Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

Last week I was asked by the wonderfully talented Illustrator Cate James to be her author to pass the baton on to for The Next Big Thing. Basically every week an author will blog there answers to the questions below, and the following week the authors they have asked will do the same- a blogging chain! Spreading the word about some fantastic authors who will also hopefully have some insightful questions and answers for you all to peruse.  Here are mine...

What is the working title of your next book?
One of my working titles is, Patrick And The Fairy Fly. I think its quite nice to have the name/ names of your character in the title, a bit like we know them already before even opening the book. I should of cause tell you that Patrick is a Pig- the lead roll in this tale.

Where did the idea come from?
At the time I came up with Patrick I was boosting up by portfolio with animals, and had lots of scribblings at the back of my sketch book of all sorts and it made me think how a Pig is quite an unlikely lead character, and maybe how he would prefer to be like the other animals on my page. And that really was the starting pint of my narrative.

What genre does your book fall under?
Picture Books. I'm primarily an illustrator but when you spend so much of your time drawing characters and such its automatic to think of them having certain personalities and acting in certain ways- and narrative can really sprout from that.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
As I do write for picture books, this is rather less relevant. But if I think of it more along the lines of being narrated by or in the cases of Oliver Jeffer's Lost and Found or Julia Donaldson's/ Axel Schleffers The Gruffalo, which were both picture books adapted for animation, I think some one like Michael Rosen would be perfect, or maybe even David Mitchell when he's doing a less shouty voice.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
More of a loose moral - A pig who learnt the understanding of accepting and loving his individualities.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It is really early days, with my story being at the very early idea stages. There are some great publishers I have already worked with (including the lovely Oxford University Press) and still would like to work with. We will see.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Maybe a day or two to get the general gist of the story from start to end, but this was mostly sentances here and there, as I like to draw thumbs while I write, rather the whole text in one go.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'm sure comparisons can be made, just can't seem to think at this moment, but it definitely has a strong sense of the proverb " the grass is always greener on the other side..." which derives from a fable - I think the donkey and the gardner ( I maybe of course be wrong, so do correct me) where the donkey complains about his current working situation and asks to be moved to somewhere else where again he finds another problem, and again...when he regrets his first decision to leave because he had is best of all in his first place and didn't realise what he had.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I think by first book Chickens Can't See In the Dark worked well, in that it illustrated to children that being strong willed and different where positive attributes to have. Pippa the chicken in this story has no problems in being different and it is her personality that lead her to achieve her dream. But in this case we have a very uncertain character. Patrick is not so sure about what he is and is unsatisfied with his life as a pig - he wants something different, especially when he is given the opportunity to change it all. I think my first book did inspire me- in the way I have been looking at the idea of being different from different perspectives.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Well I do hope it is also the pictures as well as the story. It seems as if the plot from what snippets I have given you here, that it is all very serious. But really I hope its going to be quite a funny story with all the situations Patrick gets himself in to.

I shall let you all know soon the authors I shall pass this on to... but they will be great!

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