New picture books!

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…

10 thoughts on “New picture books!

  1. Brilliant. I remember you on the Arvon course saying that you wanted to become an author as well as illustrator, and now here you are! Just out of interest – why did they get someone else to illustrate?

  2. Thanks – I know! That was 8 years ago! Several writers/illustrators from the same agency were chosen for this list. I believe that nobody illustrated their own text but I don’t know what the reasoning was behind that.

  3. Congratulations Paula, these look great. I’m always envious of illustrators who can write, they get to keep ALL the royalties! I can’t wait to see you illustrating your own text before long. Welcome to your new career!

    • Hi Peter!
      Good to hear from you, former Arvonite! Yes it would be nice to illustrate my own text, although at the moment I’m working on a graphic novel for adults (no publisher on board yet). I do have other PB texts in the pipeline though. Sledgehog is still around but not sure she’s going to make it. I trust everything is going well with your writing career? Oh wow – I’ve just had a quick peek at your website – it looks amazing! My question is answered! 🙂

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