an unusual scenario among children’s writers by any means.
The titles are by Australian publisher, Hinkler Books /Bonney Press (imprint):
Roble’s Rain Dance illustrated by Gavin Scott: A thirst-quenching quest in a drought-stricken desert. ‘Roble’ is a Somali name meaning ‘born during the rainy season’.
It Takes Two to T’wit Two illustrated by Guiliano Ferri: A lonely owl searches for a T’woo to complement her T’wit.
I’m thrilled with the illustrations – this is the first time I’ve seen them all together, although I saw some roughs for Roble’s Rain Dance earlier this year. My agent sent through one or two jpegs of finished artwork throughout the year and it was amazing to see the characters that I had written spring to life. This was especially fascinating for me, having been involved in the creative process of other books as a children’s illustrator myself. As in all children’s picture books, a good chunk of storytelling happens in the pictures rather than the text, so it was important for certain visual elements to be in the right place.
I’ll follow this up with an individual blog post for each title describing the inspiration behind the stories and perhaps one about the route I took to getting published.
I think they are listed on some Australian bookselling sites, and some Amazon sites (as ‘unavailable’ at present). I’m hoping to get hold of some copies to sell myself so watch this space…