This week I was tagged in a blog hop by Rita, the crafty almost-Australian French Canadian writer and rose whisperer over at Crafty Expat. (Have you ever seen roses like these?).
I’m pretty impressed by Rita’s commitment to the path less travelled from criminal lawyer to tortured writer. Hop over here to learn more.
But for this week, here are my answers on all things writerly:
What am I working on?
Good question. Given my relative silence on the matter, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m having you all on, that the first three books of Hello Pepi were just a ruse, a means of tricking you into believing Toy Dogs Are For Real.
But it’s no ruse – toy dogs demand to be taken seriously! All of last year until now I have been working with an illustrator to complete the final four books in the series – a fictionalised account of the real life Pepi, in verse.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I could tell you about the things it does and doesn’t have in common with Tales of Peter Rabbit. Or how the illustrations evoke the classic feel of Alice in Wonderland.
I could say this is not a children’s story, but rather a story for kids of all ages. And I could tell you how Pepi would object to being used as a device for a human centred tale.
Or, I could simply show you one of the songs in the Hello Pepi inspiration soundtrack. A song that tells about a day in the life of Schnappi the Krokodil.
(How could you Not fall in love with this creature?)
Why do I write what I do?
I wrote this series because Pepi taught me many things. He taught me how to love, how to listen, how to speak. His greatest gift was that he taught me how to live.
Most importantly, I wrote this series because small dogs, and by extension, small creatures, are so often misunderstood, misrepresented and overlooked in the greater human narrative.
But they have their own stories to tell. Stories that not only need to be told, but need to be heard.
How does my writing process work?
Writing is a mysterious thing. I hardly know how this came into being. Except that Pepi somehow linked his synapses with my brain waves and transmitted a story in lines and images that surprised us both.
I’d write solidly for half a day, a combination of scribbled lines that were then shaped and reworked on the digital page.
Sometimes it was linear. Sometimes the end came before the beginning. Possibly, there was a little bit of Rhymezone involved (ahem).
Always there was an animated sequence in my mind that somehow made it to the page.
When I was done, I would read it out aloud to Pepi. And he would jump up from his bed and dance for me.
Since this blog hop came to me from the land down under, I thought it only appropriate (in the spirit of Schnappi and his hopping Känguru friend) to extend the hop to another Australian writer.
Kath Unsworth is new to my blogging world, but I was immediately taken with her magical illustrations of miniscule moments (and other creatures), as her knack for making a story out of almost anything.
Here’s her bio:
Kath Unsworth is an artist and writer who lives down the far south coast of Australia, her dream is to create, illustrate and write happy hopeful picture books for children. She takes her inspiration from the world around, remembering what it was like to be a child. She hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams.
Kath blogs weekly about the journey of a writer at Minuscule Moments, using her photos and art to give her readers a personal view on the journey. Learning the craft of writing and illustrating picture books, whilst balancing every day life as a mum with two children.
What’s the most child-like guilty pleasure you enjoy?