Generally I'm not hugely superstitious but when it comes to children's picture books I so desperately want to get one published that merely writing about the fact that so far I've failed - might jinx my prospects in the future, touch wood.
I love picture books, they are a perfect art form. A stage on which one can create and enact a film script and story within 32 magical pages that can entrance and transport a child, of any age, to totally new worlds and experiences. Or, help explain and present common experiences in such a way that they are enlightened, satisfied, wiser, entertained and moved.
I have reviewed children's books for local papers, I have collected picture books. I have been the 'artist' present at various children's book events and have illustrated many educational books.
To date I have worked on a good dozen or so educational titles and illustrated other non-fiction books but I'm still chasing that elusive 'holy grail' of the self-written and illustrated picture book title.
In 2008 I illustrated 52 small hardback ABC and Counting picture books, each with four pages of artwork. In 2009 I illustrated a charming froggy love story - Ga Gunk for an American writer and also started work on Wally Woppapotamus for Helen Bonney. The collaboration with Helen has lasted right through to the present and only this morning I was working on the final pictures for Wally's 2nd book.
However, the latest of my very own stories, featuring the greedy frog BUG BELLY, has yet to be taken up by a publisher. Lots of good things have been said about him over the last 12 months and he got as far as the next stage editorial meeting at Random House, but success still eludes me.
As a member of British SCBWI - Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, I have learned a tremendous amount about the business and I'm determined to succeed, it's one of my main ambitions in life.
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